The Philistines and Aegean Migration at the End of the Late Bronze Age

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In this study, Assaf Yasur-Landau examines the early history of the biblical Philistines who were among the Sea Peoples who migrated from the Aegean area to the Levant during the early twelfth century BCE. Creating an archaeological narrative of the migration of the Philistines, he combines an innovative theoretical framework on the archaeology of migration with new data from excavations in Greece, Turkey, Cyprus, Syria, Lebanon, and Israel and thereby reconstructs the social history of the Aegean migration to the southern Levant. The author follows the story of the Philistine migrants from the conditions that caused them to leave their Aegean homes to their movement eastward along the sea and land routes, to their formation of a migrant society in Philistia and their interaction with local populations in the Levant. Based on the most up-to-date evidence, this book offers a new and fresh understanding of the arrival of the Philistines in the Levant.

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Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
'This book is published exactly one hundred years after the first book on the Philistines – a book by the British archaeologist R. A. St Macalister (The Philistines, 1911). While Macalister had very few sources at his disposal, Yasur-Landau can reply on extensive archaeological research as well as on a large body of literature, including the books published by Moshe and Trude Dothan published between 1967 and 2006.' International Review of Biblical Studies
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780521191623
  • Publisher: Cambridge University Press
  • Publication date: 4/30/2010
  • Pages: 412
  • Product dimensions: 7.20 (w) x 10.10 (h) x 1.00 (d)

Meet the Author

Assaf Yasur-Landau is Senior Researcher at the Leon Recanati Institute for Maritime Studies, Haifa University. He has edited three volumes and published numerous articles on the the archaeology of the Levant and interactions between the Aegean world and the Levant, including the Philistine migration, with an emphasis on the investigation of the personal lives of ancient people.
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Table of Contents

Acknowledgments xi

Introduction 1

Uncharted Areas and Blind Spots in the Archaeology of the Philistines 2

The Aim of the Present Study 7

1 The Archaeological Identification of Migration and Other Ranges of Interregional Interactions 9

Establishing the Course of Inquiry 9

Describing Interactions and the Parameters of Interaction 10

Defining Deep Change 13

The Archaeological Identification of Migration, When Treated As a Range of Interregional Interactions 14

Migration and Deep Change in Domestic Assemblages 15

Deep Change and Innovation Processes 17

Demonstrating Deep Change: Case Studies for the Influence of Migration on Behavioral Patterns and Material Culture 19

Causality of Migration 30

Conclusions 32

2 Setting the Scene: The Mycenaean Palatial Culture and the Outside World 34

Social Complexity in the Mycenaean Palatial System 35

Aegean Peoples and Mediterranean Geography 38

Thirteenth-Century Aegean Maritime Capabilities and Interregional Interactions 44

Palatial Administration and Aegean Migration and Colonization of the Late Thirteenth to the Early Twelfth Century BCE 54

3 The Twelfth-Century-BCE Aegean: Political and Social Background 58

Changing Rulership and the Decapitation Theory 58

Social Complexity in Selected Aegean Sites in LHIIIC 60

Regional Aspects of Rulership in the Twelfth Century 81

The Change in Imagery and Ideology between LHIIIB and LHIIIC 83

Conclusions 95

4 Preconditions for Migration 97

Push and Pull Factors Affecting Migration 97

Twelfth-Century-BCE Sources of Information 102

The Maritime Option 102

The Land Option 114

Conclusions 120

5 Along the Routes 122

Investigating Routes and New Populations 122

The Aegean Hearth 123

Cooking Activities 124

Cyprus: Interactions along the Sea Route 138

Western Anatolia: The Expansion of the East Aegean Koine 154

Cilicia and the Amuq: The Land Route from Southeastern Anatolia to Syria 158

The Syro-Phoenician Coast: Along the Sea and Land Routes 164

Through the Egyptian Lens 171

The Origin of the Attackers 180

Conclusions: Twelfth-Century Interactions along the Routes 186

6 Strictly Business? The Southern Levant and the Aegean in the Thirteenth to the Early Twelfth Century BCE 194

Mycenaean Imports to the Southern Levant 194

Merchants and Mercenaries: Foreigners in Late Bronze Age Canaan 204

Conclusions: Strictly Business? 214

7 The Material Culture Change in Twelfth-Century Philistia 216

From Canaan to Philistia 216

The End of the Bronze Age-Iron Age Transition in the Philistine Sites 220

Behavioral Patterns As Indicators of Interaction with Aegean Population in the Southern Levant 227

Cooking Installations: Hearths, Ovens, and Tabuns 234

Form, Function, and Variability in Cooking Traditions 238

Assessing the Degree of Change 240

Patterns of Use of the Pottery Assemblage: Storing and Serving Food and Drink in Aegean and Local Styles 241

LHIIIC-Style Pottery: Local Production of Traded Pottery or a Domestic Assemblage? 243

Serving and Storage Vessels in the Local, Canaanite Tradition 255

Cypriot (and Egyptian?) Shapes 262

The Nature of the Aegean-Style and Canaanite Ceramic Repertoires in Philistia 262

Pottery Production and Technology 264

Textile Production 267

The Organization of Domestic Space 270

Conclusions: Philistine House, Philistine Migrants 279

8 The Philistine Society and The Settlement Process 282

Settlement Patterns in Philistia 282

Economy 295

Trade 300

Ceremonial and Cultic Activity 302

Elite in the Pentapolis 307

Literacy and Administration 308

The Role of Women in the Aegean Migration 313

Social Stratification in Twelfth-Century Philistia 315

Chronology and the Paradigm of Unified Migration 315

The Origin of the Migrants 325

Conclusions 330

9 A Short History of The Aegean Immigration to The Levant 335

A Land Much Divided: The World that Created the Aegean Migration 335

A Family Portrait with an Ox Wagon: On the Routes to the East 336

The Arrival 338

The Settlement 340

Aegean Life Abroad: The Making of Philistia 342

Bibliography 347

Index 383

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