DNA Reveals the Origins of the Ancient Philistines

By Trista
DNA Reveals the Origins of the Ancient Philistines

The ancient people referred to as the Philistines have long been an enigma. Not much is known about them beyond biblical stories. However, archaeogeneticist Michal Feldman and her colleagues were able to discover something never before known about the infamous people. New DNA evidence is emerging that is helping scientists and historians trace their origins and find out who exactly these people were.

In fact, 10 skeletons that were buried at the ancient Philistine port city called Ashkelon, which is located in Israel. Three of skeletons were identified to be from the Late Bronze Age, which was around 3,600 years ago. Four of the remains were from infants of the Iron Age as well as the other three from a later period during the Iron Age. Keep reading to learn how this connection links the modern populations of the eastern Mediterranean to their ancient roots.


Credit: britannica.com

Philistine engraving

1. The Philistines Are Rarely Mentioned Outside the Bible

In the Old Testament of the Bible, the Philistines are frequently referenced as enemies of the nation of Israel. They occupied parts of Canaan, the land that became known as Israel after the Israelites conquered it. Outside of the Bible, however, very little is mentioned about them.

Although the dry, hot region of the Middle East is not ideal for preserving DNA, the skilled team was able to recover nuclear DNA, which comes from both parents. There is some archaeological evidence attributed to them, which scientists are now mining to learn more about them.