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Discovery of Ancient Philistines’ Cemetery May Shed New Light on Their Origins

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A team of foreign archaeologists extract skeletons at the excavation site of the first Philistine cemetery
A team of foreign archaeologists extract skeletons at the excavation site of the first Philistine cemetery ever found in the Mediterranean coastal Israeli city of Ashkelon. (Menahem Kahana/AFP/Getty Images)

Archeologists may finally understand the origins of the Philistines. The first Philistine cemetery has been discovered in Israel outside the walls of Ashkelon, which was a major city for the Philistines between the 12th and 7th centuries B.C.

The Philistines came into conflict with the Israelites and were defeated by the forces of King David in the 10th century B.C. Archaeologists had located five major cities of the Philistines but very few of remains of their dead, which has all changed with the discovery of the burial site of over 200 Philistines.

To read more about the Philistines and the implications of this major archaeological find in National Geographic, click here.

 

US anthropologist and pathologist, Sherry Fox shows a skull discovered at the excavation site of the first Philistine cemetery ever found on June 28, 2016 in the Mediterranean coastal Israeli city of Ashkelon. With an excavation in southern Israel unearthing a Philistine cemetery for the first time, bones of the biblical giant Goliath's people can finally shed new light on mysteries of their culture. The cemetery's discovery marks the "crowning achievement" of some three decades of excavations in the area, the expedition's organisers say. / AFP / MENAHEM KAHANA / TO GO WITH AFP STORY BY DAPHNE ROUSSEAU (Photo credit should read MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)
Sherry Fox shows a skull discovered at the excavation site of the first Philistine cemetery ever found on June 28, 2016 in the coastal Israeli city of Ashkelon. (MENAHEM KAHANA/AFP/Getty Images)