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However what constitutes a “Philistine” artifact or a “Philistine” burial is disputed by scholars. In a papyrus Ramses III boasts that “the Philistines were made ashes” by the Egyptian forces, a claim that modern-day scholars doubt.

One of the earliest mentions of the Philistines is recorded by the Egyptian pharaoh Ramses III (reign ca. Stories in the Hebrew Bible say that the Philistines clashed with the ancient Israelites many times.

However, research by a number of archaeologists, including Israel Finkelstein, a professor at Tel Aviv University, has found that there is little archaeological evidence that a powerful Israelite kingdom led by a king named David existed.Today the question of what exactly constitutes a “Philistine” artifact or a “Philistine” burial is something widely debated by scholars.Recently, a team excavating the city of Ashkelon discovered a cemetery dating back about 3,000 years ago, which they claim is the “first” Philistine cemetery ever discovered. Kletter’s team found a cemetery at Yavne that he thinks contains Philistine burials.Finkelstein says that if a united Israelite kingdom did exist 3,000 years ago it likely would have been a small entity, located in the highlands — away from the Mediterranean coast.Over the past century, archaeologists have excavated the cities that ancient texts say the Philistines controlled. C., at a time when a number of cities in Greece and the Middle East were collapsing, large amounts of pottery and artifacts with styles similar to what people were using in the Aegean Sea region started appearing in areas that texts say were controlled by the Philistines, said Amihai Mazar, an archaeologist and professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.