The Philistines mentioned in the Bible were of European origin

Anita Durairaj

In the Bible, the Philistines were known for being in conflict with the Israelites. They were often not described positively and even today, the word "philistine" has a negative connotation.

The story of Samson is one of the most famous accounts in the Bible of an Israelite whose enemies were the Philistines. Samson was captured by the Philistines but manages to kill them in the end by a miracle.

Another famous Philistine from the Bible is Goliath who battled David. Again, David emerges as the victor over Goliath and the Philistines.

In a 2019 study, an international group of scientists teamed up to analyze the DNA of ancient Philistines who were buried in a known archaeological site, the ancient Philistine city of Ashkelon.

Historically, the Philistines have not just been mentioned in the Bible, they have also been written about in ancient Egyptian texts. Scientists had to analyze both the Hebrew and Egyptian texts to determine their whereabouts and track their remains down to Ashkelon.

They discovered that the buried Philistines were of European origin and descended from people living in Southern Europe - specifically from the areas of Greece, Sardinia, Spain, Italy, and Portugal.

The Philistines would have migrated during the Bronze Age or Iron Age and arrived in the Holy Land around the 12th century BC. They intermarried with other groups around them but for the most part, they were considered to be outsiders to the region. Later after several hundred years, the Philistines became extinct and disappeared from history.

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Trained with a Ph.D. in Chemistry from the University of Cincinnati, I write unique and interesting articles focused on science, history, and current events.


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