Israeli Archaeological Discovery May Help Solve Mystery of Biblical Philistines’ Origins

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Archaeologists excavating the site of the biblical city of Ashkelon found what they say is the first Philistine cemetery ever discovered, and which may help resolve a debate about the Philistines’ geographical origins.

An archaeological discovery in Israel may help solve an enduring biblical mystery: where did the ancient Philistines come from?

The Philistines left behind plenty of pottery. But part of the mystery surrounding the ancient people was that very little biological trace of them had been found — until 2013.

That’s when archaeologists excavating the site of the biblical city of Ashkelon found what they say is the first Philistine cemetery ever discovered. They say they have uncovered the remains of more than 200 people there.

The discovery was finally unveiled at the close of a 30-year excavation by the Leon Levy Expedition, a team of archaeologists from Harvard University, Boston College, Wheaton College in Illinois and Troy University in Alabama.