Search for Biblical Philistines Attracts 100 Archaeologists

Over 100 archaeologists began digging for remains in Gath, the ancient city of the Philistines from the Holy Bible, this week.

In the Bible, the Philistines are known for opposing God’s chosen people, the Israelites. Aren Maeir, the archaeologist from Bar-IIan University who is leading the disinterment, hopes new findings will give people a more defined look into the life of the Philistines.

The ancient city was once home to Goliath, the infamous giant killed by the stone of David in the Bible. Although the excavation in south Israel began in 1996, archaeologists who joined the project from U.S., Canada and South Korea have made legitimate contributions with brand new findings.

“It doesn’t mean that we’re one day going to find a skull with a hole in its head from the stone that David slung at him, but it nevertheless tells that this reflects a cultural milieu that was actually there at the time,” Maeir said, according to The Associated Press.

Although the archaeologists have yet to find any of Goliath’s remains, they have found out pertinent information about the Philistine diet. Grass lentils, pigs and dogs were part of an Aegean diet consumed by the Philistines.

Philistine jugs from the city that existed nearly three millennia ago were also discovered. Archaeologists have begun digging over 3,000-year-old painted shards with red-rusted frames and designs that also hinted at the Philistines’ Aegean beginnings.

Aside from those artifacts, archaeologists were able to discover proof of the city’s destruction in 9 B.C. A ditch around Gath was likely created by an invading army and was visible to the historians.

Seymour Gitin, director of the WF Albright Institute of Archaeological Research in Jerusalem and an expert on the Philistines, explained the importance of the digging taking place in south Israel.

“Gath fills a very important gap in our understanding of Philistine history,” he said, as reported by AP.

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