After 30 years of dedication to an excavation site in the Israeli city of Ashkelon, archaeologists have finally struck gold- or bone to be more precise. Archaeologists believe they have discovered the first known Philistine cemetery.

Goliath cemetery found

An exciting new discovery has been made in the Israeli city of Ashkelon. Archaeologists believe they may have found the first known Philistine cemetery.

This holds tremendous significance as it can potentially offer a great deal of insight into who the Philistine people were and their way of life. Very little is known about the Philistines and archaeologists are eager for the opportunity to shed some light on this mysterious culture.

No evidence of Goliath-sized giants

Of course what immediately comes to the mind when upon hearing the word “Philistine” is the group’s most famous member, Goliath. Goliath was the fierce warrior giant who a young David defeated with only a sling shot and some stones. Over 200 skeletons were found in the cemetery and all were considered to be of average height. This indicates that Goliath must have been an aberration and his stature far exceeded those of the rest of his people.

A series of tests will be conducted on bone samples found at the excavation site including radiocarbon, DNA, and biological distance studies. Radiocarbon dating that has already been performed indicates that the cemetery dates to somewhere between the 8th and 11th centuries BC. Ashkelon served as a major Philistine port city during this time, which provides further evidence that the cemetery most likely belongs to the Philistines. Pottery and jewelry were unearthed as well and will be used as tools to further help archaeologists gain more insight into the Philistine people. While there are many mysteries about these people, one of the most significant answers they hope to find revolves around their origins. From the Bible we know that the Philistines were “Sea Peoples” and that they may have come from Crete and other places in the Aegean.

It is always exciting when Biblical discoveries are made as they tend to make the stories and people from the Bible come to life. We are looking forward to learning more about the conclusions made by scientists as the results of the testing and studies shed light on this ancient culture.