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Late Bronze Age “Sea Peoples”—Mediterranean pirates or Native Middle Easterners?

Philistine captives in Egyptian relief

The geographic origin of the Philistines has long been a subject of debate, with some scholars believing they in the Aegean Sea, others noting documentary evidence that points to Egypt, with still others believing they were native to the Middle East, particularly five city-states in the southwestern Levant. Despite their origins, it has been well-documented the Philistines were enemies of the Israelites during the Late Bronze Age beginning in the 12th century CE. New interpretations of documentary evidence point to a Middle Eastern origin for these “Sea Peoples.” (Photo of a relief wall at Medinet Habu, ca. 1185-52 BC, during the reign of Ramses III is in the public domain).


Ancient Egyptian Records Indicate Philistines Weren't Aegean Pirates After All

By Ariel David


July 23, 2017

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