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An unprecedented 3000-year-old Philistine cemetery was recently discovered outside of the city of Ashkelon. The find demonstrates that the Philistines held very different burial practices than their Canaanite and Israelite neighbors. Researchers hope that the discovery will help answer the question of the origins of the Philistines, who seem to have settled along the coast of Israel sometime in the 12th or 13th century BC, ruling from the five cities of Ashkelon, Ashdod, Ekron, Gath and Gaza. An international team of researchers will be conducting DNA tests and biological studies to determine the origins of those buried in the Ashkelon cemetery. In the Bible, the Philistines are described as the oft-times enemies of the Israelites, with infamous people like Delilah and Goliath being of Philistine heritage.

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