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A new study analyzing DNA from skeletons at the cemetery at Ashkelon suggests that the Philistines moved to the area from the regions of Crete, Sardinia and the Iberian peninsula. Researchers were able to extract DNA from the teeth and ear bones of 10 skeletons across a variety of ages. Four of the Iron Age samples taken from infants who had been buried beneath the floors of homes in Ashkelon revealed that 25-70% of their DNA matched people from the Aegean and surrounding areas. One part of the report states, "Of the 51 tested models, we find four plausible ones... The best supported one (X2P = 0.675) infers that [the group of early Iron Age individuals tested] derives around 43% of ancestry from the Greek Bronze Age Crete." Samples taken from those who lived later had DNA that was similar to the local Levantine people, suggesting intermarriage. This would seem to affirm the biblical account, which identifies the Philistines as the "remnant of the coastland of Caphtor (Jer. 47:4), which many Bible scholars believe is the Greek Island of Crete. The Bible further records the intermarriage of Hebrew people, like Samson, and the Philistines.

Off-site Links:

- https://advances.sciencemag.org/content/5/7/eaax0061
- https://www.sciencemag.org/news/2019/07/biblical-philistines-archenemies-ancient-israelites-hailed-europe-dna-reveals
- https://www.nationalgeographic.com/culture/2019/07/ancient-dna-reveal-philistine-origins/
- https://patternsofevidence.com/2019/07/20/philistine-dna-study-supports-bible/

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ABRT 28 | 8/1/2019