The Leon Levy Expedition to Ashkelon continues its final report series with a study of the Iron Age I. Following the dramatic collapse of the Mediterranean world at the end of the Bronze Age, new groups emerged across the Levantine littoral. One of those groups was the Philistines, famous archenemies of the Israelites in the Hebrew Bible. This volume shows how Ashkelon became a Philistine city. The volume presents evidence for the arrival of a new group from the West that changed fundamental patterns of life. Ceramics shapes, architectural patterns, foodways, industrial technology, decorative traditions, and forms of writing are all explored in this volume, and each of these forms of evidence shows how the newly arrived Philistines first responded to the Levantine world around them. After settling in the seaport of Ashkelon, the Philistines continued to trade internationally, as was typical of earlier inhabitants of the city, and their ongoing maritime connections provide additional insight into the economy of the Mediterranean in the twelfth and eleventh centuries B.C. This volume represents the culmination of more than thirty years of archaeological research into questions of Philistine culture, bringing together research from more than thirty scholars covering all aspects of ancient life in Ashkelon during the Iron Age I.
The volume spans more than 900 full-color pages with forty chapters. The architecture, stratigraphy, pottery, and other finds are presented in considerable detail, shedding new light on this important period in the history of ancient Ashkelon. It is an indispensable resource for scholars interested in the history of the eastern Mediterranean or the background of the Biblical world.