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Ekron Inscription

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  • Francesco Brighenti
    ... http://ethnomycology.com/Ekron/Berlant_JANES311.pdf [T]he [seventh century BCE] inscription, written from right to left in a style reminiscent of tenth
    Message 1 of 20 , Oct 3, 2009
      --- In ANE-2@yahoogroups.com, David Hall <dqhall59@...> wrote:

      > There was a Phoenician (Semitic?) inscription found at Ekron with
      > the name of a Philistine king mentioned in the Assyrian archives. 

      http://ethnomycology.com/Ekron/Berlant_JANES311.pdf
      "[T]he [seventh century BCE] inscription, written from right to left in a style reminiscent of tenth century BCE Phoenician inscriptions from Byblos, records the temple's dedication by Ekron's ruler [...] in a West Semitic dialect resembling Phoenician and Old Byblian, apparently spoken at Ekron and perhaps other Levantine Philistine city states. [It is] comprised of some seemingly Hebrew letters, some seemingly Phoenician letters, and some letters that seem to have been unique to Ekron, [...]."

      The Ekron dedicatory inscription records the name of the governor/king of the city, as well as of four of his ancestors:

      "The temple (which) he built, 'kyš, son of Pdy (= Padi), son of Ysd (= Yasod ?), son of 'd' (= Ada), son of Ya`ir, ruler of Ekron..."

      The reading of the name 'kyš as Akish/Akayus is based on its occurrence, in the form 'a:kîš (= Achish), in the Hebrew Bible (where it is the name of the king of the Philistine city of Gath in the time of Saul and Solomon) and, contextually, in Neo-Assyrian annals dating from 701 to 667 BCE wherein I-ka-u-su (= Ikausu) and Padi are mentioned as two successive rulers of 'amqar(r)u:na, that is, the city of Ekron. The equation Ikausu = 'a:kîš indicates that the vocalization of the name 'kyš found in the Ekron Inscription should rather be Ikayus, which eventually leads to Akayus, i.e. Akhaios or `Achaean'. It could either have been a typically Philistine name or have acted as a title for a Semitized Philistine ruler of the seventh century BCE (S. Gitin, T. Dothan, and J. Naveh, "A Royal Dedicatory Inscription from Ekron," IEJ 47 [1997], pp. 1-16).

      In contrast with this interpretation, A. Demsky ("On the Inscription of Ekron, " _Quadmoniot_ 31 (1998), pp. 64-65 [in Hebrew]) has unconvincingly proposed a "Homeric" interpretation of the names appearing in the Ekron Inscription:

      'kyš = Anchises
      Pdy = Pandion
      Ysd = Hesiod
      'd' = Idaios

      Kind regards,
      Francesco Brighenti
    • driver40386
      Thankyou for your input Doug. If I may quote from your post.. ... Doug, may I suggest to you that while Philistine architecture may be viewed by some as
      Message 2 of 20 , Oct 3, 2009
        Thankyou for your input Doug.
        If I may quote from your post..
        >As for Smyth's suggestion that we hardly know anything about these people, ergo we
        >cannot confidently suggest that the Philistines are a distinct ethnic group,...

        Doug, may I suggest to you that while 'Philistine architecture' may be viewed by some as foreign to local architectural examples, this does not necessarily imply it is foreign to the Levant as a whole.
        If you recall one point I made was:
        "How sure can we be that such architecture is not actually Canaanite, Levantine, Syrian or at least generally just Asiatic?"

        Two points you made in your response only serve to compliment my argument.
        The first is Harrison's work at Tell Tayinat in northern Syria and secondly, Hawkins identification of Taitas, King of Wadasatini/Padasatin (the Patina/Hatina of Assyrian sources?), aka Palestin?
        Such evidence only adds to the likelyhood that the Peleset were a Semitic people, confirming the only identified relief of a Peleset from Medinet-Habu:
        http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h246/drifter_03/Philistinecaptive.jpg

        Likewise we see the same Semitic features for a Sherdan..
        http://i66.photobucket.com/albums/h246/drifter_03/Shardana_Prisoner.jpg

        (not to be confused with the clean shaven manequin figures used in the battle reliefs).

        The Medinet-Habu inscriptions refer to the Peleset, Sheklesh, Sikel, etc, as St-tyw – Asiatics.

        Tell Tayinat, as you point out is part of ancient Syria. The tunics shown in relief at Medinet-Habu worn by the Peleset, Sherden, Sheklesh, Denyen, etc, is distinctly of Syrian design. The chevron patterned knee-length tunic with a tripple-tassle hanging at four equally spaced points around the hem is known from tomb reliefs in Egypt as far back as the Amarna period. It is of Syrian design, consistently shown adorning the figure of a Semite/Asiatic/St-tyw.
        The horned helmet of the Sherdan is typically of Mesopotamian origin, only appearing in the Aegean & Europe much later.

        The long tapered sword, at one time termed the Shardana Sword, has been argued by Nancy Sanders to have evolved from the Canaanite short sword, not related to any Aegean type.

        North Syrian architecture contained more Aegean influences than did south Levantine architecture. It is north Syrian architecture with its Cypriot & Cilician influences that we find traces of in the southern Levant.

        The enemies of Ramesses III (given the ultra dramatic misnomer of 'Sea Peoples') were indigenous to the eastern Aegean. From Cilicia we had the Tersha (Tarsus), Adana (Denyen), and Weshesh (Issus). We find the Sherden, Sikel & Peleset in north Syria, all Asiatics, all dressed in Syrian garb.
        Philistine architecture although alien to the Philistine Pentapolis is quite at home in northern Syria.
        Does this make the Philistines a different ethnic group?, I think not.
        Given all the evidence as it stands the Philistines appear to have been nothing more than Aegeanized Canaanites.

        All the best, Jon Smyth
        Toronto, CAN.
      • driver40386
        Dear David. Contrary to a previous response I feel it necessary to point out that the tales of Wenamun are too far removed from the event we call the Sea
        Message 3 of 20 , Oct 4, 2009
          Dear David.
          Contrary to a previous response I feel it necessary to point out that the tales of Wenamun are too far removed from the 'event' we call the Sea Peoples invasion hypothesis to be regarded as evidence for an invasion of foreigners.

          Traditionally we have been led to believe that 'Philistine' architecture and 'Philistine' pottery followed close on the presumed 'Philistine' destructions duly noted as widespread across the region. Yet, for decades it has been pointed out, but not as enthusiastically debated, that there is a significant hiatus between the destruction levels and the first appearance of 'Philistine' habitation.

          As long ago as the 1970's Aharoni pointed out this dilemma, "The simple conclusion that a certain period of time separates the battles with Ramesses III and their settlement in Philistia is never, for some reason, given consideration".
          Archaeology of the Land of Israel, Aharoni, 1978, p.184.

          Neither is this an isolated observation, many sites enumerated by Dever in 1992 betray the same condition. Trude Dothan commented (1998) about the apparent hiatus at Oren's excavation at Tell esh-Shari'a, that "These are very, very problematic issues".

          Finkelstein in the same publication (Mediterranean Peoples in Transition,1998) drove the point home by pointing out that Monochrome wares only appear in the Levant in the latter days of Ramesses VI.
          Therefore, he suggests, 'Philistine' bichrome should be downdated to the 11th century. This would bring 'Philistine' bichrome more contemporary with Phoenician bichrome, which should come as no surprise.
          Bikai in 1994 pondered why Cypriot, Phoenician & Palestinian pottery wares were so similar yet are not studied as a whole in that context. Of course, opinions on such parallels were hindered by a period of almost a century between Phoenician & Palestinian bichrome wares. A time period now considerably eroded.

          If, we cling to the concept that this relatively new 'Philistine' bichrome, and, 'Philistine' architecture belongs to some invading Philistines then this well defined hiatus between strata containing such evidence and the destruction levels must be accounted for.

          There can be no doubt that peoples from northern Syria ventured south to take up residence following the departure of Egypt from the coastal Levant, circa 1130 BCE.
          Whether this movement of peoples was related to the wars of Ramesses III is an entirely different matter, something in the order of 30-50 years may separate the two events.

          Who caused those widespread destructions?
          Given the fact that Ramesses III provides approx. 124 Asiatic conquest sites. Also given the fact that many Levantine destruction levels consist of 1 to 2 meters of burned debris and ash, we should perhaps consider the words of Ram. III more carefully.
          "Destruction to their towns, devastated at one time; their trees and all their people are become ashes" and elsewhere we read, "...the Sikel and the Peleset were made ashes..", indeed they were!

          Twice we read of the "towns of the Peleset", several times the Sikel & Peleset are referred to as "sebiu' = "rebels" and "amu" = "Asiatics". He writes, "no land stood firm at the sound of my name, but they leave their settlements, moving away from their place, scattered..." these phrases are all indications that Ramesses III forcibly dispersed an already resident foe in the Levant.

          Ramesses assembled his troops in Tjaru to disperse the "rebellious Asiatics" across the hill-countries. The fact he calls them "amu" means they are not foreigners from the Aegean. That he also refers to them as "sebiu" means these Asiatics were considered by him as his subjects. Foreign armies do not rebel, only subject peoples rebel.

          That this confrontation was not the result of a sudden invasion is hinted at by the line: "The Gods made me to be king in Egypt to strengthen her to repel for her the plains and hill-countries". This is consistent with a longtime ongoing problem between Egypt and her neighbours to the east.
          And indeed this is what we already know from the reign of Merneptah through to Setnakht, Egypt had problems with their Asiatic neighbours.
          Ramesses had been commissioned by the gods to disperse her troublesome subjects in the hill-countries. This is what we see in the commonly termed 'Oxcart' relief. The scene is a dispersal, not a battle, contrary to popular opinion.

          The textual evidence is consistent with the Peleset being already resident before year 8 of Ramesses III. Hence, any evidence of actual Peleset occupation should be found 'beneath' the destruction layers, not on top of it.
          Finkelstein's demographic survey (2000) of the southern coastal plain and the Shephelah over the period of the end of the Late Bronze through to Iron I is entirely consistent with the above scenario.
          We see as many as 102 settlements at the end of the LBA, which dropped drastically to only 49 within the Iron I period. Finkelstein describes a twofold process, an annihilation of the countryside followed by an impressive expansion of urban life, along with 'new' architecture & pottery wares.

          This is what the archaeological record provides. Widespread annihilation, followed by an occupational hiatus while Egypt dominates this coastal region south of the Yarkon. Contact between the Levant and the Aegean (Cyprus & Cilicia?) is curtailed for several generations. Perhaps the term 'Fortress Canaan' would be applicable?

          Egypt eventually departs the Levant, circa 1130 BCE? Replaced by Asiatics who filter in from the north and bring with them their Monochrome pottery knowhow, producing their 'Philistine' wares and 'Philistine' architecture.

          I don't know David, I do not see evolving archaeological findings being at all consistent with the Victorian Aegean invasion paradigm.
          The surviving hieroglyphic record describes a local rebellion of Asiatic subjects against Egypt.

          All the best, Jon Smyth
          Toronto, CAN.

          --- In ANE-2@yahoogroups.com, David Hall <dqhall59@...> wrote:
          >
          > Could the 11th century Egyptian story of Wenamum visiting the >Sikils (sea people) at Dor be used as evidence for the sea peoples >paradigm?...
        • David Hall
          Dear Jon:   If you will remember the Merneptah Stele discovered by British archaeologist Sir William Flinders Petrie during the Victorian era; Merneptah
          Message 4 of 20 , Oct 4, 2009
            Dear Jon:
             
            If you will remember the Merneptah Stele discovered by British archaeologist Sir William Flinders Petrie during the Victorian era; Merneptah claimed to have destroyed Ashkelon.  The fact that there was a destruction layer and then Philistine pottery found above a floor on top of the destruction layer at Ashkelon does not mean the Philistines destroyed the place, but that their pottery was found above the destruction layer.  There are archaeologists capable of distinguishing early Philistine ware and there are numerous pieces in museum collections labeled as Philistine ware.  This may seem problematic for people's theories differ and one can seldom find complete agreement amongst scholars. 
             
            At Medinet Habu there were records of other peoples who had moved down from the north to attack Egypt along with the Peleset/Pelishtu/Philistines during the time of Ramesses III.  Some of this coalition was thought to have been from Asia Minor, not the Greek isles.  This was stated by the Geman Egyptologist Adolf Erman in the late 19th century Victorian era publication of his book, Life in Ancient Egypt (public domain).  One may conclude that an attempted invasion of Egypt by men in ships does not constitute valid evidence for an invasion by Sea Peoples, but some people merely like to argue.  Trude Dothan has published much about the material culture of the Sea Peoples including pottery analysis of pottery forms from Israel, Crete, Cyprus, Aegean sites etc.  I would recommend her research publication as she was trained in pottery identification and produced evidence for her theories.  Others have published recent findings expanding
            her earlier theory. These studies might be difficult to obtain, yet they exist.
             
            David Q. Hall   
             
             
            Before the Victorian era began Isaac Newton had measured the acceleration of gravity.  During the Victorian era SIr William Flinders Petrie was defining archaeological stratigraphis analysis and classes of pottery chronological dating techniques. 
             
          • Niels Peter Lemche
            AS you may have perceived, this subject is another can of worms. There has recently been a rather intensive debate about the issue of Philistine identity, and
            Message 5 of 20 , Oct 4, 2009
              AS you may have perceived, this subject is another can of worms. There
              has recently been a rather intensive debate about the issue of
              Philistine identity, and the origins of the pottery referred to as
              "Philistine." Although I handled her part about Canaanites quite
              roughly, I had not the same problem with her discussion of Philistine
              identity: see Ann Killebrew: Biblical Peoples and Ethnicity: An
              Archaeological Study of Egyptians, Canaanites, Philistines, and Early
              Israel (CA. 1300-1100 B.C.E.), SBL 2006.

              Niels Peter Lemche
            • driver40386
              Hello David. Thankyou, yes very absorbing reading. Taking one publication specifically, The Philistines and their Material Culture, 1982. What is noticable is
              Message 6 of 20 , Oct 5, 2009
                Hello David.
                Thankyou, yes very absorbing reading.
                Taking one publication specifically, The Philistines and their Material Culture, 1982. What is noticable is that much emphasis was made, and is still made, on the suggestion that 'Philistine Wares' consisting of the Krater, Stirrup Jar, Pyxis, Strainer Spout, and a few others, show distinct Mycenaean inspiration.
                Grist for the mill when hypothesizing a direct Aegean origin for those illusive invaders.

                However, Ruth Amiran in her Ancient Pottery of the Holy Land, 1970, had already pointed out that the Krater, Stirrup Jar, Pyxis & Strainer Spout Jug were not newely arrived 12th century forms but had actually been well known and used in the Levant in Late Bronze IIA & IIB.

                So although we can readily accept a degree of Mycenaean inspiration, such inspiration was not newely arrived but had actually preceded the 12th century by several hundred years.
                Mycenaean styles unearthed in the Levant do not support the Sea Peoples hypothesis, the styles were already there..

                All the best, Jon smyth
                Toronto, CAN.

                --- In ANE-2@yahoogroups.com, David Hall <dqhall59@...> wrote:
                >
                >Trude Dothan has published much about the material culture of
                >the Sea Peoples including pottery analysis of pottery forms from
                >Israel, Crete, Cyprus, Aegean sites etc.  I would recommend
                >her research publication as she was trained in pottery
                >identification and produced evidence for her theories.
              • David Hall
                There are also elements of EB oil lamps that are similar to IA oil lamps in as much as there is a basic saucer form in each.  I would suggest more advanced
                Message 7 of 20 , Oct 6, 2009
                  There are also elements of EB oil lamps that are similar to IA oil lamps in as much as there is a basic saucer form in each.  I would suggest more advanced ceramic studies.
                   
                  David Q. Hall

                  --- On Mon, 10/5/09, driver40386 <driver40386@...> wrote:


                  From: driver40386 <driver40386@...>
                  Subject: [ANE-2] Re: Philistine Architecture? (was: Philistine areas)
                  To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
                  Date: Monday, October 5, 2009, 8:59 PM


                   





                  Hello David.
                  Thankyou, yes very absorbing reading.
                  Taking one publication specifically, The Philistines and their Material Culture, 1982. What is noticable is that much emphasis was made, and is still made, on the suggestion that 'Philistine Wares' consisting of the Krater, Stirrup Jar, Pyxis, Strainer Spout, and a few others, show distinct Mycenaean inspiration.
                  Grist for the mill when hypothesizing a direct Aegean origin for those illusive invaders.

                  However, Ruth Amiran in her Ancient Pottery of the Holy Land, 1970, had already pointed out that the Krater, Stirrup Jar, Pyxis & Strainer Spout Jug were not newely arrived 12th century forms but had actually been well known and used in the Levant in Late Bronze IIA & IIB.

                  So although we can readily accept a degree of Mycenaean inspiration, such inspiration was not newely arrived but had actually preceded the 12th century by several hundred years.
                  Mycenaean styles unearthed in the Levant do not support the Sea Peoples hypothesis, the styles were already there..

                  All the best, Jon smyth
                  Toronto, CAN.

                  --- In ANE-2@yahoogroups. com, David Hall <dqhall59@.. .> wrote:
                  >
                  >Trude Dothan has published much about the material culture of
                  >the Sea Peoples including pottery analysis of pottery forms from
                  >Israel, Crete, Cyprus, Aegean sites etc.  I would recommend
                  >her research publication as she was trained in pottery
                  >identification and produced evidence for her theories.



















                  [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
                • driver40386
                  I was particularly drawn to Ann Killebrew s Synthesis (pp.230-231) where she expands on the Fourth Theory (of Philistine Origins). After describing the First
                  Message 8 of 20 , Oct 6, 2009
                    I was particularly drawn to Ann Killebrew's Synthesis (pp.230-231) where she expands on the 'Fourth Theory' (of Philistine Origins).
                    After describing the First three predominant theories, [1] From Illyria via the Balkans, [2] the Western Aegean region (most popular), & [3] East Aegean including Western Anatolia. Killebrew shows preference for the theory first espoused by Wainwright that the Philistines may have originated from southeast Anatolia (especially Cilicia) and/or Cyprus in the eastern Mediterranean.
                    Killebrew writes: ..." I propose a variation on this theory and contend that Cyprus and possibly the surrounding regions are most likely the original point of departure of the Philistines".

                    As may be deduced from the above Killebrew does not support the 'sudden invasion' hypothesis. Rather she sees the well defined Mycenaean influences as a product of gradual diffusion over the centuries.
                    Quote:
                    "The biblical Philistines can best be defined as the descendents and inheritors of the highly sophisticated and cosmopolitan culture of the Late Bronze Age Aegean world. Rather than a diffusion of Aegean-style culture over a large geographical region, as proposed by simplistic hyperdiffusionist theories of invading conquerors or refugees, the spread of this culture is more likely the result of gradual stimulus diffusion that occurred over the course of more than a century of interaction between west and east." (p.234).

                    Killebrew's analysis of 'Philistine' wares leads her to conclude the Low Chronology espoused by Finkelstein provides a more reasonable parallel with Mycenaean IIIC Middle at other sites in the eastern Mediterranean. That 'Philistine' bichrome should be dated to the 11th century BCE and the first appearance of monochrome wares do not preceed circa 1140 BCE.

                    Interestingly Killebrew does not tackle the "very, very problematic issue" of the perceived hiatus observed at many sites between the destruction levels and the first appearances of Mycenaean IIIC:1b.

                    Source: Biblical Peoples and Ethnicity, Killebrew, 2006.

                    All the best, Jon Smyth
                    Toronto, CAN


                    --- In ANE-2@yahoogroups.com, "Niels Peter Lemche" <npl@...> wrote:
                    >
                    > AS you may have perceived, this subject is another can of worms. There
                    > has recently been a rather intensive debate about the issue of
                    > Philistine identity, and the origins of the pottery referred to as
                    > "Philistine." Although I handled her part about Canaanites quite
                    > roughly, I had not the same problem with her discussion of Philistine
                    > identity: see Ann Killebrew: Biblical Peoples and Ethnicity: An
                    > Archaeological Study of Egyptians, Canaanites, Philistines, and Early
                    > Israel (CA. 1300-1100 B.C.E.), SBL 2006.
                    >
                    > Niels Peter Lemche
                    >
                  • aren
                    Without getting into a debate in this forum, since it would appear rather circular, it should be noted by listers that ALL of those working on the early
                    Message 9 of 20 , Oct 7, 2009
                      Without getting into a debate in this forum, since it would appear rather circular, it should be noted by listers that ALL of those working on the early Philistine remains in Philistia, having a close, up-to-date and broad knowledge of the wide variety of finds typical of the early Philistine levels at the various Philistine sites (e.g., Ekron, Ashdod, Gath and Ashkelon) strongly believe that a major (but not sole) component of the early Philistine culture is in fact non-local and most likely derives from, inter alia, the Aegean, Anatolia and/or Cyprus. This does mean that there are not local elements in this culture, but rather, in the initial stage, foreign elements are very dominant. Also, it should be stressed that the character of the Aegean connections with the Levant in the LB are COMPLETELY different from that seen in the early Iron Age Philistine sites. This does not only include pottery and architecture, but is seen in cult, diet (as seen thru botanical and zoological remains), cooking methods, etc.

                      Just writing this so that those who are not intimately familiar with the relevant discussions won't think that the other view, repeatedly espoused on the list recently, is the accepted view. :-)

                      Aren Maeir
                      gath.wordpress.com
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