Re: Philistine arrival & settlement?
“. . . we know (Monochrome & Bichrome) wares are not found anywhere outside Cyprus, Cilicia, Phoenicia & Philistia then . . .”
Whether by accident or otherwise, you missed ancient Syria as a site with at least Bichrome ware. I honestly forget whether Monochrome Ware was found there anywhere (and the coast would be the place, if it was found anywhere).
“These coastal peoples had a 'borrowed' Aegean cultural influence, but to take these apparent influences as evidence of a direct Aegean origin is I think a false premise.”
I am not sure what material you are using to support your own premise, but I believe there is quite a bit lacking in your understanding of the archaeologico-historical data. There is far more than borrowing that went on throughout the coastal Levant.
For example, there are Philistine sites established on virgin soil, which—by definition—must imply more than borrowing. How can you have borrowing if there are no residents there who might be able to borrow from this intrusive culture? One such site is Tell Qasile, excavated by B. Mazar, which was built along the Yarkon/Jarkon River.
Qasile was one of the initial Philistine settlements in the area, and its material culture dates the initial settlement to early Iron I. The temples on the site, stretching throughout the Iron I Age and existing in three distinctive phases, demonstrate a slow progression both in size and architectural design. In all phases, they remain distinctively Philistine.
There are other such distinctively Philistine sites. Meanwhile, other (non-distinctively Philistine) sites demonstrate intrusion, either in the form of mixed communities or culturally segregated communities.
Plus, I can add that I wrote a paper for my PhD program, in which I attempted to demonstrate that the (usually) twin-columned tripartite temples often built by the Philistines of the Levantine coast found there model in the megaron, clearly an Aegean phenomenon. (And yes, Mesopotamian-archaeology buffs, I am well aware that tripartite temples/buildings as a whole date back to a much earlier time [Uruk Period, if memory serves] in southern Mesopotamia, and spread to northern Mesopotamia and beyond at that time).
Finally, I think that if you study the articles published in the last 5-10 years, especially those related to the upper Western Levant, you will see that pottery and other forms of material culture demonstrate that a clear geographical movement of Philistine culture took place from the coast to the inland centers, including the Amuq Plain and beyond. This is really the nail in the coffin, if you ask me. I do not have these references in-hand at present, but if you remind me in 2-3 weeks, I can get them for you.
Laguna Hills, CA
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Once again, I'm rather hesitant to get into this, since the ongoing back and forth is most often done on the basis of "party lines" and self-perceived "truths" and often without reference to the latest research in various areas.
I was not, in any way stating who has the truth or not, at this or that university. For that matter, I felt that both sides of what appeared to be a completely aimless argument were not arguing about details of the most updated discussions and recent evidence of the LB destructions and/or the Sea Peoples, but rather going over their "party lines" - of which each side was totally convinced that his/her "truth" had "won" long ago (and nothing scares me more [in research, religion and politics] than those who know for sure that they are absolutely right).
Simplistic conceptions of the various ideological divisions and scholarly camps are really only useful if you are interested in the debate - and not the content (or the history and sociology of research). Current research, with an overflow of wide ranging data, has shown, in my humble opinion, if anything, that the various ideological "camps" of the historical reconstruction of the beginning of the Iron Age are all wrong (or if you want, they are all partially right)! Things were much more complicated than previously assumed.
For example, the simplistic explanation of the Philistines as monolithic conquerors does not hold - but neither does the often repeated mantra that there is no evidence of the influx of Aegean (or rather "western") oriented cultural elements. Au contraire - there is plenty of evidence of this, and that it can most probably be connected to the actual arrival of bona fide "bodies" who carried these cultural influences to the Levant.
And to make things ever more multi-faceted, this is true to varying degrees in different areas, such as if we compare the situation in Philistia, Phoenicia and the Amuq. To try and explain away all these things in simplistic terms may sound good in a debating society - but not for those of us who are intimately involved in the nitty-gritty details of the relevant archaeological finds.
Knowing Hebrew is not a sine qua non for studying the archaeology of this region, just like you can study the archaeology of Denmark, or Finland, without knowing the local languages. But, it can be very helpful (to say the least, as you well know).
AND, when dealing with a topic such as the destruction of Hazor (which much of the recent discussion on this list was not demonstrating an awareness of much of the most updated research), if the most recent discussion is in Hebrew, it is worthwhile to relate to it.
But hey - I've long ago had the feeling that this list is all too often more about the sociology of research and the psychology of the researchers, than research itself.
But that is my opinion - and what do I know...