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Canaanites and Philistines - Room 57

Tel-el-Amarna Tablets (E 29832) - (1 of 8)

Philistine Sword (WA 1910-4.21,1) - no photo

A sword made out of copper, which was originally thought to be Philistine. The Philistines came from Crete where advances in metallurgy gave them superior weaponry to conquer the Israelites through the period of judges. Israel had no smiths and had to go to the Philistines (1 Sam 13:19-20). Goliath would have had a sword similar to this, and was killed by it.

Philistine Pottery and Lamps - no photo

A selection of Philistine artifacts from the 1200's and 1300's BC, the time of Samson and Samuel.

Tel-el-Amarna Tablets (E 29832)

In 1887, a collection of clay tablets in Babylonian cuneiform was discovered, containing the diplomatic archives of the Egyptian Pharaoh Akhen-aten and his father Amenhotep III, dealing with the affairs of the north (Syria, Babylon, Hittites etc). They describe the state of Palestine before the Exodus. Canaanite vassals of Egypt write asking for help against the Hittites and marauders called “Habiru”, from the hill country. These are thought to be the Hebrews belonging to the army of Joshua invading the Promised Land.

No. 3 (E 29832) is a letter from Yapahi, the ruler of Gezer:
“To the king, my lord, my god, my sun, the sun in the sky. Thus says Yapahu, the amelu of Gazru (Gezer), your servant, the dust of your two feet, the stable-man of your horse: At the two feet of the king, my lord,, the sun in the sky, seven times and seven times I prostrate myself both on the belly and the back. And to all that the king, my lord, has told me I have paid close attention. I am the king’s servant and the dust of your two feet.

Let the king, my lord, be aware that my younger brother has rebelled against me and has entered Muhhazu (unknown location), and he has given over his two hands to the leader of the ‘Apiru. And since ..anna, is at war with me, take care of your land. May my lord write to his rabisu about this matter.

Another tablet from Tel Amarna is in the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.