People of the Sea: The Search for the Philistines

Trude Dothan, Author, Moshe Dothan, With
Trude Dothan, Author, Moshe Dothan, With MacMillan Publishing Company $25 (276p) ISBN 978-0-02-532261-5
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Were the Philistines uncouth, violent, dull-witted barbarians, as the Old Testament portrays them? Definitely not, argue the authors, both professors of archeology and history in Israel. Drawing on 40 years of their own research and synthesizing information from a century of archaeological digs, the Dothans reconstruct the complex material culture of the Philistines, a seafaring people who settled on the coastal plain of Palestine after being defeated by the Egyptians around 1200 B.C., and who subsequently fought violently with the Israelites. As revealed in more than 100 drawings and photographs, the Philistines were accomplished architects, sophisticated urban planners, highly artistic potters, weavers and ivory and metalworkers. A civilizing force, they sat before Aegean-style hearths, practiced elaborate religious rituals and cremated their dead. This intricate account moves the Philistines from the mists of myth onto the stage of history. Natural Science Book Club dual main selection; Reader's Subscription Book Club and Library of Science Book Club alternates. (Sept.)
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