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T. Dothan

[Peleset]

Name given to the inhabitants of the south coast of Palestine in the late 2nd millennium bc and the early 1st. Philistine art and architecture offer a syncretistic blend of Aegean, Canaanite and Egyptian elements. The dominant element is Aegean, as demonstrated by cult practices, burial customs, funerary rites, architectural styles and decorative motifs on pottery. The Philistine people were among the invaders known from Egyptian records as the Sea Peoples. These were probably of Aegean origin and first appeared in the eastern Mediterranean at the end of the 13th century bc. At that time the Egyptians and the Hittites controlled the Levant, but both were politically and militarily weak. The Sea Peoples exploited this opportunity by invading areas previously subject to Egyptian and Hittite control and launched land and sea assaults on Syria and Palestine. The Philistine people or Peleset are first mentioned as invaders during the reign of ...