The Provenance of Philistine Pottery in Northern Canaan, with a Focus on the Jezreel Valley

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The impact the Philistines and other Sea Peoples had on Iron I northern Canaan is an intricate issue that has been debated for decades. Past theories on a sizable Sea Peoples presence and military control have today largely been replaced by more moderate views of a diminutive presence of foreign population elements or, merely, mercantile relations between Philistia and the north. In this study, this topic is addressed by provenance analysis (petrography). The previously published dataset is tripled, for a grand total of 155 vessels and sherds. Circa two-thirds of the assemblage was imported from the Philistine heartland. The exporters of this pottery were mainly the coastal centres of Philistia—probably Gaza, Ashkelon and Ashdod—while Shephelah cities (Ekron, Gath) played a subordinate role in these wares bound for the north. The Jezreel Valley stands out among all other northern regions for its large quantities of genuine Philistine imports. Rather than pointing to foreign presence, the data suggest tight commercial and cultural contacts with Philistia. Moreover, this study revises the previously formulated ‘northern skyphoi’ phenomenon, which was dissociated from the discussion of Philistine pottery.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)193-231
Number of pages39
JournalTel Aviv
Issue number2
StatePublished - 3 Jul 2017
Externally publishedYes

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
This study was funded by the European Research Council under the European Community’s Seventh Framework Program (FP7/2007–2013)/ERC grant agreement no. 229418. I would like to thank the Israel Antiquities Authority, the Rockefeller Museum, the En Dor Museum and the Institute of Archaeology of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem for the permission to sample Philistine pottery. Special thanks go to Eran Arie (Israel Museum); Anat Cohen-Weinberger, Karen Covello-Paran, Samuel R. Wolff (Israel Antiquities Authority); Yuval Goren (Ben-Gurion University of the Negev); Assaf Yasur-Landau, Paula Waiman (University of Haifa); Stefan Münger (Bern University); and Alexander Zukerman. All of them contributed to this paper on various levels. Ceramic thin sections were prepared in the Laboratory of Materials in Archaeology at the University of Haifa.

Publisher Copyright:
© 2017, © The Institute of Archaeology of Tel Aviv University 2017.


  • Iron I
  • Megiddo
  • Northern skyphoi
  • Petrography
  • Philistine pottery
  • Sea Peoples
  • northern Canaan

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Archaeology
  • Cultural Studies
  • History
  • Archaeology


Dive into the research topics of 'The Provenance of Philistine Pottery in Northern Canaan, with a Focus on the Jezreel Valley'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this