About Ann Killebrew

Ann Killebrew

Ann Killebrew is an Associate Professor of the archaeology of the Levant at the Pennsylvania State University. For the past thirty five years she has participated in or directed numerous archaeological projects in Israel including Jericho, Deir el-Balah, Tel Miqne-Ekron, Tel Beth Shean, Megiddo, Qasrin, and Qasyon. She has also participated in excavations in Egypt and, more recently, co-directed an archaeological survey in Cilicia, Turkey. She is currently the co-director of the Tel Akko “Total Archaeology” project. Her research focuses on the Bronze and Iron Ages in the eastern Mediterranean, ancient ceramic studies, Roman and Byzantine Palestine, new technologies and 3D documentation in archaeology, and heritage studies/public archaeology. Her recent book publications include: Biblical Peoples and Ethnicity: An Archaeological Study of Canaanites, Egyptians, Philistines, and Israelites 1300-1100 BCE(Society of Biblical Literature, 2005), Jerusalem in Bible and Archaeology (co-edited with A. Vaughn), Interpreting the Past: Presenting Archaeological Sites to the Public (co-edited with D. Callebaut, N.A. Silberman, and A. Ervynck, Brussels 2004), The Philistines and Other Sea Peoples in Text and Archaeology(co-edited with G. Lehmann, Society of Biblical Literature, 2013), The Oxford Handbook of the Archaeology of the Levant (co-edited with M. Steiner, Oxford University Press, 2013) and Viewing Ancient Jewish Art and Archaeology (co-edited with G. Fassbeck, Brill 2015). She has also published over 100 articles relating to the archaeology of the Levant.

Presenter at

Bible & Archaeology Fest XXIV, October 16 – 17, 2021
In Search of the Philistines and Other “Sea Peoples”

The search for the Philistines, best known as one of ancient Israel’s most storied enemies, has long intrigued both scholars and the public. Recent archaeological and textual evidence, examined in its broader eastern Mediterranean context, reveals that the Philistines, together with other related groups of “Sea Peoples” best known from Egyptian New Kingdom texts, played a transformative role in the development of new ethnic groups and polities that emerged from the ruins of the Late Bronze Age empires. This lecture reassesses the origins, identity, material culture, and the impact of the Philistines and other “Sea Peoples” on the Iron Age cultures and peoples of the eastern Mediterranean.

Bible & Archaeology Fest XXI, November 16 – 18, 2018
Canaanites, Early Israel and Philistines: The Materiality of Resilience, Migration and Colonizers at the End of the Bronze Age

This lecture addresses the human and demographic impact of the crises that struck the southern Levant during the 13th and early 12th centuries BCE and its aftermath. The final century of the Bronze Age and its decline is represented archaeologically by a reduction in the size and prosperity of Late Bronze “Canaanite” settlements, an intensification of direct Egyptian intervention in Canaan followed by its retreat from the region, and the destruction of numerous Late Bronze centers. These disruptions resulted in, or were caused by, movements of peoples best evidenced by changes in settlement patterns and the development of regionally-based diverse material cultures. I examine the archaeological record of six key southern Levantine centers that experienced devastation at the end of the Late Bronze Age. Each of these sites represent different scenarios either responsible for, or arising out of, the Bronze Age crisis: abandonment (Hazor and Lachish), refugees associated with emergence of early Israel (Tel Dan), large-scale migration heralding the arrival of the Philistines (Tel Miqne-Ekron), and cultural resilience/continuity of Bronze Age Canaanite traditions (Megiddo and Tel Beth Shean).

Bible & Archaeology Fest XIX, November 18 – 20, 2016
In Search of the Biblical Philistines: Recent Discoveries and New Insights

Who were the Philistines? Beginning with the Biblical account, this lecture presents the Philistines as seen by the Egyptians and revealed in the archaeological evidence from Ekron, Ashdod, Ashkelon, and Gath, four of the five cities described in the Bible as Philistine. Recent discoveries shed new light on their daily life, technology, cultic practices, language, burial customs and origins.

Montreat Gathering, May 22 – May 28, 2016
Biblical Archaeology in the 21st Century

This seminar will explore new developments in Biblical archaeology. Contrary to predictions of the “death” of Biblical archaeology, a plethora of 21st century excavations in the Land of Israel are uncovering an ever-increasing body of evidence essential for reconstructing the Biblical world. Key topics of this lecture program will include new insights into the Canaanites, the Exodus story, emergence of Biblical Israel, the Philistines and the United Kingdom of David and Solomon in light of recent archaeological discoveries. The final two lectures will present the implementation of 21st century approaches to excavation and reconstruction of the world of the Bible. These include the application of new 3D technologies, archaeometric studies and community outreach at Tel Akko, a major Canaanite and Phoenician city and one of Israel’s premiere archaeological sites located at the UNESCO World Heritage city of Acre/Akko.