Daniel M. Master is Professor of Archaeology at Wheaton College, Co-director of the Leon Levy Expedition to Ashkelon, Associated Researcher at the Harvard Semitic Museum and Co-director of the Tel Shimron Excavations. His major research projects are Tel Ashkelon and Tel Shimron, which are both multi-period, interdisciplinary field excavations with the goal of rigorously collecting new primary data from the ancient world. His other notable research projects have included the expedition which discovered deep water Phoenician shipwrecks in the Eastern Mediterranean, an exhibit on the Chalcolithic period at the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World, the Oxford Encyclopedia of the Bible and Archaeology and a publication of excavations at the site of Tell Dothan.
Bible & Archaeology Fest XIX, November 18 – 20, 2016
The Cemetery of the Philistines at Ashkelon
On July 10, 2016, the Leon Levy Expedition to Ashkelon announced the discovery of the Philistine cemetery at Ashkelon, a crowning achievement of more than thirty years of excavation at the site. Archaeologists and scholars have long searched for the origin of the Philistines, and the discovery of the cemetery is poised to offer the key to this mystery. Excavation at the Philistine cemetery completes the story of the Philistines at Ashkelon, complementing the early discoveries of Philistines houses, shrines, wineries and markets. The excavations at Ashkelon are able to tell a complete story of the Philistines from their arrival in the twelfth century to their destruction in the seventh century, from the complexity of their lives to the patterns of their death. Before the work of archaeologists, all we knew of the Philistines was the reports of their enemies, whether Egyptian, Israelite, Assyrian, or Babylonian. But the archaeological work at Ashkelon and elsewhere is filling out the picture by telling the story of the Philistines from another point of view, told from the clues they left behind in their cities and even the clues from their very bones.