Face to face with the Philistines: the excavation of the first known Iron Age, Philistine cemetery, Ashkelon, Israel 2014–2016
Ruby-Anne Birin
Thu, 26/10/2017 - 20:00
The Auditorium, Roedean School, 35 Princess of Wales Terrace, Parktown, Johannesburg

From early mentions as ‘Sea Peoples’ in Egyptian hieroglyphs, references in biblical texts and their ultimate demise at the hands of the Babylonians, the story of the ancient Philistines has traditionally been told by their neighbours and enemies. The discovery of a Philistine cemetery in Ashkelon in 2014 now allows the dead to tell their own stories. Located outside the city walls, the finds at the cemetery dispel myths such as their legendary tallness and uncouth behaviour. Ruby-Anne Birin will recount her personal experiences while excavating the cemetery in the 2015 and 2016 excavation seasons and consider some of the conclusions and research that has been published subsequent to this remarkable discovery.

Ruby-Anne Birin is an archaeology honours student at Wits University. In 2015 she joined the Harvard Summer school at Ashkelon and excavated in the first full season of digging at the Philistine cemetery. The excavation continued in 2016 and she participated as a volunteer.

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