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Settlement patterns of Philistine city-states

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Chapter Summary

As of today, 248 sites have been dated to the Iron Age II in the southern Coastal Plain. They are spread across 3,260 km2, stretching from the Yarkon River in the north to Naḥal Besor in the south, and from the Judean Shephela in the east to the Mediterranean Sea in the west. This chapter presents five settlement complexes that include the five urban centers of Philistia. In every complex each sub-period is studied and discussed separately. Through a comparative study, the chapter discerns the processes and the tendencies that characterize every complex. During the Iron Age I, Gezer was smaller than most Philistine urban centers (the size of Gaza and Tel Ashkelon at the time is not clear), but unlike other centers it relied on a mature and hierarchical settlement complex.

Keywords: Gezer; Iron Age I; Naḥal Besor; Philistine; settlement complex; southern Coastal Plain; Tel Ashkelon



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