Back to Naṣbeh: New Compositional Analysis of Philistine Bichrome Pottery from Tell en-Naṣbeh

D. Ben-Shlomo, H. Mommsen, J. H. Sterba

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1 Scopus citations


Philistine Bichrome pottery is one of the most important, well-known, and easily identifiable features of the Philistine material culture of the early Iron Age (ca. 1,200–1,000 BCE) in the southern Levant. The Philistines were probably a group of immigrants from the Aegean region and Cyprus arriving at several sites in the southern coastal plains of Palestine. More than 25 years ago, results from Neutron Activation of several Philistine Bichrome vessels from the site of Tell en-Naṣbeh were published by Gunneweg and others. The results were surprising because some of the typical Philistine vessels were found to be locally produced at this hill-land Judean site. Several vessels found to have been from an un-localized source. This study follows up on this issue, incorporating both petrographic and new chemical analysis, and enlarging the sample size. Consequently, we can provenance most Philistine vessels from this site more clearly to the central hills, the southern coastal plains (Philistia), and the central coastal plains of Israel. The significance of the distribution of the provenance of the Philistine pottery is further discussed.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)705-720
Number of pages16
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2021


  • Philistine Bichrome
  • Tell en-Naṣbeh
  • immigrant society
  • neutron activation analysis
  • petrography


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