People of the Sea: The Search for the PhilistinesTrude Dothan and Moshe Dothan (New York: Macmillan; Toronto: Maxwell Macmillan Canada; New York, Oxford, Singapore, Sydney: Maxwell Macmillan International, 1992) 276 pp., 32 color plates, unnumbered black-and-white photos, drawings, maps, $25.00 ($32.50 Canada)
Giving Goliath His Due: New Archaeological Light on the PhilistinesNeal Bierling (Grand Rapids MI: Baker Book House, 1992) 281 pp., unnumbered photos, maps, charts, $16.99, paper
For more than 3,000 years, the Philistines have suffered from bad press. Depicted as the archetypal villains in the Bible for their constant conflicts with the Israelites, they also endured media bashing by the Egyptians, who included them among the “Sea peoples,” or bands of foreign marauders, who had the temerity to attempt an invasion of Egypt in the early 12th century B.C. So pervasive was the evil reputation acquired by the Philistines that by the 17th century their very name could be used as an insult, and even today it is still used to denote one who is boorish, barbarous or uncultured.