'Palestine existed in Syria, Turkey'

New finds from dig shed light on 11th, 12th century BC dynasty.

May 11, 2010 14:20
1 minute read.
'Palestine existed in Syria, Turkey'

archeology site 298.88. (photo credit: Courtesy)


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The great kingdom of “Palestine” once existed within Syrian and Turkish boundaries, a University of Tennessee professor claimed in a statement released Tuesday.

Prof. J. P. Dessel, who is a member of the Tell Tayinat archeological digs in Turkey and who presided at the Haifa University Ancient East Research Conference, asserted that the commonwealth had been located between the cities of Aleppo, Hama and Antakya, and the Turkish-Syrian border in the 12th and 11th centuries BCE.

The find is significant because it indicates that the ancient Philistine empire was not limited to the lands of Canaan.

Following the collapse of the Hittite dynasty in the 13th century BCE, smaller states sprung up in areas that had previously been under Hittite rule – one of which was Palestine. In his lecture, Dessel explained that this had been concluded from newfound evidence unearthed in the Tell Tayinat excavations.

Hittite hieroglyphics were found on the Antakya site, reading “Palestine.” Similar hieroglyphics were found in Aleppo and Hama.

“This is a significant discovery which shows that the Philistines did not just hold land in Israel, but in Syria as well,” said Haifa University Prof. Gershon Glil, the conference coordinator.

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