Ancient DNA reveals the origins of the Philistines

Hard-won genetic clues from the bones of Philistines, a people known from the Old Testament for their battles with Israelites, have taken some of the mystery out of their hazy origins.

DNA extracted from the remains of 10 individuals buried at Ashkelon, an ancient Philistine port city in Israel, displays molecular links to ancient and modern populations in the eastern Mediterranean, archaeogeneticist Michal Feldman and her colleagues report. Ashkelon residents carried that southern European genetic signature between around 3,400 and 3,150 years ago, but it disappeared rapidly as mating increased with locals, the researchers conclude in a paper published online July 3 in Science Advances. Read More…

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