The 5 Philistine Cities
The following pages will describe four of the five cities
of the Philistines, who lived in the neighborhood of
People of Israel for more than 500 years. The five cities were unified
under a union of cities: the Mayors/Kings of
the cities co-operated between them against the Israeli People. They were
called Sranim, using the same word we use today for
a 3rd level officer in IDF: Captain.
The five cities are (starting from the north) Ekron,
Gat, Ashdod, Ashkelon, and Gaza.
Now you can guess why I intend to write only about four...
Please welcome the first page:
Ekron was the northern city of the Philistines, found only
40 years ago by a Kibbutznik from Revadim, Natan Idlin. He
was a fighter in the Gush-Etzion battle, was in Jordan as captured, and
returned to Revadim after state of Israel was
established and the agreements were signed between Israel and Jordan.
He worked in the "Falha", and found ceramics
remains in one of the low hills. He went with them to a professor in the
Hebrew University, who told him that these were typical
Philistines ceramics and work plates.
Natan Idlin returned to his Kibbutz and began to think.
Ashdod, Ashkelon and Gaza - are all known. Gat was identified
as a hill over the shores of Nahal Ha-Ela.
He jumped surprised: It has to be Ekron !!
He opened the bible and read that when the Philistines
escaped after Golyat defeat, they ran to Gat and Ekron. They
must be near, then. After that he read that the Arch of God was there,
and that they put it on a carriage that went on the
road to Bait-Shemesh, where it was guarded for some time.
He went again to the university and convinced the professor
that he discovered Ekron.
Natan Idlin was excited about it, and since then he dedicated
his life to the discovery of the city of Ekron.
It was only 30 years after his first discovery that the
first excavations were handled. The exciting excavations
revealed a huge city, on a very low hill, with high walls and mures,
dating from the Early Bronze Age to the last days of
the Jehuda empire, just together with Sanheriv destroyal of Jehuda.
The remains revealed a vivid city, filled with interesting
commercial, religious and cultural life. The most
important commercial market in Ekron was based on olives cultivation and
The Philistines, in their decline after the erection of
the Monarchy of Israel, were very much assimilated
to the strong Hebrew culture, and as a result, it was only a matter of
time until the Philistine empire will collapse and
join the Israeli state.
But the most amazing archeological evidence was found,
like in many archeological excavations in the last
days of the excavations: a very large inscription, written in Hebrew !!
"I, ...son of Achish, son of Padi, Mayor ("Sar")
built this temple for the goddess ...
in honor of ..."
The archeologists joked and said that now they can write
the big sign: Welcome to Ekron...
This inscription was the peak of the excavations, a proof
that an archeologist can only dream of...
The inscription is as important as the Hizkiyahu inscription
in Nikbat Ha-Shiloah, and miraculously, they both
date from the same years:
This amazing inscriptions is now being exhibited in the
local museum of Revadim, a big room with many detailed and useful information
about the excavations.
What to see
The Revadim Museum, dedicated to the bird of Ekron.
A film presenting the discovery of Ekron. Ask to see it,
most suitable for kids.
Philistine street, demonstrating the life and culture of
If you're lucky, you can make oil from olives.
The real remains of Ekron, about 3 km east to the kibbutz.
Ask there for details, or go with a 1 to 50:000 Simun Shvilim map.
Buy souvenirs at the local souvenir shop. The specialty is
tasty marmelades !!
Have a wondeful meal at the local restaurant. Excellent quality.