R. K. Harrison
and the Philistines
the Hittite Empire collapsed about 1200 B.C., the
Philistines took over the smelting of ore and the
manufacturing of iron implements, this being previously a
Hittite monopoly. During the next century they built up a
flourishing trade in implements and weapons, and this, along
with their distinctive pottery, made the Philistines an
important cultural force in Canaan at the end of the Judges
The excavation of Philistine houses has supported the
tradition relating to the death of Samson (Judg 16:25-30).
This redoubtable opponent of the Philistines died in a
building where he was able, by pulling on the central
pillars, to bring about the death of many Philistines. How
this feat was possible has been made clear at several
Philistine sites, where ruins have shown that some of their
larger houses were built around a central hall. This in turn
was bisected by a row of columns which bore the weight of
the upper story of the roof."
Harrison, "Philistines" Contributor, Dict. of Biblical
Archaeology (Grand Rapids, Michigan: Zondervan, 1983) p.