The newly found Philistine cemetery in Ashkelon National Park. (photo by Leon Levy Foundation via Ashernet)
Over the past 30 years, excavations have been undertaken in the park by the Leon Levy Expedition and the cemetery was actually located in 2013, but kept secret until the excavation was complete. The cemetery is located about 10 feet below ground level on a site that was later used as a Roman vineyard, and between 150 and 200 bodies lie buried there. The findings, dated to the 11th-8th centuries BCE, may well support the claim that the Philistines were migrants from lands to the west who arrived in ancient Israel around the 12th century BCE. Some of the Philistines were buried with perfumed oil, bracelets, earrings and other jewelry. The findings are on display until February in an Israel Museum exhibit at the Rockefeller Archeological Museum in Jerusalem.