Where did those aliens originate? I don’t mean space aliens, I mean the Philistines. Fandom’s Louise Hitchcock, who spoke about archaeology and the Philistines at the 2010 Loscon, was recently asked by Bible History Daily “Where Did the Philistines Come From?”
The fact that the Tell es-Safi/Gath horned altar has only two horns may have to do with the cultural origins of the Philistines. As Louise Hitchcock, senior staff member of the Tell es-Safi/Gath excavations, has suggested, the very motif of the horned altar in the Levant may have been influenced by earlier Minoan “horns of consecration,” symbolic representations of the horns of the sacred bull in Minoan culture. In fact, there is an altar from the Late Bronze Age site of Myrtous Pigadhes in Cyprus that also has only two horns. The unique horned altar from Tell es-Safi/Gath, the earliest stone altar ever found from the land of the Philistines, may be another indication of the Aegean influences on early Philistine culture and quite possibly a hint to their origins.
Dr. Hitchcock is on the faculty of the University of Melbourne.