Prof. Larry Stager (Harvard), director of the Ashkelon excavations, has put in a comment on the blog (shows that the blog is read in “lofty places” ….) that an article on some early Philistine inscriptions from Ashkeon has just appeared in the Israel Exploration Journal. This includes a discussion of an inscription, dating to the 10th cent. BCE, which is interpreted as being written in Cypro-Minoan script. I have not yet seen the article, but if this is so, this is of much importance, since this provides the first, explicit evidence of the apparently Aegean-originating language(s) and writing system(s) that were used by the early Philistines, prior to their use of the Semitic (Phoenician) language/script at a slightly later stage during the Iron Age (for example, the so-called “Goliath Inscription” from Tell es-Safi/Gath).
This is an important issue for the study of the Philistine culture, its sources, and its development, and I am looking forward to reading the piece.
And BTW, for those who may be interested – we are working on the article on the “Goliath Inscription” and hope to submit it for publication in the not too far future …