Ware/Ware Family

Philistine Monochrome

Israel/Southern Coastal Plain

Iron Age I

1200 BCE - 1130 BCE

Ware/Ware Family: Philistine Monochrome

Ware/Ware Family Name, Origin, and Date

Philistine Monochrome

Israel/Southern Coastal Plain

1200 BCE - 1130 BCE

Iron Age I

Philistine Monochrome ware (known also as Philistine 1 or Mycenaean IIIC:1), decorated in monochrome paint, derives from the Late Helladic IIIC assemblages of the first half of the 12th century BCE, and is the primary material culture marker for the initial settlement phase of the Philistines in the Southern Coastal Plain.

The bulk of the Philistine Monochrome repertoire is comprised of bowls. Bell-shaped bowls are the most common, small carinated bowls with strap handles appear in smaller numbers, while other bowl types are quite rare. Other open vessels – kraters, basins and kylikes – appear in limited quantities. Philistine Monochrome vessels are relatively infrequent and are represented mainly by jugs, stirrup jars, strainer jugs and feeding bottles. The production centers of the Philistine Monochrome vessels identified so far are Ekron and Ashdod.

Philistine Monochrome vessels are generally well levigated, unslipped with whitish-light brown fabric (occassionally pinkish), the color of their painted decoration is brown or dark-red or, rarely, black, and it always has a matt finish.
Philistine Monochrome ware is divided into fine and coarser groups. The fine group has a white, buff or pinkish ware color, no core, few or no inclusions, a hard and metallic matrix, and a wet-smoothed surface. This ware is calcareous, with small amount of quartz. Its shapes are carefully executed, and the vessel walls, especially of bowls, are sometimes very thin, or egg-shell-like. The coarser group is characterized by darker (greenish or gray-brown) ware color, and its fabric is softer, with more inclusions, and usually has a core. In these wares there is a large amount of quartz inclusions, while calcareous inclusions are rare. The vessels of this group are on average less carefully formed and have heavier, thicker walls. The entire Philistine Monochrome assemblage, as well as cooking jugs, was produced on the fast wheel and using techniques of clay preparation and forming that are very different from those of the Canaanite ceramic tradition.

Site Distribution

Ashdod (Israel/Southern Coastal Plain)

Ashkelon (Israel/Southern Coastal Plain)

Khirbet el-Rai (Arai) (Israel/Shephelah)

Qubur Walagda (Israel/Southern Coastal Plain)

Tel Miqne/Ekron (Israel/Shephelah)

Tel Sippor (Israel/Southern Coastal Plain)

Tel Zeror (Israel/Central Coastal Plain)

Tell Qasile (Israel/Central Coastal Plain)

Tell es-Safi/Gath (Israel/Southern Coastal Plain)

Vessels 97
Break Photos 1
Petrographic Samples 93
Bibliography
Discussion/Questions/Acknowledgements