The Philistines were one of the tribes collectively known today as the ‘Sea Peoples’. Apparently identified as Peleset by the Egyptians, they migrated into the eastern Mediterranean in the late 13th and early 12th centuries BCE, and when their progress was stopped by the pharaohs they settled in Canaan, where they were to have many battles with the Israelites. They were finally conquered by the Assyrians in the 8th century BCE and thereafter disappeared from history.
From what little we know of these people it seems they mainly fought with sword and spear, which is what we find in this set. All the swordsmen are fine, as are the spearmen, although there is evidence that they would start a battle with two spears or javelins, so we would have liked to have seen some indication of that here. The final figure is noticeably taller than the rest, clearly invoking the story of the Philistine champion Goliath.
Again the evidence is scanty, but the costume associated with these warriors is a kilt and a helmet or hat band with a feather or hair crest around the edge - features which are faithfully reproduced in this set. Some may also have worn a sort of cuirass made of bands of leather or bronze, and some of these figures have this too, although the sculptor has made these go upwards in a chevron pattern on the chest - a feature which seems to appear in some ancient depictions, although we are not sure of why this might be. The swords and spears look OK, as do the simple round shields many are carrying.
Sculpting as always is crisp and clear, and there is no flash or excess plastic despite the fact that all the weapons and shields are moulded with the figure rather than being separate. Muscle definition is very good, although in our sample there were strange grooves on the back of the tallest man.
The Sea Peoples, who had been most inadequately served before this set was released, can now claim very good representation thanks to this very good set and its sister sets from Caesar.