Everything we know about what Philistines soldiers wore comes from reliefs at the mortuary temple of Ramesses III at Medinet Habu.

The battle headdress of the Sea Peoples clearly distinguishes the different groups. The Sherden wear horned helmets, the Teresh and Shekelesh have fillet headbands. The Philistines, the Tjekker, and the Denyen wear the so-called “feather” headdress, a leather cap and an ornamental headband from which a row of slightly curving strips stands upright to form a kind of diadem. Regardless of whether the strips are feathers, reeds, leather strips, horsehair, or some bizarre hairdo, this headgear is the distinguishing mark of the group dominated by the Philistines. We shall encounter it again in archaeological finds from Canaan.

The Philistines are also distinguishable by their dress. Each wears a short paneled kilt with wide hem and tassles. Above the waist is a ribbed corselet over a shirt. The thin strips of the corselet (made of leather or metal) are jointed in the middle of the chest and curve up. (On Sherden warriors, these strips curve down.) Perhaps these strips are meant to simulate human ribs. Similar corselets are known from Cyprus during this period and somewhat earlier; they indicate the Aegean background of the Sea Peoples. The corseleted Sea Peoples carry small round shields, easily distinguishable from the rectangular Egyptian shields.

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