After finding carvings of Philistine soldiers in the temple of Ramses lll in Egypt, archaeologists discovered that the soldiers:
- wore feathered helmets secured under their chins by leather straps. Headbands, probably of metal, held the feathers in place.
- wore breastplates and short skirts that had wide hems and tassels.
- were clean-shaven and quite tall.
- sometimes carried small, round shields and straight swords.
Perhaps the most well-known Philistine soldier was Goliath, the giant who was killed by David. The biblical account of David and Goliath provides a number of details about the giant and his military gear. Goliath:
- was a hardened warrior.
- was more than nine feet tall.
- wore a coat of bronze scale armor weighing 125 pounds. (The coat of scales was designed to protect its wearer without restricting movement.)
- carried a spear that had a fifteen-pound point.
- came from the Philistine city of Gath.
- wore a bronze javelin on his back.
- wore a bronze helmet.
- defied the God of Israel, and paid for it with his life.
- symbolized evil. (Some scholars point to the ways in which the number six was used to describe him as a symbol of Goliath's evil.)