so where did the Philistines come from?
They were sea peoples that were defeated by Egypt and resettled there.
and I was startled when I came across a line in the bible where the Lord said: You think you are a big shot because I resettled you in Canaan? Well, I also resettled the Philistines from Caphtor...
part of the Bronze age collapse/sea people story.
The reason that I was startled was that we have been brainwashed to see the bible as not a historical source. Dr David Nieman says this is nonsense: Although not written as history, the later books are quite accurate. His video snippets on ancient history are quite fascinating.
One of his latest posts is about Joseph in Egypt.
which includes a lot of speculation of what was going on there...
There was a Bitumen trade? who wudda thot...
That is essentially the natural tar deposits found in the middle east etc.
aramcoworld has an article on the subject here.
For thousands of years before the first civilization in Sumer, the substance we call bitumen was already prized as an adhesive - the result, apparently, of an ancient hunter's discovery that he could attach his flint arrowhead to a shaft with a sticky black substance found in a nearby spring. Several millennia later, that same substance cemented one of the wonders of the ancient world, a man-made mountain built to "rival heaven" - the famous Tower of Babel (See Aramco World, January-February 1967).
In Egypt, it was used to preserve mummies, and many millennia later, with the coming of Islam, Muslim physicians began to prescribe it for skin ailments and wounds. In ancient times, bitumen was primarily a Mesopotamian monopoly.