Philistia was the fertile coastal plain in southern Palestine. The Philistines dominated the region from the twelfth century until they were subdued by David two centuries later. Major Philistine cities were Ashkelon, Ashdod, and Gaza. Samson belonged to the tribe of Dan, which settled in the area next to Philistia. Samson raided the Philistines and became involved with Philistine women. During the time of the Prophet Samuel, the Philistines captured the ark of the covenant, which was taken to several cities of Philistia before being returned to Israel. The Philistines battled King Saul and were finally conquered by David.