Lachish: Open Access to BAR Articles on Lachish Archaeology

Read seven seminal BAR articles on the Lachish excavations for free

In the November/December 2013 issue of Biblical Archaeology Review, Yosef Garfinkel, Michael Hasel and Martin Klingbeil discuss the start of their excavation at Lachish, the second most important city in ancient Judah after Jerusalem. Tel Lachish has a rich excavation history. In “An Ending and a Beginning: Why We’re Leaving Qeiyafa and Going to Lachish,” Garfinkel, Hasel and Klingbeil describe the history of the excavation: “Three previous expeditions excavated at Lachish. The first was British in 1932–1938, directed by James Leslie Starkey and his assistant Olga Tufnell. The second was an Israeli expedition directed by Yohanan Aharoni of Tel Aviv University for two seasons in 1966 and 1968. The third expedition, under the superb direction of David Ussishkin of Tel Aviv University, took place between 1974 and 1987. The Starkey-Tufnell and Ussishkin expeditions set new standards in excavation and publication. They revolutionized our understanding of various aspects of Lachish, such as the later history of Judah and the pre-Israelite Late Bronze Age Canaanite city.”

Herod’s desert fortress on the mountaintop of Masada was made famous as the site of the last stand between the besieged Jewish rebels and the relentlessly advancing Romans at the conclusion of the First Jewish Revolt. In the free ebook Masada: The Dead Sea’s Desert Fortress, discover what archaeology reveals about the Jewish defenders’ identity, fortifications and arms before their ultimate sacrifice.

To mark the fourth expedition to Tel Lachish, we’ve made a collection of seven BAR articles on the third expedition to Lachish free and publicly available:

A deep incision into the western slope of Lachish under the direction of David Ussishkin.

David Ussishkin, “Answers at Lachish,” Biblical Archaeology Review, Nov/Dec 1979.

David Ussishkin, “News from the Field: Defensive Judean Counter-Ramp Found at Lachish in 1983 Season,” Biblical Archaeology Review, March/April 1984.

Yigael Yadin, “The Mystery of the Unexplained Chain,” Biblical Archaeology Review, July/August 1984.

David Ussishkin, “Lachish—Key to the Israelite Conquest of Canaan?Biblical Archaeology Review, January/February 1987.

David Ussishkin, “Restoring the Great Gate at Lachish,” Biblical Archaeology Review, March/April 1988.

Steven Feldman, “Return to Lachish,” Biblical Archaeology Review, May/June 2002.

Philip J. King, “Why Lachish Matters,” Biblical Archaeology Review, July/August 2005.

The BAS Library Special Collection Biblical Archaeology’s Biggest Digs includes articles on Megiddo, Hazor, Dan, Gezer and Ashkelon. In many ways, these sites have come to define the field of Biblical archaeology. On the one hand, they are the massive, imposing mounds of stratified remains that give archaeologists material insight into the ancient past. On the other, they are Biblical cities, associated with some of the Bible’s most famous events and figures, from the conquests of Joshua to the building programs of King Solomon. The special collection of articles, hand-selected by the Biblical Archaeology Review editors especially for members of the BAS Library, reveals why these impressive sites are so important for Biblical archaeology.

This Bible History Daily feature was originally published on November 14, 2013.


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  • Steven says

    A few years ago when I was studying to be an Israel tour guide, Gabi Barkai , who was responsible in the field for Ussishkin’s excavations during 15 years, gave us a tour of Tel Lachish. As we were leaving the Tel, exhausted after a four hour exploration of the history of Lachish, Gabi quipped that this was the shortest tour that he had ever given. We naturally had all thoroughly enjoyed our time with Gabi at Lachish.

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