A country home to a vast expanse of human history, Israel is a land rich in opportunities for archaeological excavations. Yet while there are opportunities to dig from the north to the south, none quite rival the untapped potential of Azekah. The team at Tel Azekah has successfully completed eleven seasons, from 2012–2023 and now they are ready to begin the twelfth season at Azekah in 2024!
The biblical text references the area around Azekah as the arena for the battle between the boy David and the giant Goliath (1 Samuel 17:1). Beyond its significance as a central Judean town, the site gains archaeological and historical importance from its destruction by the Assyrian king Sennacherib. Referenced in Assyrian texts, Sennacherib described the site as an “eagle’s nest…with towers that project to the sky like swords.” Such evocative imagery, combined with the context of the text, constructs the site as a significant Judahite border stronghold. Azekah is also referenced in Jeremiah 34:7, as one of the remaining fortified cities of Judah. Nehemiah 11:30 writes that Azekah was resettled by Judeans in the Persian period and remained part of the province of Judah during the Ptolemaic period.
Working to document, preserve, and publish the material that the team has excavated over the past seasons, they are now more focused than ever. To date, they have established 12 areas for excavation, and have learned a great deal more about the site’s impressive and complex history. As the team looks to 2024, they aim to further develop their understanding of the Middle and Late Bronze Age city and continue to gain further insight into the role of Azekah during the Iron Age by using modern excavation techniques, radiocarbon, residue analysis, petrography, ceramics, forensic anthropology, and zooarchaeology studies.
Shephelah, South-Central Israel
August 4 – August 30, 2024
Saturday, June 1, 2024
Contact for more details
Participants of the 2024 Lautenschläger Azekah Archaeological Expedition will stay at Netiv Ha-Lamed-He, a serene oasis a mere 10-minute drive away from the site. Rooms are designed to house four people, and come equipped with an ensuite bathroom, storage and air conditioning. A communal kitchen is also available for that morning coffee or afternoon snack!
Oded Lipschits: Tel Aviv University
Manfred Oeming: University of Heidelberg
Sabine Kleinman: Tübingen University