Khirbet al-Ra‘i

Winter: January 26 – February 13, 2020

Border Town Between Judah and Philistia

Khirbet al-Ra‘i is a relatively small site (1.7 hectares) located 3 km west of Tel Lachish at the western edge of the Judean Shephelah, on a hill above the southern bank of the Nahal Lachish. We are focusing on two periods of occupation here:

1. Iron Age IB (12th–11th centuries B.C.E.): In this occupation phase, we have at the site the activities of the Philistines and the Canaanites. The transition from the Late Bronze Age to the Iron Age I in the Lachish region represents a drastic change in the settlement pattern, from dense and flourishing urban communities to rather sparse small villages. The site of Khirbet al-Ra‘i now adds a new data for this poorly known era.

2. Iron Age IIA: Judging by its pottery assemblage, this well-built phase is contemporary with the fortified city of Khirbet Qeiyafa. This is now the second settlement in Judah from the time of King David.


Geographic Location

Judean Shephelah, 3 km west of Lachish

Periods of Occupation

Iron Age I, Iron Age IIA (12th–10th centuries B.C.E.)

Dates of the Dig

Winter: January 26 – February 13, 2020

Academic Credit/Cost per Credit/Institution

3 credits; $120 per credit plus an $80 application fee. Credits awarded by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem


Ein Zutim Kibbutz

Open For Tours



Yosef Garfinkel

Yosef Garfinkel is Professor of Archaeology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Kyle Keimer

Kyle Keimer is Lecturer in the Archaeology, History, and Language of Ancient Israel at Macquarie University.

Sa'ar Ganor

Sa'ar Ganor is an archaeologist with the Israel Antiquities Authority.


Yosef Garfinkel
Institute of Archaeology
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
[email protected]