Lachish was a major Canaanite city in the second millennium BCE and the second most important city in the Kingdom of Judah after Jerusalem. The site was excavated by six different expeditions, and we are the seventh expedition to the site, starting in the summer of 2022.
The Iron Age period, from c. 1000–585 BCE is well represented at Lachish. The city of Level III had been destroyed by the Assyrians in 701 BCE. The city of Level II had been destroyed by the Babylonians in 586 BCE. There are two earlier cities, which are less known, Level V and Level IV. Our expedition is concentrating on the earliest Iron Age city, Level V. There were debates over the years about the nature of Level V, if it was a village or a fortified city, and debates about its date. In our excavations in the years 2013 to 2017, we uncovered a city wall that was not known before. Radiometric dates indicated that the city was built in the last part of the tenth century BC. This new data fits the biblical traditions about Rehoboam fortifications.
In the 2023 season, we wish to enlarge the excavation area, to uncover a few complete houses. In this way we will have a larger assemblage of pottery, stone and metal tools, and all other aspects of the culture of Judah in the last part of the tenth and the early part of the ninth centuries BCE.
The Lachish excavations are part of a regional project in the Judean Shephelah, which examined the first 200 years of the Kingdom of Judah. We excavated at Khirbet Qeiyafa in 2007-2013, at Lachish in 2013-2017, and in Khirbet al-Ra’i in 2015-2021. The three sites provided a wealth of information about the Kingdom of Judah in the tenth and ninth centuries BCE. In these excavations, a large number of alphabetic inscriptions were found, from the Middle Bronze Age, Late Bronze Age, Iron Age I, and Iron Age II.
Shephelah, South-Central Israel
July 2 - July 20, 2023
Monday, May 15, 2023
Contact for more details
The expedition will stay in a hostel at the village of Neta, located east of Lachish. Four volunteers live in a large air-conditioned room with a shower and bathroom. The hostel provides typical Mediterranean Kosher food.
Yossi Garfinkel: The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
HooGoo Kang: Seoul Jangsin University