Tel Lachish (Tell ed-Duweir)


One of the most important towns of ancient Judah

The Austrian-Israeli Expedition to Lachish started in 2017 as part of the project “Tracing Transformations”. It is the first Austrian archaeological expedition in the region since Ernst Sellin at Tell Taannek in 1904. The current excavation focusses on Middle and Late Bronze Age (c. 2000-1200 BC) remains and explores the region’s political and economic ties with Egypt, Syria, and the eastern Mediterranean.

Tel Lachish (Tell ed-Duweir) is located about 40 km southwest of Jerusalem and was once a thriving Bronze (c. 4000-1200 BC) and Iron Age (c. 1200-586 BC) town in Canaan.

Bronze Ages (c. 4000-1200 BC):
Early Bronze Age (c. 4000-2000 BC) pottery present on the site, settlement not yet found
Middle Bronze Age (c. 2000-1550 BC)Middle Bronze Age (c. 2000-1550 BC): fortified settlement and palace, major destruction horizon
Late Bronze Age (c. 1550-1200 BC): thriving Canaanite city, political and economic ties with Egypt, Syria, Cyprus, the Aegean

Iron Age (c. 1200-586 BC):
One of the most important towns of ancient Judah, second only to Jerusalem
Iron Age gate complex and Judean palace/fort podium in the center of the site
Major destruction by Assyrian army under Sennacherib in 701 BC, Assyrian siege ramp preserved. Siege of Lachish reported in Assyrian Annals, Hebrew Bible, and in the Lachish-reliefs from Niniveh (today in the British Museum)
Second destructiong by Babylonian army under Nebuchadnezzar II in 586 BC, just before fall of Jerusalem, destruction of the First Temple and beginning of the Babylonian Exile


Geographic Location

Lachish is located in the Shephelah region of Israel, between Mount Hebron and the Mediterranean coast

Periods of Occupation

Early Bronze Age (c. 4000-2000 BC), Middle Bronze Age (c. 2000-1550 BC), Late Bronze Age (c. 1550-1200 BC) and Iron Age (c. 1200-586 BC)

Minimum Stay

4 weeks

Academic Credit/Cost per Credit/Institution

No academic credits offered.


Accommodations will be at a boarding school in Sheqef (https://goo.gl/maps/1wcSWLW99nm). Sheqef is about a 15 min drive from Tel Lachish. The accommodation is very basic but sufficient and consists of bungalow-type rooms with 3-4 beds per room. Two to three rooms share a living space, a bathroom (with hot water) and in some cases, a small kitchenette. Rooms have a bed with mattress, but no sheets or towels. The shared living space is air-conditioned. There is also a porch to sit outside and socialize in the evening. The accommodation is also available on weekends. We have breakfast in the field, catering for lunch and cook for ourselves in the evening. Volunteers are required to help with logistics such as preparing food for the field, assisting in cooking for dinner and other duties in the camp.


Contact Dr Hoflmayer.


Felix Höflmayer

Dr. Felix Höflmayer, Austrian Academy of Sciences

Katharina Streit

Dr. Katharina Streit, Hebrew University of Jerusalem


Dr. Felix Hoflmayer
Institute for Oriental and European Archaeology
Austrian Academy of Sciences
Hollandstrasse 11-13
Viena, Viena 1090

Contact telephone: +43 1 51581 6107
Contact Email: [email protected]
Website: http://www.tracingtransformations.com