Tell Halif


The Archaeology of Destruction

In the northeastern Negev on the border between the hill country and the Shephelah, Tell Halif is a 7-acre site that was occupied from Chalcolithic times. It may be Biblical Rimmon, a site mentioned in the Hebrew Bible five times. Significant Early Bronze Age remains have been found, as well as remnants of a Late Bronze “Egyptian” residence, a fortified Iron Age II city and a large collection of Persian period figurine fragments.

Recent work at the site has focused on uncovering the expansive remains of the Iron Age town that was destroyed by the Assyrian king Sennacherib during his 701 B.C. campaign into southern Palestine. Such remains have told archaeologists a great deal about Assyrian military tactics, as well as the life in Judea during the eighth century. This season, dig director Oded Borowski plans to continue exposing the domestic structures strung along the city wall with special attention paid to enlarging the exposure of the textile workshop and the food preparation areas partially exposed in previous seasons. In addition, the team will explore the area between Field IV and Field V, where another house seems to be located.


How does a dig team work? What do archaeologists look for at a dig? In this documentary DVD, learn how excavators work and what we can learn from archaeology. Learn more >>


Geographic Location

12 miles NE of Beersheba

Periods of Occupation

Chalcolithic through the modern period


Oded Borowski

Oded Borowski directs the excavations at Tell Halif, part of the Lahav Research Project, Phase IV. He has participated in digs since the 1970s and has spent several seasons at Tell Halif. Founder of the Hebrew and Arabic language programs at Emory University, where he has taught since 1977, he was instrumental in the university’s establishment of the Near Eastern Studies (now Middle Eastern & South Asian Studies) department. He is Professor of Bible Archaeology and Hebrew at the university. Dr. Borowski has written several books, including Agriculture in Iron Age Israel (Eisenbrauns, 1987); Every Living Thing: Daily Use of Animals in Ancient Israel (AltaMira Press, 1999) and Daily Life in Biblical Times (Society of Biblical Literature, 2003) as well as Lahav III: The Iron Age Cemetery at Tell Halif (Site 72) (Eisenbrauns, 2013).