My group of 13 people arrived safely in Israel and are in the middle of our first week with the new archaeological excavation at Lachish. Internet problems prevented updates on our activities and finds until now. Lachish was a prominent biblical city in Judah. It is featured in Joshua’s Conquest and became the Second City of Judah during the Divided Kingdom period. In a later post, I will cover the remarkable convergence of biblical references, historical records, historical art, and archaeological data that highlights our site of Lachish. For now, here are selected photos covering our first three days at the dig.
Most of my group enjoying lunch shortly before our first venture to the dig site. (Photo by Luke Chandler)
Timothy Chandler making measurements in his excavation square. Notice the black ash and broken pottery to the bottom left. (Photo by Luke Chandler)
JT Ray sifting sediment from his square. This process frequently produces smaller finds such as animal bones and Egyptian scarabs, among other things. (Photo by Luke Chandler)
Dr. David McClister collecting sediment and cleaning the baulk in his square. The baulk is the edge of a square that shows the strata (layers) as you excavate down to different levels. (Photo by Luke Chandler)
Jeffrey Kemper at work along the slope of ancient Lachish. (Photo by Luke Chandler)
Michelle Moody enjoying her archaeological experience. Her excavation square, which includes Jeffrey, JT, and her father David, was the first in our area to produce significant finds. (Photo by Luke Chandler)
Catherine Bishop collecting sediment in the shade. What this photo does not show is the tremendous view of the Judean foothills around Lachish. The area is simply beautiful, but we also enjoy the large shade nets that keep out the sun’s heat while we work. (Photo by Luke Chandler)
Wayne Galloway pointing at a layer of collapsed mud bricks. (They are easier to identify up close.) This was a common building material in ancient times. (Photo by Luke Chandler)
Dave Galloway demonstrates his handle on things. (Photo by Luke Chandler0
Cindy Fite showing off a remarkable find from her sifting work today. No, it’s not simply pottery. More on this at a future date. (Photo by Luke Chandler)
Jonathan Biesecker soaking in the view around Lachish as the shade tents are prepared. (Photo by Luke Chandler)
Samuel Biesecker “supervising” (?) as new excavation squares are being opened. Seriously, Samuel has worked hard at the dig. I know because he’s in my square. (Photo by Luke Chandler)
These photos show most of our group. The entire expedition currently has around 90 members from all over the world. The internet quagmire here is being sorted out, so hopefully more photos and posts will come soon!
Luke holds an M.A. in Ancient and Classical History and has been an adjunct professor at Florida College in Temple Terrace, Florida. Luke and his wife Melanie have five children. He serves as a minister with the North Terrace Church of Christ and has participated in multiple archaeological excavations in Israel. Luke leads informative, meaningful tours to Europe and the Bible Lands.
Appreciate your group’s work. Love the pictures, especially the handsome, hardworking Galloway men!