The new archaeological season has begun at the biblical Lachish, the second city of the Kingdom of Judah. Lachish played roles in geopolitics, conspiracy, assassination, and was a key objective for multiple invaders.
We began our season on Sunday afternoon after lunch. Yossi Garfinkel gave an introduction and site tour to volunteers including my group, students from Oakland University (Detroit Metro area), and others from various countries. At the time of this writing we have finished three days of excavation and have already found some nice things.
Why excavate here? Lachish has already seen a lot of archaeological work from three previous expeditions. A key question for our project involves understanding the city’s status and history during the time of the the biblical kings. Little is known about the city between the time of Joshua and the early Israelite/Judahite monarchies, a period of several centuries.
We seek to understand the character of the city and the dates of its construction, destruction, and reconstruction between the time of David (ca. 1000 BC) and the invasion of the Assyrian king Sennacherib (701 BC). The biblical text provides few details on Lachish in that period and previous archaeological work has yielded little information. Our goal is to discover more about the city, and the biblical Kingdom of Judah, in the time of the early kings. I will speak more on these questions in a later post.
More details to come later!