added by archaeologs Palestinian Biblical site which was a Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age cave dwelling, after which the caves were used for burials and a settlement founded. A massive plastered glacis of Hyksos type belonged to the Middle Bronze Age settlement, but was destroyed by the Egyptians c 1580 BC. The Canaanites built three successive temples in the 15th-13th centuries BC. Lachish was sacked in 701 BC by the Assyrians, noted in the palace reliefs in Nineveh. It fell to Babylonians in 588 BC. There were later levels of Achaemenid and Hellenistic date. The site is most famous for three vital groups of inscriptions, including a dagger dated to the 18th or 17th century BC with four symbols engraved on it - one of the earliest alphabetic inscriptions known. Lachish has also produced a group of incised pottery vessels associated with the temple at the foot of the mound and dated to c1400 BC, and a group of incised potsherds found within a guardhouse by the gate and dating to the period immediately before the Babylonian destruction.
added by archaeologs The biblical city of Lachish has been identified as the site of the large tell of Tell ed Duweir, west of Hebron in southern Israel. Early excavations in the 1930s were brought to a halt by the tragic murder by bandits of the director, J.L. Starkey, in 1938. New excavations in the 1970s were conducted under the joint direction of Tel Aviv University and the Israel Exploration Society. The earliest occupation in the area, dating to the Chalcolithic and Early Bronze Age, has been found in caves, used for occupation and burial. The town itself seems to have been first occupied in the later Early Bronze Age and in the Middle Bronze Age a massive earth rampart with a plastered ramp of Hyksos type was constructed around the town. This was destroyed, probably by the Egyptians, cl580 bc. After this the fortifications went out of use for several centuries and a temple was built at the foot of the mound, with three main phases of use, dating to the 15th-13th centuries bc. Later Bronze Age and Iron Age occupation of the mound was brought to an end by a violent destruction, perhaps to be equated with the campaign of the Assyrian king Sennacherib in 701 bc, which he celebrated in reliefs in his palace at Nineveh. The city defences were rebuilt and the settlement continued until another destruction by the Babylonians in 588 bc. After this there was some occupation also in the Achaemenid and Hellenistic periods, but the site seems to have been of only minor importance at this time. One of the most important finds from the site is a dagger, dated to the 18th or 17th century bc with four symbols engraved on it; this is one of the earliest alphabetic inscriptions known. Lachish has also produced a group of incised pottery vessels associated with the temple at the foot of the mound and dated to cl400 bc, and a group of incised potsherds found within a guardhouse by the gate and dating to the period immediately before the Babylonian destruction.
The Macmillan dictionary of archaeology, Ruth D. Whitehouse, 1983