According to the Biblical account, the ancient fortified city of Lachish was for a time considered, after Jerusalem, the second-most important city in the Kingdom of Judah. Today, its ruins can be seen atop a prominent "tel" or mound located in the Shephelah lowland of Israel between Mount Hebron and the maritime Mediterranean coast. The remains are a visible reminder of a city that represented a strength and glory ravaged through the military designs of advancing Assyrian and Babylonian armies long before the ancient Romans ever set foot in this country. It is best known as the location of a great siege by Assyrian king Sennacherib in 701 B.C.E.
Today, this city may sit again in the cross-hairs of a different kind of battle -- one that revolves around the debate concerning the nature and historicity of the early Kingdom of Judah. Prof. Yosef Garfinkel, the Yigael Yadin Chair of archeology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, stands at the center of the debate. [...], Garfinkel and colleagues are heading a new team that will begin re-exploring and excavating Lachish in 2014. [...] "The results from Khirbet Qeiyafa, together with the results from Lachish," write Garfinkel and colleagues in a recent article published in Biblical Archeology Review, "will enable us to obtain a clearer and more complete picture of the early history of the kingdom of Judah in the tenth and ninth centuries B.C.E. We view these two excavations as one regional Project." [...] Garfinkel, along with co-directors Michael G. Hasel and Martin G. Klingbeil of Southern Adventist University, hope to begin excavations with a team of other specialists, students and volunteers in June of 2014. Read more.