Khirbet al-Rai

Border Town Between Judah and Philistia

Khirbet al-Rai is a relatively small site (1.7 hectares) located 3 km west of Tel Lachish at the western edge of the Judean Shephelah, on a hill above the southern bank of the Nahal Lachish. We are focusing on two periods of occupation here:

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1. Iron Age IB (12th11th centuries B.C.E.): In this occupation phase, we have at the site the activities of the Philistines and the Canaanites. The transition from the Late Bronze Age to the Iron Age I in the Lachish region represents a drastic change in the settlement pattern, from dense and flourishing urban communities to rather sparse small villages. The site of Khirbet al-Rai now adds a new data for this poorly known era.
2. Iron Age IIA: Judging by its pottery assemblage, this well-built phase is contemporary with the fortified city of Khirbet Qeiyafa. This is now the second settlement in Judah from the time of King David.

Yosef Garfinkel

Yosef Garfinkel is Professor of Archaeology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

Dig Directors

Yosef Garfinkel

Geographic Location

Judean Shephelah, 3 km west of Lachish

Periods of Occupation

Iron Age I, Iron Age IIA (12th10th centuries B.C.E.)

Dates of the Dig

Winter: January 27 February 14, 2019; Summer: June 23 July 11, 2019

Minimum Stay

Two weeks

Application Due

December 31, 2018


$50 registration fee + $450 per week

Academic Credit/Cost per Credit/Institution

3 credits; $120/credit; awarded by the Hebrew University of Jerusalem


Ein Zutim Kibbutz


Yosef Garfinkel
Institute of Archaeology
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem

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