Tel Lachish

The Fourth Expedition to Lachish

Lachish was the second most important city in Judah after Jerusalem. Its destruction in 701 B.C. was famously recorded on the walls of Sennacherib’s palace at Nineveh. This fourth expedition to the large tell site seeks to uncover the history of the early Iron Age city.

Biblical Archaeology: From the Ground Down

How does a dig team work? What do archaeologists look for at a dig? In this documentary DVD, learn how excavators work and what we can learn from archaeology. More information.

Three previous expeditions excavated at Lachish. The first was British in 1932-1938, directed by James Leslie Starkey and his assistant Olga Tufnell. The second was an Israeli expedition directed by Yohanan Aharoni of Tel Aviv University for two seasons in 1966 and 1968. The third expedition, under the superb direction of David Ussishkin of Tel Aviv University, took place between 1974 and 1987. The Starkey-Tufnell and Ussishkin expeditions set new standards in excavation and publication. They revolutionized our understanding of various aspects of Lachish, such as the later history of Judah and the pre-Israelite Late Bronze Age Canaanite city.
The current expedition will concentrate on the 10-9th centuries B.C. and will try to answer questions like: When was Lachish inhabited for the first time in the Iron Age? When was Lachish first fortified in the Iron Age? How did the economy, administration, international connections, writing, cult and art develop in the first 200 years of the Kingdom of Judah? We will also examine the connection between archaeology and the Biblical narrative of the tenth century B.C.

Yosef Garfinkel

Yosef Garfinkel Prof. Yosef Garfinkel is the Yigael Yadin Chair of archaeology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and director of the excavations at Khirbet Qeiyafa since 2007. Garfinkel has also directed a number of excavations at Neolithic and prehistoric sites throughout Israel, including Sha’ar Hagolan and Gesher.

Michael Hasel

Michael HaselMichael G. Hasel is director of the Institute of Archaeology, Southern Adventist University and has participated at numerous digs in Jordan, Cyprus and Israel. He specializes in military tactics of Egypt and the ancient Near East. Since 2013 he is codirector of The Fourth Expedition to Lachish.

Martin Klingbeil

Martin KlingbeilMartin G. Klingbeil is associate director of the Institute of Archaeology, Southern Adventist University and, as a student of Othmar Keel, specializes in ancient seals and iconography. Since 2013 he is codirector of The Fourth Expedition to Lachish.

Dig Directors

Yosef Garfinkel
Michael Hasel
Martin Klingbeil

Geographic Location

37 miles southwest of Jerusalem in the Shephelah

Periods of Occupation

Bronze Age, Iron Age

Dates of the Dig

June 18 – July 27, 2017

Minimum Stay

2 weeks

Application Due

March 13, 2017


Cost varies.
For the Hebrew University of Jerusalem application, visit:
For the Southern Adventist University application, visit:

Academic Credit/Cost per Credit/Institution

Yes - Hebrew University of Jerusalem or Southern Adventist University


The expedition will stay at a nearby hostel at Kibbutz Sde Yoav. The suites are within a short walking distance to the cafeteria, lecture hall and labs, where all the lectures and processing of finds will take place. All guest rooms have four beds, private bath and a/c. Wi-fi is available. There is a swimming pool nearby.


Prof. Yosef Garfinkel
Institute of Archaeology
The Hebrew University of Jerusalem
Jerusalem 91905, Israel
Phone: 972-2-5882412
Fax: 972-2-5825548

Open for tours

No. The site is a national park, open to the public during the day.