Friday, June 26, 2009

Tel Lachish

The city of Lachish held a very strategic position in biblical times. Situated on the plain and protecting the southern and south-western approaches to Jerusalem, it eventually became the second city in the kingdom of Judah. During the Judean revolt against Sennachrib and his Assyrians in Hezekiah's reign (701 BCE), Lachish was captured and "reduced". Later the town reverted back to Judean control. Finally it fell to Nebuchadnezzar and his Babylonians during his campaign against Judah (586 BCE).

Clearly it was a large city. The top picture is of the drainage ditch that ran along the main street of the city and out the main gate, which is now the entrance to the site.

I managed to convince blackwifeo that she wanted to come with on this excursion. We set out at 6am on Friday (not Saturday as usual, as we had a Bar Mitzvah to attend and a dinner to prepare). She was perfect company and even seemed to enjoy herself (she would never admit it though). Tel Lachish is next to Kibbutz Lachish and while there are a lot of ruins and it is a National Park, it is not one of the rebuilt and popular sites and it's free. There are a lot of remains of dwellings and buildings. It is rather overgrown but there is a nice path between the various sections and even a few signs. The Tel itself is bordered on three sides by steep drops. On one side the remains of the ram built by the Assyrians can be seen. It is an imposing place and the view of the surrounding area brings home the strategic value of the ancient city.

There are the remains of storehouses, a palace on the hill, with large carved stone column bases.

Like all ancient sites, water was a problem. This well, set into the side of the Tel, is apparently about 45M deep. It's another impressive example of the work ethic of the city's residents. Just as lugging the huge stones that make up the outer walls could have been no picnic.

Kibbutz Lachish is famous for it's grapes. All around and on all sides the grape vines are beautifully green.

There is a lot of information on Lachish in academic publications. A number of excavations have taken place starting in the 1890s through till today and quite a lot is known about the city and its inhabitants. Just google Lachish and you will get a wealth of information.

3 comments:

jozie said...

hey dear, these archeology blogs are really hard to read with all the pictures and words jumping around.

joch said...

Don't listen to her, these are my favorite posts, and they are laid out perfectly - giving a sense of organized clutter, like the sites they describe...

jozie said...

oh well, different strokes and all that.