Archaeomagnetic Dating of the Outer Revetment Wall at Tel Lachish

Yoav Vaknin*, Ron Shaar, Erez Ben-Yosef, Oded Lipschits

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

The fortifications of Lachish, a key site in archaeology of the Iron Age Southern Levant, are the focus of ongoing debate. The Outer Revetment Wall, encircling nearly the entire site, was traditionally associated with Levels IV–III and was thought to have been in use during the Assyrian campaign in 701 BCE. It has recently been suggested that it was built a millennium earlier. Here we present archaeomagnetic dating of a mudbrick tower incorporated in this wall, indicating that it was burnt during the Iron Age and was most likely built during this period. Combining archaeological, historical and archaeomagnetic data reveals the intense fire that occurred during the 701 BCE Assyrian siege. This fire could have been set by the people of Lachish, in a desperate attempt to damage the Assyrian siege engines or siege ramp, as depicted in the well-known Lachish relief, or by the Assyrians as part of their siege tactics.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)73-94
Number of pages22
JournalTel Aviv
Volume51
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - 2024

Bibliographical note

Publisher Copyright:
© 2024 The Author(s). Published by Informa UK Limited, trading as Taylor & Francis Group.

Keywords

  • Archaeomagnetic dating
  • Mid-Slope Wall
  • Outer Revetment Wall
  • Siege ramp
  • Tel Lachish

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