When and where the process of state formation took place in the biblical kingdom of Judah is heavily debated. Our regional project in the southwestern part of Judah, carried out from 2007 to the present, includes the excavation of three Iron Age sites: Khirbet Qeiyafa, Tel Lachish, and Khirbet al-Ra'i. New cultural horizons and new fortification systems have been uncovered, and these discoveries have been dated by 59 radiometric determinations. The controversial question of when the kingdom was able to build a fortified city at Lachish, its foremost center after Jerusalem, is now resolved thanks to the excavation of a previously unknown city wall, dated by radiocarbon (14C) to the second half of the 10th century BCE.
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- Iron Age
- Khirbet Qeiyafa
- Khirbet al-Ra'i
- Kingdom of Judah
- radiometric chronology