The Cultic Reform in the Gate Shrine of Lachish

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Ancient Lachish (Tell ed-Duweir) in southern Israel is a key site for understanding the history and archaeology of the Kingdom of Judah. In 2017 a shrine was unearthed inside one of the chambers of the city gate, dated to Level III. The shrine came out of use before the city had been destroyed by the Assyrian King Sennacherib in 701 BCE, and had been desacralised by chopping away the horns of the altars and by placing a toilet seat in the Holy of Holies. Various interpretations have been proposed for this gate shrine and its desacralisation. Here I contribute to our understanding of the biography of this important structure, by reas-sessing the evidence for the last phase of its use and pointing to a neglected field observation: the distribution of plaster on Wall 120.

Original languageAmerican English
Pages (from-to)31-44
Number of pages14
StatePublished - 2020

Bibliographical note

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  • Altar
  • Cultic reform
  • Desacralisation
  • Gate shrine
  • Lachish
  • Toilet seat


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