תל לכיש (in Hebrew)
Main gate of Lachish
|Location||Southern District, Israel|
|Area||20 ha (49 acres)|
|Events||Siege of Lachish (701 BCE)|
|Excavation dates||1932–1938, 1966, 1968, 1973–1994, 2013-2016|
|Archaeologists||James Leslie Starkey, Olga Tufnell, Yohanan Aharoni, David Ussishkin, Yosef Garfinkel|
Tel Lachish (Hebrew: תל לכיש; Greek: Λαχις; Latin: Tel Lachis), is the site of an ancient Near East city, now an archaeological site and an Israeli national park. Lachish is located in the Shephelah region of Israel between Mount Hebron and the Mediterranean coast. It is first mentioned in the Amarna letters as Lakisha-Lakiša (EA 287, 288, 328, 329, 335). According to the Bible, the Israelites captured and destroyed Lachish for joining the league against the Gibeonites (Joshua 10:31-33). The territory was later assigned to the tribe of Judah (15:39) and became part of the Kingdom of Israel.
Of the cities in ancient Judah, Lachish was second in importance only to Jerusalem. One of the Lachish letters warns of the impending Babylonian destruction. It reads: "Let my lord know that we are watching over the beacon of Lachish, according to the signals which my lord gave, for Azekah is not seen." According to the prophet Jeremiah, Lachish and Azekah were the last two Judean cities to fall before the conquest of Jerusalem (Jer. 34:7). This pottery inscription can be seen at the Israel Museum in Jerusalem.