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Colonial Archaeology in Palestine in the 1930s: The First Expedition to Lachish

Yosef Garfinkel


This book presents a biography of the First Expedition to Lachish, one of the most famous archaeological expeditions to the Near East. It was directed by James Lesley Starkey, who was murdered on 10 January 1938 on his way to Jerusalem. Lachish is of outstanding historical and biblical importance and the expedition made unique discoveries, including the Lachish Letters, documents from the time of the prophet Jeremiah. The excavation results were fully published in four large volumes of outstanding quality, thanks to Olga Tufnell. The expedition, which was sponsored by some of the richest people in England, reflects the social order of its time, as well as the local situation in Palestine before and during the Arab revolt.

The book publishes primary historical sources: 68 biweekly reports sent from Palestine to London during the years 1932–1938, and 112 other relevant documents.


Just Published



This volume is dedicated to Hillel Geva as a token of appreciation for his many years of activity at the Israel Exploration Society. Hillel left his mark on the Society's activities in the various positions that he filled, including as director from 2008 to 2022 and as editor of its journal Qadmoniot. While in these roles he engaged in scholarly research on ancient Jerusalem and in particular, the scientific publication of the results of the Jewish Quarter excavations, in which he served as assistant to Prof. Nahman Avigad for many years.

The volume contains 66 articles on a variety of topics.

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