A Top Find at Lachish

This week I have been seeing lists of top archaeological finds of 2022. I always enjoy these lists each year. This year a find at a site where I have dug is at the top or near the top of some of the lists.

Tel Lachish, Archaeology, Inscription, Semetic Inscription, Canaanite InscriptionI first dug at Lachish in the summer of 2015, so it is always interesting to learn more about what has been found at the site. Just last month a find was announced that is one of the top finds of the year.

Over the years there have been many inscriptions found at Lachish, but this one is the oldest to be found.

Semetic Inscription, Canaanite Inscription, Tel Lachish, Yosi Garfinkel

An early 12th century BCE Canaanite alphabet inscription found at Lachish in 2014. (courtesy of Yossi Garfinkel, Hebrew University)

The picture above is from an article in the The Times of Israel. The article told about the importance of of a 2014 find and how it helps researchers understand the development of the alphabet.

Lachish, Tel Lachish, Late Bronze Canaanite Temple, Archaeology, Inscription

Archaeologists at work excavating the biblical city of Lachish, where an early 12th century BCE Canaanite alphabet inscription was found in 2014. (courtesy of Yossi Garfinkel, Hebrew University)

The picture above was taken several weeks after we were at the dig in 2015, so it was interesting to see how much work had been done after I left. You can see the area where we had dug under the sunshade at the far left of the picture.

I dug at Lachish again in 2016. In 2017 I took a tour of Israel with some friends so did not return to the dig. However, we did stop by Lachish and walk around the site. It was later that year that they found this significant item.

lachish comb, inscription, archaeology, lice, israel

A 17th century BCE inscription in early Canaanite script from Lachish, incised on an ivory lice comb. (Dafna Gazit, Israel Antiquities Authority)

The inscription that was in the news last month was from very near where we were digging before. The inscription is on a comb that was found in 2017. However, the inscription was not discovered until 2021.

The comb is made from ivory and was used as a lice comb. The inscription is in proto-Canaanite and reads “May this tusk root out the lice of the hair and the beard.”

You can find out more at the following link: Times of Israel Article about comb

On a dig in 2018 I enjoyed several long conversation with Dr. Madeleine Mumcuoglu who found the inscription. It was great to see news about her work. She found the inscription while analyzing several combs for lice residue.

Lachish, Inscription, Proto-Canaanite, bslst, white chalkInscriptions were also found at Tel Lachish during previous expeditions. The bowl above has an inscription from an even earlier time than the inscription that was found in 2014.

You can read more about this inscription and others by clicking on the link to my post Ancient Inscriptions.

Lachish Jug, Proto-Canaanite, Script, Lachish, Fosse Temple IIIThis picture of a jug with an inscription was also in my Ancient Inscriptions post. Both the bowl and the jug are on display at the Israel Museum.

It is exciting to read about artifacts that are found near where I was digging, or at a site where I have dug or visited. It is even more exciting when they are significant discoveries that help us understand more about the past.

I look forward to hearing more from Lachish in the future. I know that there are some other finds that have not been widely announced yet that will also help in the understanding of the site.


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1 Response to A Top Find at Lachish

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