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Archæological Excavations at Tell Duweir, 1936–37

    Naturevolume 140pages99100 (1937) | Download Citation



    AN exhibition of antiquities from Tell Duweir, the ancient Lachish, in Palestine, opened at the Wellcome Research Institution, Euston Road, London, N.W.I, on July 12. These antiquities, with an extensive series of photographs of the site and of the work of excavation in progress, represent the results obtained by the Wellcome-Marston Archæological Research Expedition to the Near East in the season 1936–37. The excavations were again under the direction of Mr. J. L. Starkey. The operations of the season were directed mainly to the investigation of three areas—the north-east corner of the mound on ground rising from the valley to the level of the moat of the Hyksos period ; the great rock-cut excavation of shaft discovered in 1935, now ascertained to measure eighty-five feet long by seventy feet broad, with a depth of ninety feet ; and the area lying behind the south-west gate, with the rising ground to the east reaching up to the walls of the Jewish palace. In the last-named area, water-borne deposits on the ancient roadway as it descends sharply on approaching the threshold of the inner gate, which had been due to the blocking of the drainage by the fall of the gateway before assault and conflagration, afforded the first tangible archseo-logical evidence differentiating the two Babylonian attacks of 597 B.C. and 588 B.C., hitherto not clearly to be distinguished. Tunnels cut in the contents of the great shaft—water-borne deposits, overlying the stones of the collapsed walls of the Jewish city—have as yet afforded no evidence of exits or means of access, nor can the purpose of the shaft yet be determined. Work on this rock-cut shaft, it can be seen, was still incomplete, when it was abandoned, possibly as a result of frontier troubles before the fall of the Jewish kingdom.

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