Archaeomagnetic Dating of the Outer Revetment Wall at Tel Lachish

Yoav Vaknin*, Ron Shaar, Erez Ben-Yosef, Oded Lipschits

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The fortifications of Lachish, a key site in archaeology of the Iron Age Southern Levant, are the focus of ongoing debate. The Outer Revetment Wall, encircling nearly the entire site, was traditionally associated with Levels IV–III and was thought to have been in use during the Assyrian campaign in 701 BCE. It has recently been suggested that it was built a millennium earlier. Here we present archaeomagnetic dating of a mudbrick tower incorporated in this wall, indicating that it was burnt during the Iron Age and was most likely built during this period. Combining archaeological, historical and archaeomagnetic data reveals the intense fire that occurred during the 701 BCE Assyrian siege. This fire could have been set by the people of Lachish, in a desperate attempt to damage the Assyrian siege engines or siege ramp, as depicted in the well-known Lachish relief, or by the Assyrians as part of their siege tactics.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)73-94
Number of pages22
JournalTel Aviv
Issue number1
StatePublished - 2024


FundersFunder number
European Research Council
Horizon 2020 Framework Programme804490
Horizon 2020 Framework Programme


    • Archaeomagnetic dating
    • Mid-Slope Wall
    • Outer Revetment Wall
    • Siege ramp
    • Tel Lachish


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