My stint in Israel always has the added bonus that we work in some visits to sites throughout the country; this year was really good in that we hit a couple of places I haven’t been too for several years and we even hit a new site for me!
Our first stop on our journey south was Tel Lachish, they were sieged upon by a lot of people (they really had a rough go of things since they were on a major trade route), one of which was Sennacherib in 701 BCE, he depicted the battle on some beautiful alabaster slabs you can see at the British Museum (or the replicas at the Israeli Museum).
The siege ramp is pretty impressive and they have a well-preserved multi-chamber gate, not that it really helped save them…
Next it was onwards to Be’er Sheva, they have an excellent 4-horned alter, which is great if you’re looking to sacrifice someone; it was originally destroyed by Sennacherib too though – such an angry guy.
It was the first planned city laid on a grid, and they have a mighty impressive cistern carved beneath the city which provides a delightful reprieve from the oppressive sunshine.