Places in “Daughter of Lachish”

Sometimes people ask whether the places I described in the novel “Daughter of Lachish” are real. Yes, they are! The archaeological evidence is not always unequivocal and I added a lot of imagination to make them what they are in the novel, but they are based on real places, and often real archaeological finds.
Here is a Google map showing the loation of the most important places.

They are
Lachish: Tell ed-Duweir or Tel Lachish. It is by now generally accepted that this tell represents the ancient city of Lachish. Level III was very likely the city destroyed by the Assyrian king Sennacherib.

Shechar: This is totally fictional village located on the slopes of the Nahal Lachish, opposite the modern moshav Amazya. Sherds from the Iron Age have been found in the vicinity and a village could have stood at this place, but no detailed excavations have been conducted.

Cave of Amnon: This is the Jerusalem Cave near Khirbet Beit Lei (Horva Loya). There are debates whether the inscriptions inside the cave came from the 8th century BCE or later. I may be wrong in attributing them to the late 8th century BCE, but some similar situation probably called for their incision.

Mareshah: This is the Tell Sandahanna of Arabic times and the Marissa of the Greek period. It is a prominent tell with impressive cistern systems. It is located just south of the modern kibbutz Beit Guvrin, near the prominent ruins of Roman, Roman-Byzantine and crusader times.

Libnah: When I wrote the book, I was not sure whether Tell Zeitah or Tel Burna were better contenders for the location of the city of Libnah. After having excavated at Tel Burna and reading the different arguments, I now believe that the ancient city of Libnah was more likely located at Tel Burna.

Moresheth-Gath: The town of Micah has been identified with Tel Goded (Tell ej-Judeideh), a prominent tell site north-east of Beit-Guvrin. It has a large well at the bottom of the tell and a cave system from Maccabean times. On the tell itself only few layers were found, but apparently only one layer belonging to the Iron Age. The tell was excavated early in the 20th century, so the records are quite sketchy. However, so far it seems that the town was not rebuilt after the destruction.

New Moresheth-Gath: I therefore place the new village just north of the town on a plateau across the saddle. A village stood here during Arab times and I have found Byzantine and Iron Age pottery on the site. But I have never heard of anyone finding good evidence of a settlement during the late Iron Age. I don’t think the area has been excavated or well researched. It is possible that a short-lived settlement stood at this place during the late Iron Age.

The cities of Hebron and Jerusalem are also shown on the map.

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