David Ussishkin’s excavation of Lachish clarified the previously muddled stratigraphic picture of Judahite sites in the last 150 years before the destruction of Jerusalem in 586 B.C.E., showing that all the lmlk jar handles derive from the time of Hezekiah. The exact function of these royal stamps, of which more than 1,200 on handles or whole vessels are now known, is still disputed; but it is clear that they had some kind of national administrative purpose, most probably having to do with preparations for Sennacherib’s 701 B.C.E. invasion. All of the lmlk inscriptions were made before that invasion, and there is compelling evidence to suggest that they had a central place of manufacture.