Michal Roche-Ben Ami

Mute testimony to an ancient tragedy. A volunteer uncovers the skeletal remains of a six- to eight-month-old baby found in the destruction debris of the monumental public building from Level VI. Study of the bones revealed that the infant died after falling or being thrown on the ground. The author conjectures that this building may have become the last refuge for Lachishites from the surrounding countryside during the final days of Canaanite Lachish.

The Bible records that “The Lord delivered Lachish into the hands of Israel … on the second day and put it and all the people in it to the sword” (Joshua 10:31–32). We lack conclusive evidence of the identity of the enemy who destroyed Late Bronze Age Lachish, but this and other skeletal remains, hinting at the ferocity and suddenness of the catastrophe that destroyed the city, are consistent with Biblical accounts.