Tel Halif has gone through significant periods of occupation and abandonment from about 3500 B.C.E. to its present-day incarnation as Kibbutz Lahav. The possibility that the site could be the Biblical city of Rimmon (“pomegranate”) was first raised in the 1960s. Since then excavations have revealed 17 strata of occupation (the nine most recent are shown on the chart below). The site was a well-developed village in the Early Bronze Age I (c. 3000 B.C.E.) with public storage facilities and evidence of significant trading with Egypt. In the Early Bronze Age II (2900–2600 B.C.E.), however, Tel Halif inexplicably became unoccupied, only to be vigorously rebuilt by the Early Bronze Age III (2600 B.C.E.). At around the end of this era, another general destruction occurred, leaving Tel Halif unoccupied until well into the 15th century B.C. Squatters and perhaps workers tending a storage facility occupied the site until Iron Age II (900–700 B.C.E.), when significant growth occurred. These residents rebuilt houses, built walkways with flagstone pavers, constructed towers and erected the outer city wall. Evidence of cooking, weaving, grooming and warfare were abundant during this period, before another significant destruction befell the city in 701 B.C.E., this time at the hands of the Assyrian army led by Sennacherib.

Tel Halif Strata

Stratum Period Date
I Modern Arab 1800–1948 C.E.
II Islamic/Crusader 700–1500 C.E.
III Roman/Byzantine 200–600 C.E.
(Gap) Early Roman 100 B.C.E.–200 C.E.
IV Hellenistic 300–100 B.C.E.
V Persian 500–300 B.C.E.
(Gap) Late Iron Age II/Exilic 650–500 B.C.E.
VIA Iron Age II 700–650 B.C.E.
VIB Iron Age II 900–700 B.C.E.
VII Iron Age I/II 1200–900 B.C.E.
VIII Late Bronze Age II B 1300–1200 B.C.E.
IX Late Bronze Age II A 1400–1300 B.C.E.