Welcome to World Jewish Heritage
Rediscover your heritage like never before
|Location Tel Azekah, Israel|
|City Tel Azekah|
|Open to visitors yes|
|Need appointment no|
|Handicap accessibility no|
|Geographical Coordinates 31.69999,34.93601|
Azekah was a town in the Shephelah guarding the upper reaches of the Valley of Elah, about 26 km (16 mi) northwest of Hebron. It has been identified with biblical Azeka.
History and time period
In the Bible, it is said to be the place where the Amorite kings were defeated by Joshua, and their army destroyed by a hailstorm (Joshua 10:10-11). It was given to the tribe of Judah (Joshua 15:20). In the time of Saul, the Philistines massed their forces between Sokho and Azekah, putting forth Goliath as their champion (1 Samuel 17). Rehoboam fortified the town in his reign, along with Lachish and other strategic sites (2 Chronicles 11:5-10). Lachish and Azekah were the last two towns to fall to the Babylonians before the overthrow of Jerusalem itself (Jeramiah 34:6-7). It was one of the places re-occupied by the people on the return from the Captivity (Nehemia 11:30).
Excavations by the English archaeologists Frederick J. Bliss and R. A. Stewart Macalister in the period 1898-1900 at Tel Azeka revealed water systems, hideout caves used during Bar Kokhba revolt and other antiquities, such as LMLK seals. The site is located on the grounds of a Jewish National Fund park, Britannia Park. The Lautenschläger Azekah Expedition, part of the regional Elah Valley Project, commenced in summer 2012. It is directed by Prof. Oded Lipschits of the Institute of Archaeology of Tel Aviv University, and is a consortium of over a dozen of universities from Europe, North America, and Australia.