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Lachish (lāˈkĭsh), city, S ancient Palestine, SW of Jerusalem, in present-day Israel. It is mentioned in the Tell el Amarna letters and was one of the Amorite cities allied against the Gibeonites and destroyed by Joshua. Rehoboam fortified it, and Amaziah was murdered there. It was besieged (701 B.C.) by Sennacherib. Later, Micah denounced it. Excavations were begun in 1935; they show that Lachish had been populated since c.3200 B.C. and was a thriving community as early as the 17th cent. B.C. The finds include 21 ostraca, or potsherds, written in ink. They were written (c.589 B.C.) in Hebrew by local commanders to their officers when Lachish was being threatened by the Babylonians under Nebuchadnezzar. The letters are of great linguistic and historic value. Lachish is frequently mentioned in the Bible (Joshua 10; 15.39; 2 Kings 14.19; 18.14, 17; 19.8; 2 Chron. 11.9; Neh. 11.30; Micah 1.13).
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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.
in antiquity, a city in southern Palestine (present-day Tell ed Duweir). Founded in the second millennium B.C., Lachish was an important fortified point on the southern border of the Kingdom of Judah.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.