Itamar Weissbein

itamar weissbein

Phd thesis topic: Cultural Changes from a Canaanite City State to an Administrative District in a territorial Kingdom: Lachish Region as a Case Study.

Advisor: Prof. Yosef Garfinkel

Summary: The research examines the processes of collapse, Formation, and continuity of ethnic identities and political systems in a distinct geographical area, over a long period, at both ends of which stand different political and ethnic systems.

As a test case, the study focuses on the Lachish region, from the last part of the Late Bronze Age, throughout the Iron Age I until the establishment of the Kingdom of Judah in the foothills (Shephelah) during the Iron Age IIA. The Lachish region experienced significant changes during the period in question, as it stood between various political systems and ethnic groups: Canaanites, Egyptians, Philistines and Judeans.

The research is based on new data from three excavations conducted in recent years: at Tel Lachish, Gal’on Fortress and Khirbet al-Raʿi. The study includes a comprehensive examination of the stratigraphy, architecture, and ceramic assemblages of main excavation areas in Lachish and Khirbet al-Raʿi and a full study of the Gal’on Fortress. These data will allow a detailed analysis of the processes that took place in the region, as well as an examination of various research conceptions regarding: the nature of the Egyptian control and its withdrawal from Canaan, the beginning of Philistine settlement and the establishment of Philistine rule in the region, the question of the existence of a Canaanite enclaves in the foothills; As well as addressing theoretical issues such as the identification of political and ethnic boundaries in the archaeological record.



  • Excavations at Tel Lachish
  • Excavations at Hurbat el-Arai
  • Publication of the excavation at Gal’on Fortress



Weissbein, I., Garfinkel, Y., Hasel, M.G. and Klingbeil, M.G. 2016. Goddesses from Canaanite Lachish. Strata 34: 41–55.

Weissbein, I. 2017. Revisiting the Isolated Canaanite Temple of Tel Mevorakh. Journal of Landscape Ecology 10/3: 58–80.

Weissbein, I., Garfinkel, Y., Hasel, M. G., Klingbeil, M. G., Brandl. B. and Misgav, H. 2019. The Level VI North-East Temple at Tel Lachish. Levant 51/1:  76-104.

Taxel, I., Paran, N. S. and Weissbein. I. 2020. Tel Poran: Preliminary Report. Hadashot Arkheologiyot 132.  

Weissbein. I. 2020. Tel Gamma, Clay Figurine. Hadashot Arkheologiyot 132.

Ganor, S. and Weissbein, I. 2020. Rujum el-Masha‘ala (Gal’on Fortress). Hadashot Arkheologiyot 132.

Garfinkel, Y., Hasel, M. G., Klingbeil, M. G., Kreimerman, I., Pytlik, M., Carroll, J. C., Waybright, J. W. B., Kang, H. G, Choi, G., Chang, S. Y., Hong, S., David, A., Weissbein, I. and Silverberg, N. 2021. The Canaanite and Judean Cities of Lachish, Israel: Preliminary Report of the Fourth Expedition, 2013–2017. American Journal of Archaeology 125/3: 419-459.

Weissbein, I. 2021. Canaanite Worship at Lachish—New Details Emerge. Biblical Archaeology Review 47/3: 48-54.

Ganor, S. and Weissbein, I. 2022. The Isolated Structure of Gal’on Fortress, and the “Egyptian Governors’ Residencies” and “fortresses” in Southwestern Canaan. In: Golani, A., Varga, D., Tchekhanovets, Y. and Birkenfeld, M (eds.). Archaeological Excavations and Research Studies in Southern Israel: 18th Annual Southern Conference, Pp.1*–21*. Jerusalem: Israel Antiquities Authority, Ben-Gurion University of the Negev.