History of Excavations

History of Excavations

Excavations at the mound have been conducted in four phases starting in 1976 by the Lahav Research Project (LRP).   The objectives of Phase I, under the direction of Joe D. Seger (Cobb Institute of Archaeology/Mississippi State University), were to establish the stratigraphy (order of occupational layers) of the site; these were carried out in four seasons (1976-77, 1979-80).  Phase II (1983, 1986-87, 1989),  also under the direction of Joe D. Seger, was devoted mostly to the study of the remains from the Early and Late Bronze Ages.  Phase III (1992-93, 1999), under the co-direction of Paul F. Jacobs (Cobb Institute of Archaeology/Mississippi State University) and Oded Borowski (Emory University), concentrated on the remains from the Iron Age II (8th century BCE).   Phase IV (2007-09; 2014–present), under the direction of Oded Borowski, continues to explore the remains from the 8th century BCE town to further understand the nature of daily life in that period.

Excavations were carried out in Field I located on the eastern slope; Field II – on the summit; Field III – on the northwestern end of the tell; Field IV – on the southwestern edge of the tell; Field V – south of and adjacent to Field IV; and at various locations off the mound such as the Eastern Terrace and the Iron Age II cemetery southwest of the tell.  (Fig. 1)


Fig. 1. Map of the site.

A regional survey was conducted to supplement the occupational and economic history of the site.  Excavation results yielded remains of nineteen strata some of which are divided into sub-strata and local phases of settlement.  In general, the site was first settled in the Chalcolithic period (3500-3200 BCE) and has been occupied with some gaps to this day. (Fig. 2)

Fig. 2

Fig. 2. View of Tell Halif from the North



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