Lahav Research Project
Excavations at Tell Halif, Israel
Since 1983 the Cobb Institute has been the major sponsor of the Lahav Research Project (LRP) and its program
of archaeological and related investigations at Tell Halif in southern Israel (See map). The project has
continued through four phases (I-IV) embracing twelve seasons of field excavation and regional survey work. These
revealed nineteen separate occupation phases at the site (See strata chart).
These include major settlements
from the Early Bronze Age (3200-2300 B.C.) and from the Israelite period
of the Iron II period (900-700 B.C.) as well as significant
finds from the Chalcolithic era (3500-3200 B.C.) and from the Late
Bronze Age (1550-1200 B.C.) when the site largely was under
Egyptian influence. Traces also exist of Persian and Hellenistic period
occupation (500-100 B.C.). Major settlement resumed again
in the Late Roman and Byzantine eras (100-600 A.D.) when the region was
the scene of Jewish and Christian resettlement after the
Roman destruction of Jerusalem. During the nineteenth and early
twentieth centuries A.D., the site was the occupied seasonally by
Bedouin groups and fellahin from neighboring villages. Kibbutz Lahav
was established on the eastern flank of the tell in 1952. Detailed
excavation reports from each season have been filed with the Israel
Antiquities Authority and with ASOR’s Committee of Archaeological
Policy. In addition, numerous preliminary reports and interpretive
studies on the LRP’s work have appeared in the Israel Exploration
Journal, Revue Biblique, the Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research, and elsewhere (See LRP
Publications). (For additional detailed results of the Project’s work, see below.)
The LRP was organized by Joe D. Seger in 1974; Phase I of its work was
conducted between 1976 and 1980 with sponsorship
by the University of Nebraska at Omaha. Phases II (1983-1989) and III
(1992-1999) were conducted under Cobb Institute auspices.
Phase IV was initiated in 2007 under Emory University sponsorship.
During all field seasons, efforts have also been assisted
by consortia of other American academic institutions and with support in
Israel from the W. F. Albright Institute of Archaeological
Research and the Nelson Glueck School of Biblical Archaeology, both in
Jerusalem, and from the Joe Alon Center for Regional and
Folklore Studies at Kibbutz Lahav. Throughout, the LRP has been
affiliated with the American Schools of Oriental Research as one of
its approved projects. (See Staff list.)
Through all phases, financial support by consortium institutions was supplemented by gifts received as
contributions from staff members, subscribers, and worker participants.
We are sincerely grateful to this large group of individuals for their participation in
and generous support of LRP work. (See Contributors List.)
At the same time, we also recognize that none of the project's work could have been accomplished without the help of
the members of Kibbutz Lahav. With warm encouragement and much material assistance, Lahav's members have provided
a supportive and congenial base for the LRP team's field research through all of the past three decades. The LRP is
indebted to them.
Excavations in Field
I, Tell Halif
A detailed report of excavation on the eastern (Field I) side
of Tell Halif is found here. This report gives details of stratigraphy and finds from the Early Bronze
Stratum XV through Stratum I as found in Field I. Excavation was directed by Dr. Joe D. Seger,
Project Director, Dr. Paul Jacobs (Field Supervisor). The digital presentation was prepared by Dr. Paul Jacobs.
Excavations in Field
IV, Tell Halif
A detailed report of excavation on the western (Field IV) side
of Tell Halif is found here. This report gives details of stratigraphy and finds from the Iron II
Stratum VI and Persian through Byzantine Strata V-II as found in Field IV. Excavation was directed by Dr. Joe D. Seger,
Project Director, Dr. Paul Jacobs (co-Field Supervisor for FIeld IV 1992-93 seasons, Field Supervisor for 1999 season), and Dr. Oded Borowski,
co-Field Supervisor for FIeld IV 1992-93 seasons). The digital presentation was prepared by Dr. Paul Jacobs.
Chert Cores from Tell Halif
Nine chert cores from which Canaanean style blades and tabular scrapers ("fan scrapers") have been struck
were found in Field I at Halif. A few were found on floors of Early Bronze III houses, indicating that
knapping of blades was part of the daily routine.
Figurines from Tell Halif
Some 800 ceramic figurines, the majority belonging to the Persian era and some to the Iron II period of
Judah, were found in excavation of Field IV on the western edge of the tell. In this site they have
been classified by type and described in detail. Each of the figurine fragments is shown in photographs,
many also shown as drawings and QuickTime movies. This digital report on the Halif figurine corpus was
prepared by Nancy Serwint of Arizona State University (descriptions and typology), Paul Jacobs, Cobb
Institute of Archaeology, and Chris Holland, Concept House, Inc.
Figurines from Tell Maresha
Tell Maresha has yielded in excavation some 450 figurines from the Persian, Hellenisitc and Roman periods.
The excavators, Dr. Amos Kloner and Dr Adi Erlich, have made the images of these figurines available for
comparative study. This digital presentation of Maresha figurines was prepared by Dr. Adi Erlich
(descriptions and typology), Paul Jacobs, Chris Holland, and Nancy Jacobs.
The Artifacts of the Pierides - Marfin Laiki Bank Museum
of Larnaca, Cyprus
The Pierides Museum in Larnaca, Cyprus, includes items from the Neolithic to the Mamluk periods of the
history of Cyprus. Some 2000 items in the Pierides collection are presented here. This digital museum
site was prepared by Peter Ashdjian (Director of the Pierides Museum), Chris Holland, Paul Jacobs, and
Iron II Pottery from Field IV, Tell Halif
Refitted and whole pottery found in Field IV at Tell Halif. Many of these vessels were found on living
floors of Iron II pillared houses. The whole forms are useful for excavators who ordinarily deal with sherds.
The site includes 125 examples. Dr. Paul Jacobs constructed these vessels, photographed them, and pepared
the descriptions. Dylan Karges created the drawings.
Halif Site 101 Salvage Excavation, 1985
In the spring of 1985 Paul Jacobs directed a salvage excavation on behalf of the Israel Antiquities Authority. The
three week excavation centered on an area at the foot of Tell Halif and extending into the fields of Kibbutz Lahav.
The salvage work was occasioned by planned construction of housing at Kibbutz Lahav. This digital report
was prepared by Dr. Paul Jacobs.
Affiliated Academic Programs
Department of Anthropology and Middle Eastern Cultures
The Lyon's Bluff Site (22OK520) is a Mississippian mound
and village site located in
Oktibbeha County, Mississippi. Several episodes of
archaeological investigation have been
undertaken at the site by MSU researchers over the past
forty years. Most notable are the
seasons of new excavations conducted at the site as part
of MSU's archaeological field school program in the summers
of 2001 and 2003.
The Lineage Bibliographic Index provides a research tool
for those interested in the application of Darwinian theory in
archaeology. Lineage provides a database of over 200 references pertaining to the work of archaeologists interested in the
utility of Darwinian theory for explaining how and why particular kinds of cultural phenomena came to be.
During the summer of 2005, Cobb Institute researchers S.
Homes Hogue and Jeffrey Alvey were involved in burial recovery at an
unmarked African-American cemetery in Lowndes County,
Mississippi that dates from the late nineteenth century to 1956. The
cemetery was located on the outskirts of the
Weyerhaeuser Pulp and Paper Plant near Columbus,
Mississippi and was discovered when construction aimed at expanding a
portion of the plant disturbed human remains.
From June 7 to July 1, 2004, Cobb Institute researchers
initiated investigations at the Pocahontas Mound A site (22Hi500) in
northeastern Hinds County,
MS. The investigations were necessitated by MDOT plans
to transform the Pocahontas Mound A site into a roadside park. The
Pocahontas site is a Mississippi
Landmark, and is listed on the National Register of
Historic Places. The park, which opened in the spring of 2008, features
an educational center and interpretive trail designed to provide
information to the public
concerning the site’s cultural and historical
A database of freshwater mussel shells recovered from archaeological sites in Mississippi, with descriptions of sites and collection and range maps for fifty species as they existed prior to modern human impacts in the state.