Lachish Letter II


Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin
published on 08 September 2017
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This is Lachish Letter II, a pottery ostracon with Hebrew inscription. This ostracon is probably a fragment of a wheel-made storage jar.

The so-called "Lachish Letters" are documents consisting of potsherds inscribed in black ink (known as ostraca) which date to the very end of the southern kingdom, when the Babylonians under Nebuchadnezzar II had invaded Judah and were laying siege to Jerusalem. According to Jeremiah, apart from Jerusalem, Azekah, about 18 miles southwest of Jerusalem, and Lachish, 18 miles further on, remained in Judaean hands as the invasion progressed.

The letters were sent from outposts of Lachish to the city's military commander, a man named Ya'osh, and represent field reports monitoring the situation. A total of 21 letters were found, some of them were extremely fragmentary. They were recovered from the ruins of the main city's gate, which was destroyed in 685 BCE.

Iron Age, 6th century BCE. From Lachish, modern-day Israel. (The British Museum, London)

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About the Author

Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin
Associate Professor of Neurology and lover of the Cradle of Civilization, Mesopotamia. I'm very interested in Mesopotamian history and always try to take photos of archaeological sites and artifacts in museums, both in Iraq and around the world.

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APA Style

Amin, O. S. M. (2017, September 08). Lachish Letter II. World History Encyclopedia. Retrieved from

Chicago Style

Amin, Osama Shukir Muhammed. "Lachish Letter II." World History Encyclopedia. Last modified September 08, 2017.

MLA Style

Amin, Osama Shukir Muhammed. "Lachish Letter II." World History Encyclopedia. World History Encyclopedia, 08 Sep 2017. Web. 13 Jun 2024.