Lachish: "letter room"

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One of the rooms of the level II gateway. In this room 21 ostraca were found, these were written during the last weeks before the Babylonians captured Lachish. Although many are difficult to decipher, and most seem concerned with charges that the writer, Hoshayahu, has read confidential royal correspondence, they tell the story of that invasion and give numerous details that help us to fill in the biblical accounts of Judah's last days in Kings, Chronicles and Jeremiah.

For example Letter IV ends, ‘we are watching for the signals of Lachish, according to all the indications which my lord has given, for we cannot see Azekah’ Jeremiah 34:7 says that Azekah, Lachish and Jerusalem were the last fortified cities left in Judah. Letter III mentions a (sadly unnamed) prophet - attesting to the importance of prophets to the civil life of pre-exilic Judah - and a mission to Egypt by the commander (possibly in an attempt to get military support against Babylon).