In August 2019, the twelfth season of excavations was conducted at Tel Rekhesh (License No. G-76/2019; map ref. 243776/728600). The excavation, undertaken on behalf of Tenri University (Tenri, Japan) and Rikkyo University (Tokyo, Japan) and underwritten by Grant-in-Aid for Scientific Research (Kakenhi; A–Subject No. 17H01640; B–Subject No. 17H04527; 19H01349) and Grant-in-Aid for Young Scientists (B; No. 17K13573) of the Japan Society for the Promotion of Science, was directed by H. Kuwabara (Tenri University), S. Hasegawa (Rikkyo University) and Y. Paz (IAA). The expedition included H. Kansha and H. Hashimoto (area supervision), N. Yamauchi, H. Odagi, H. Tsumoto, T. Yamano, T. Hirakawa, D. Iwasaki, and S. Nimura (surveying and photography), T. Onozuka (registration and find processing), M. Masubuchi (find processing), and Z. Gal (administration).
The 2019 season concentrated on the northwestern part of the lower shelf of the mound, where a GPR survey detected stone structures during the 2016 season (Hasegawa, Kuwabara and Paz 2019; Fig. 1). The goals of the excavation of the lower shelf are among others to identify and characterize the Late Bronze city state (Anaharath mentioned in the Egyptian sources) and to understand the transition from the Late Bronze Age to the early Iron Age at the site, which seems to be the zenith of the settlement history of Tel Rekhesh demonstrated by the results of the previous excavations in Areas C2 and D6 (Tsukimoto et al. 2006; Paz et. al. 2010). This season of excavation revealed at least three stone walls dating to the Iron Age I which may be both of public and of domestic nature.