For reasons still unknown, 3,800 years ago a monumental arched mudbrick gateway to the city of Laish was buried—which explains why it was preserved. Laish is a city in Northern Israel later conquered by the tribe of Dan and renamed for the tribe. John Laughlin, a member of the excavation staff at Tel Dan and author of “The Remarkable Discoveries at Tel Dan,” recounts the dramatic discovery of the intact 20-foot-high towers and mudbrick arch.
Dr. Laughlin, a native of North Carolina, teaches religion and archaeology at Averett College, in Danville, Virginia. Dr. Laughlin has dug for three seasons at Tel Dan under the direction of Avraham Biran. This past summer Laughlin was field supervisor at the Capernaum excavations. A gardener, antique furniture restorer and traveller, Laughlin also jogs, an activity he defines as “more a pain than a hobby!”