History of the Old City of Lod

Prehistoric Periods
6,000-3,500 BCE

The first inhabitants of Lod reached the area about 8,000 years ago, during the Neolithic Period. Due to the important archaeological discoveries found in the city, the “Lodian Culture” is well known.

Bronze and Iron Ages
3,500-586 BCE

Early Bronze Age discoveries found in archaeological excavations conducted in Lod include typical Egyptian pottery, testifying to connections between Lod and Egypt.

Persian and Hellenistic Periods
586-37 BCE

Lod became an important Jewish center during the Persian period. During the Hellenistic period, which partially corresponds to the Hasmonean period, the Seleucid King Demetrius I, who ruled between 161-150 BCE, suggested moving Lod from the control of Samaria to the Judea district due to its Jewish majority.

The Roman and Byzantine Periods
37 BCE-640 CE

The crowning glory of findings from the Roman Period is the most impressive mosaic floor ever found in Israel and one of the most impressive worldwide

Early Islamic period and the Crusader period

The Moslem rulers designated Lod as the civil capital of "Jund Palestine" (The Palestinian district).

The Mamluk Period

During the 13th century the Mamluks captured Lod. They constructed the El-Omari Mosque and the Jindas Bridge, one of the most Impressive ancient bridges in Israel. 

The Ottoman period

During the Ottoman period Lod became a central town in the Ayalon stream area, and an important center for the olive and oil industry.

The British Mandate

During the Mandate Period, Lod was chosen as the location for the central train station between Cairo in the South, and Damascus in the north, as well as the International air terminal, named Lod Airport,

Bronze and Iron Ages

3,500-586 BCE
Egyptian Elements and Influence on the Early Bronze Age I of the Southern Levant. Recent excavations, Research and Publications [article] sem-linkEdwin C. M. van den Brink sem-linkElliot Braun Archéo-Nil Année 2003 13 pp. 77-91

During the Early Bronze Age, the settlement of Lod grew to the size of 10 hectares, and was inhabited by over 2,000 people. Early Bronze Age discoveries found in archaeological excavations conducted in Lod include typical Egyptian ceramics, Egyptian “baking trays” and pottery vessels inscribed with Egyptian king names. This testifies to connections between Lod and the southern empire of Egypt. Egyptian representatives may have lived in Lod or traded with the local population.

At the end of the Early Bronze Age, which was considered as the first urban period in the land of Canaan, most of the large settlements were abandoned by the population to become pastoral nomads who based their economy on goat and sheep herding. However, the settlement of Lod did not diminish but shrunk down to the size of about 2.5 hectare with a population of 600. During the following period, the Middle Bronze Age, the settlement grew and reached a size of 4 hectares and 1,000 inhabitants.

The Late Bronze Age (1,550 – 1,150 BCE) was a turbulent period in the Ancient Near East. The land of Canaan was located between two large empires of the period – the Hittites (now contemporary Turkey), and the Egyptians, who ruled Canaan after a war campaign led by the Egyptian Pharaoh Thutmose III. Thutmose passed through Lod on his way to battle against the northern city-states alliance of Megiddo and Kedesh. The appearance of Lod in Egyptian records show that even then it was an important location on the famous coastal plain road connecting Egypt, Syria and Turkey.

Research conducted by the Israeli Institute of Archaeology shows that the settlement of Lod changed its position during the Late Bronze Age. This shift in location may have been caused by destruction that befell the city during the dramatic events of the period.

During the Iron Age, also known as the First Temple period (1,200-586 BCE), Lod was still a relatively small settlement.

(Relief of the Temple of Thutmose III Smiting his Enemies (Karnak
Lod During the Intermediate Bronze Age
Lod during the Early Bronze Age
Lod During the Late Bronze Age
Lod During the Middle Bronze Age
IA Pottery from Yannai 2015
Egyotianized Bread Molds from Van Den Brink et al 2015
LBA pottery from Yannai 2015