BAR 14:05, Sep/Oct 1988
Experiments at Tell Halif (Lahav)
In order to test the hypothesis that pits had been used for grain storage, the authors conducted experiments at Tell Halif (Lahav), about 12 miles north of Beer-Sheva. There they dug a series of test pits, similar in every respect, except size, to those made by the Israelites. As in the drawings, test pits included the bell-shape style and the two varieties of the cylindrical style; some were lined with ash or rocks and others were left unlined.
An empty cylindrical pit, with stones and measuring about feet wide by 3 feet deep, appears above left. The pits were then filled with grain to about ¾ capacity (above right), sealed with clay and covered with rocks. An inserted thermometer monitored the temperature of the grain, a means of detecting decay caused by bacterial action.