In the history of ancient Mesopotamia, Tello has long been considered as the city of Lagash. But the old name was then assigned to Tell Al Hiba by an American team in the late 20th century. This seems to me far from being sure. I propose another historic hypothesis.
The excavations of Tello, a Mesopotamian site
In the 19th century, the earliest known Sumerian site was that of Tello or Telloh.
According to the archaeological excavations, the site was occupied at the time of Obeid, early 4th millennium, until the 17th century BC. The remains of a ziggurat and a temple dedicated to Nin-girsou were exhumed there.
Some 50,000 cuneiform tablets were found there. Many are not yet deciphered. Despite the number of translated texts, it has long been considered that Tello was the city of Lagash, because this is the name that is most frequently encountered. Girsu and Nin-Girsu are less frequent.
Excavations of Tell Al Hiba and the recent identification as Lagash
From 1968 to 1976, an American archaeologist team of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, directed by Vaughn E. Crawford, undertook archaeological research on the tell Al Hiba. The first six weeks of excavation was conducted by Robert Koldewey in 1887.
This is a low-lying mound, about 2 meters height, with a huge area about 500 hectares, surrounded by water. To access at the site, the archaeologists had to travel half an hour by boat. This description is important because in ancient times, the city was a port with a channel passing through the city. The place was so secure. Various administrative buildings and temples have been found. The most important is the exhumation of a large oval enclosure of 93 m, identified as the Ibgal temple dedicated to the Goddess Inanna. There would be at least one tablet Tello (I have not find it) which certifies that Igbal was built in the city of Lagash. However, few cuneiform tablets were found on the Tell Al Hiba. The identification of Tell Al Hiba at Lagash appears to me uncertain.
In the Levant, the location of Lachish at the site of Tell el Hesy and later to the Tell ed-Duweir
The two tells el Hesy and ed-Duweir are not very far each other in the current country of Israel. After being identified on the tell el Hesy, Lachish is now proposed instead of the tell es Duweir, especially because, during the Iron Age, the finds coincide with the Neo-Assyrian texts, and also with the Bible.
The tell el Hesi was occupied from the Neolithic until the Bronze Age, later, it is the tell-ed Duweir who took over: the archaeological layers show a main occupation since the Iron Age up at the beginning of our era. It is possible that there was a movement of this city in the late second millennium BC.
The excavations at Tell el-Hesy were directed by Petrie and Bliss from 1890 until 1892 for the Palestine Exploration Fund.
The two important discoveries on the Tell el-Hesi are:
firstly a cuneiform tablet in Akkadian (now incorporated among the Amarna letters under the identifier EA333), written by an Egyptian officer named Paapu that evokes Sipti-Bala formally identified as the mayor of Lakisa in other couriers.
secondly a blast furnace dating from 1500 BC. J.-C.
On the tell-ed Duweir, excavations were conducted between 1932 and 1938 by James Leslie Starkey. Other researchers see Lachish at Tell Etun.
In the Neo-Assyrian texts, the city is mentioned with the spelling "Lakitsu". It was the site of a battle of Sennacherib, who recounted the siege on the walls of Nineveh: