James Leslie Starkey (3 January 1895 – 10 January 1938) was a noted Britisharchaeologist of the ancient Near East and Palestine in the period before the Second World War. The chief excavator of the first archaeological expedition to the important site of Lachish (Tell ed-Duweir) from 1932, Starkey was robbed and killed near Bayt Jibrin on a track leading from Bayt Jibrin to Hebron.Issa Battat, a rebel commander from the ad-Dhahiriya area who led a rebel unit during the 1936–1939 Arab revolt in Palestine against the British, was held responsible by the British authorities for Starkey's killing. Battat was later killed in an ambush by British forces in May 1938. On the other hand, Yosef Garfinkel has suggested that the murder of Starkey had more to do with a dispute between the archaeologists, the government, and the Arab owners of the Lachish site. No agreement had been reached for access to the top of the mound and the government was in the process of compulsorily expropriating it.
^UN Archives[permanent dead link] REPORT by His Majesty's Government in the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland to the Council of the League of Nations on the Administration of Palestine and Trans-Jordan for the year 1938