He was a
British archaeologist James Leslie Starkey...best known for his work at Lachish, where he excavated under the auspices of the Palestine Exploration Fund between 1932 and 1938, when he was robbed and killed on his way to Jerusalem. Starkey was a student of Petrie's and Albright's; and an associate of Olga Tufnell. One of the important discoveries at Lachish made by Starkey and Tufnell were the Lachish ostraca, describing the impending fall of the city.
That Lachish find was the ‘Lachish Letters’ - a series of ostraca with Hebrew script written shortly before the Babylonian conquest of 586/7 BC
In January 1938, at the age of 43, Starkey’s career was tragically cut short. His good relations with the workmen and people from the surrounding villages were well known, so it came as a great shock when he was murdered by a group of Arab militants en route to the opening of the new Palestine Archaeological Museum in Jerusalem. He was buried in the Protestant cemetery on Mount Zion, Jerusalem
Ah, yes. "Militants". I think that term is a bit anachronistic. In the 1930s, they were called "terrorist gangs".
Well, not by the Mandate officialdom:
Starkey was robbed and killed by Arab bandits near Bayt Jibrin on a track leading from Bayt Jibrin to Hebron."Language laundering", I guess. An Arab a "terrorist"? My gosh, no.
But so you shouldn't leave disappointed, here are some pictures of the Tel of Lachish just before the excavations (thanks to Ben R.) and you'll notice how densely populated the countryside is and how built up it is. Naw, just kidding. This was empty "Palestine".