Khirbet Summeily is located about 22 kilometers east of Gaza and about 4 kilometers west of Tell el-Hesi, on the ancient road connecting Gaza with Hebron. To the east is the heartland of Judah and to the west is the heartland of Philistia. Summeily lies in the borderland, a small site only slightly larger than one acre.
The major reason for excavating Summeily was to understand the nature and function of a small, rural Iron Age site in a border region. Neighboring Tell el-Hesi had been extensively excavated, first by Sir Flinders Petrie and Frederick Jones Bliss