© Universidad de Salamanca. The aim of this paper is to analyse the history and meaning of the archaeological mission in Khirbet Arair-1964, led by Emilio Olávarri. That mission is a landmark in the history of Spanish archaeology, since it was the first excavation of a non-prehistoric settlement in Syria-Palestine. Then, it must be considered as the foundational work of Biblical Archaeology in Spain. This paper is based on the study of four unpublished reports written by the archaeologists of the Casa de Santiago and kept in the Archivo General de la Administración (aga, Alcalá de Henares). Data held in these reports, alongside recent contributions, enable us to undertake a complete reconstruction and analysis of such episode. Thus, this analysis allows us to clearly appreciate the difficult development of Ancient Orientalism in Spain, pointing out who were the key figures and institutions in the starting of Spanish Biblical archaeology as well as the political and economic circumstances that conditioned it.