Erich Lessing

Defending the Judahite town of Lachish, soldiers fling lighted torches and debris on attacking Assyrians, in this relief from the palace of the Assyrian king Sennacherib (704–681 B.C.E.) in Nineveh. The square mound on top of the tell in the aerial photo is the eighth-century B.C.E. palace at Lachish.

In besieging Lachish, the Assyrians constructed a huge fan-shaped ramp—225-feet-wide at its base—large enough to accommodate five four-wheeled battering rams. This ramp was built to the right of the rectangular structure (the ancient city gate) just below the left central edge of the mound. In excavating the ramp, archaeologists found more than 13,000 tons of stone and mortar.