Courtesy Israel Department of Antiquities and Museums

The annals of Sennacherib, preserved in a dense pattern of Assyrian cuneiform characters on this 15-inch-high prism, include the king’s arrogant account of his destruction of Judah. “Forty-six of [Hezekiah’s] strong walled towns and innumerable smaller villages … I besieged and conquered…. I made to come out from them 200,150 people, young and old, male and female, … and counted them as the spoils of war…. As for Hezekiah, the awful splendor of my lordship overwhelmed him, … and all kinds of valuable treasures, as well as his daughters, concubines, male and female musicians he sent me later to Nineveh, my lordly city. He sent a personal messenger to deliver the tribute and make a slavish obeisance.”