© 1982 Erich Lessing/Culture and Fine Arts Archives

Sennacherib’s conquest of Lachish, immortalized in a relief that adorned his palace at Nineveh, in Assyria. One of twelve slabs, this scene freezes for posterity a moment from the raging battle at Lachish that gave Sennacherib his most-prized victory from the campaign against Judah in 701 B.C. A battering ram on wheels, lower left, ascends a siege ramp to assault what is probably the massive, left-hand tower of the city’s outer gate (see tower in center of reconstruction). Concealed within the ram, an Assyrian soldier aims an arrow, while a soldier beside him pours water over the ram to protect it from the rain of torches (the oblong objects) thrown down by the defenders. The relief also dramatically juxtaposes the outcome of the battle, as it depicts the defeated Lachishites, lower right, marching away to exile.

This tower and other parts of Judean Lachish are rising anew as the result of restoration work supported in part by BAR’s Archaeological Preservation Fund.