Erich Lessing

Scaling ladders served as a precarious, but useful, means for getting close to the enemy, as seen in these reliefs. In addition to an assault by ladder, this slab from Ashurbanipal’s palace at Nineveh—which depicts the capture of an Egyptian city either in his first Egyptian campaign (667 B.C.), or in his second campaign to Egypt (c. 666–663 B.C.)—also illustrates the undermining of a wall. Two soldiers kneeling on the ground—one protected by a large body-shield with its typical curving tip, at left—work to break stones out of the wall.