Carl Andrews, Leon Levy Expedition

Images of destruction. Ashkelon’s excavators found evidence of Babylonian devastation throughout the city: smashed pottery, charcoal, vitrified brick, charred wheat, collapsed roofs and debris.

After razing Ashkelon, Nebuchadrezzar destroyed Ekron and later battled with the Egyptians over Gaza. He then retired to Babylon in 601/600 B.C.E. A year later his troops returned to the Levant, conquering a number of Judahite cities and besieging Jerusalem. In 586 B.C.E., Jerusalem’s defenses collapsed and the city, with its Temple, was completely destroyed. Many of the Jews, like the Philistines before them, were led into Exile.