The siege ramp at Lachish

One of the visible indications of Sennacherib’s attack on Lachish is the large siege ramp at the south-western corner of the mound. Masses of stones had been piled against the steep sides of the tell to create an even approach to the city walls. The ramp was covered with a layer of plaster. This allowed the Assyrians to bring siege machines against Lachish and batter the city walls. In their determination the defenders of Lachish built a counter-ramp inside the city. In response the Assyrians heightened the siege ramp. They succeeded in breaching the wall. The siege machines had done their job.

The siege ramp is still visible today. J.L. Starkey exavated par to the lower siege ramp. Above the jumble of stones he found the plaster layer. Ussishkin excavated near the top of the siege ramp and came across many of the weapons used by attackers and defenders alike: the arrows and sling stones; the chains and stone pendulum to damage the siege machines. Lachish is an example of siege warfare of those times. It is a monument to the determination of both sides in this war.

This entry was posted in Archaeology, excavations, Judah, Lachish. Bookmark the permalink.

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