The impressive Assyrian war ramp

How could the mighty Assyrian army do that? In a few weeks, they transported 3 million rocks. What was the purpose? To penetrate the defense of Judea in 701 B.C. This is how the impressive Assyrian war ramp was built.

The impressive Assyrian war ramp is the largest of its kind in the East.
The impressive Assyrian war ramp is the largest of its kind in the Orient.

Battle referred to in the Bible

The Battle of Lachish is one of the most well-documented battles in ancient history. It is also described in the Bible. Researchers wanted to understand the construction of a siege ramp. It made it possible to capture the city of Lachish in 701 BC.

The research was published in the Oxford Journal of Archaeology. Professor Yosef Garfinkel and Dr. Madeleine Mumcuoglu were in charge. They reviewed biblical texts and stone reliefs depicting Assyrian battle scenes. Photogrammetric analysis was done with drones in the area.

The Assyrians were led by King Sennacherib. They collected three million stones from a quarry near the city. The impressive Assyrian war ramp they built with these materials was decisive. It made it possible to transport battering rams to the city’s defenses. Thus they broke through the city walls and completely destroyed the city.

Drones were used to photograph the archaeological site.
Drones were used to photograph the archaeological zone.

Heavy work

The Assyrian siege slope was made of small rocks. They weighed about 6.5 kilograms (14.3 pounds) each. The Lachish slope is the largest surviving siege ramp in the Near East.

The stones were transported along human chains, passed from man to man by hand. Four human chains working in parallel 24 hours a day. They laid up to 160,000 stones every day. “Hundreds of workers worked day and night carrying stones. Possibly in two shifts of 12 hours each,” Garfinkel said in the statement.

The work probably began about 80 meters from the wall. The workers built progressively higher and pulled the stones downward to advance. When they reached the wall, they knocked it down with heavy battering rams. A heavy and rustic technology, but very efficient.

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