Lachish: Assyrian siege ramp

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Looking at the mound of Tel Lachish from the car park one can see the Assyrian siege-ramp.

Whilst most of the tel is made difficult to approach by the wadi, at this south-west corner it is linked by a saddle to a nearby hill. This hill probably served as the Assyrian base.

The ramp was 50-60m long and all of 70-75m wide, it is the oldest known siege-ramp. and is estimated to have contained between 10 and 20,000 tons of material.

The defenders constructed a counter-ramp behind the wall opposite the Assyrian ramp, thus effectively raising the walls by about 3m at this point.

Excavators found quantities of military equipment at the base of the city walls. Among these some 850 iron arrowheads (as well as bone carved arrowheads) indicate the intensity of the fighting. 12 large stones with holes through them each weighing 100–200 kg, two had remains of burnt ropes in their holes. These stones were probably dropped or swung in an attempt to destroy or overturn the Assyrian siege engines.