Stone panels from the South-West Palace of Sennacherib (Room 36, nos. 8-10)
Nineveh, northern Iraq
Neo-Assyrian, about 700-681 BC
The siege and capture of the city of Lachish in 701 BC
These alabaster panels were part of a series which decorated the walls of a room in the palace of King Sennacherib (reigned 704-681 BC). The story continues from the previous panel of the relief (no. 7).
The Assyrian soldiers continue the attack on Lachish. They carry away a throne, a chariot and other goods from the palace of the governor of the city. In front and below them some of the people of Lachish, carrying what goods they can salvage, move through a rocky landscape studded with vines, fig and perhaps olive trees. Though exiled, some of the prisoners are treated relatively well, and will probably have been resettled elsewhere in the empire though they may have been put to work on agricultural and building projects. Sennacherib records that as a result of the whole campaign in 701 BC he deported 200,150 people. This was standard Assyrian policy, and was adopted by the Babylonians, the next ruling empire. Perhaps the most famous deportation was the exile of the people of Judah under the Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar in 586 BC. One of the outcomes of these movements of thousands of people around the Near East was that the region was united through the Aramaic language. As a result, new ideas moved between east and west.
The story continues on the next panel of the relief (no. 10).
The upper part of the reliefs were damaged in 612 BC when the palace was destroyed by the invading Median and Babylonian armies.
J.M. Russell, Sennacheribs palace without ri (University of Chicago Press, 1991)
J.E. Reade, Assyrian sculpture-1 (London, The British Museum Press, 1998)
T.C. Mitchell, The Bible in the British Museu (London, The British Museum Press, 1988)
Length: 182.880 cm
Width: 193.040 cm
Length: 182.880 cm
ME 124907;ME 124908
The palace was excavated by A.H. Layard (1846-51) and by many later archaeologists