Lachish reliefs: propaganda as a historical source
story by Merijn Schulte
In 701 BCE King Hezekiah of Judah revolted with other Levantine rulers against Assyria. King Sennacherib of Assyria responded with swift military action. One of the most important events of his campaign was the siege of Lachish. This siege is known from the Bible, archaeology and the reliefs from Nineveh. The reliefs were put up by Sennacherib as propaganda to display his might. Today it is not just a work of art, but also a historical document which, together with other sources, helps us reconstruct the siege at Lachish and witness the sheer brutality with which the Assyrian army operated. It also confirms an account from the Bible.