David Ussishkin is Professor Emeritus of Archaeology at Tel Aviv University in Israel. Born in Jerusalem in 1935, Dr. Ussishkin studied archaeology at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, earning his Ph.D. in 1965. His thesis was on Neo-Hittite sculptures in Anatolia. He then joined Tel Aviv University where he taught Biblical archaeology and ancient Anatolian art until his retirement in 2004. He has directed excavations at many sites in Israel, including a survey of the Judean monumental necropolis in Silwan, Jerusalem (1968–1971), Biblical Lachish (1973–1993), Betar, the last fort of the Second Jewish revolt against the Romans (1984), Biblical Jezreel (1990–1995, with John Woodhead as co-director). Since 1992, he has been co-directing (with Israel Finkelstein) extensive excavations in Biblical Megiddo. He has written extensively on these excavations as well as on a variety of subjects.
Bible & Archaeology Fest XV, November 16 – 18, 2012
Sennacherib’s Campaign to Judah: Lachish and Jerusalem
In 701 B.C.E Sennacherib, the king of Assyria, invaded Judah and brought to an end the revolt against Assyria led by Hezekiah, the king of Judah. Sennacherib turned first to Lachish, conquered and destroyed it, and from there he sent an expeditionary force to Jerusalem. Jerusalem was not attacked, and Hezekiah surrendered and became an Assyrian vassal. The events at Lachish and Jerusalem are recorded in several sources: the Biblical text, the Assyrian records, ample archaeological evidence as well as the detailed Assyrian stone reliefs depicting the conquest of Lachish. These sources combine to present us with a unique picture of a watershed event in the history of Judah, and possibly shed light on why Lachish and Jerusalem were treated by the Assyrians in a different manner than other cities in the region.
Bible & Archaeology Fest XIII, November 19 – 21, 2010
Sennacherib’s Attack on Lachish: What We Have Learned from Archaeology
In 701 B.C.E. Sennacherib, the king of Assyria, invaded Judah in order to suppress the revolt led by Judah’s king, Hezekiah. The story of the campaign is recounted in detail in the Assyrian records as well as in the Old Testament. Upon invading Judah, Sennacherib first turned to Lachish, the main Judean fortress city. According to the accounts, he laid siege to it, forced its walls, burnt and destroyed the city and deported all the inhabitants. The remains of the city and the siege it endured have been revealed following extensive excavations at the site. The story that these excavations tell us is complemented by a detailed stone relief describing the victory at Lachish, which was erected by Sennacherib in his palace in Nineveh in Assyria. All these sources combined present a unique picture of this Biblical city and its conquest, which will be detailed in this presentation.