The British Museum‘s exhibits can delight a layperson, a history buff and a museum junkie at the same time. One of its more impressive exhibits is a set of stone panels known as the Lachish Reliefs. In its original form, the Lachish Reliefs (700-692 BC) would have been vividly painted. But the soft sepia tones that the frieze has acquired today (and enhanced by the lighting in the room) makes the viewer feel that is watching a documentary, albeit one etched in stone.
Lachish (present day Tell ed-Duweir) is about 40 km south-west of Jerusalem. In 700 BC, Lachish was a heavily fortified hill town in the Kingdom of Judah and was strategically located on an ancient trade route that linked Mesopotamia to the Mediterranean and the riches of Egypt. At the end of the 8th century BC, Hezekiah, the King of Judah, rebelled against the Assyrians, who had built an empire that stretched from Iran in the East to Egypt in the West, and who controlled the region. Naturally, this rebellion did not go down very well with the Assyrians, whose King Sennacharib led and won a campaign against Lachsih.