Ussishkin explains why he believes the outer, lower wall at Lachish was only a revetment or supporting wall for the glacis, rather than an outer city wall. This subject is discussed in even greater detail in his book (The Conquest of Lachish by Sennacherib [Tel Aviv University Publications of The Institute of Archaeology No. 6, 1982]). I believe that characterizing this as a revetment wall is very inappropriate from the military tactical viewpoint (in contrast to the structural viewpoint). From the many Assyrian reliefs, we know that many fortified cities (particularly those built atop a high tell) each had a lower, forward wall. Its main function was to prevent attackers (and their battering rams) from reaching the main city wall. This is exactly what was found at Lachish. This lower wall served, also, as a revetment. But this lower wall, like the city wall higher up, was no doubt crowned with crenelations and battlements. Thus, for the attackers it mattered not that this lower wall also served a structural function—to support the glacis. The reconstruction published in BAR does not tally with the Assyrian reliefs. Indeed, from other sources we know that the tactical use of a fore-wall continued up to the medieval period. The reconstruction drawings of the battle of Lachish made by Gert le Grange and published in Ussishkin’s book (Figs. 94–95) are definitely more accurate in this respect than the reconstruction published on page 29 of Ussishkin’s book and republished in BAR.
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