Assyria’s kings were committed to more than military conquest. As part of their religious duty, they also constructed massive public buildings.

Sennacherib, for example, built a new palace that he named the Palace Without a Rival. His records indicate that the labor force that built it was composed of deportees from many conquered nations (probably including Israel).

This palace, which was discovered during the late nineteenth century, contained more than seventy halls and chambers, all of them lined with stone panels (called reliefs) that depicted Sennacherib’s accomplishments.

Enormous statues of winged bulls guarded the doors of the hallway that led to the main chamber. Hallway walls were lined with panels commemorating the destruction of the cities of Judah, including the siege of Lachish.

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