BAR 37:04, Jul/Aug 2011
Archaeological Views: Uncovering the Secrets of the Dead
In 604 B.C.E. Nebuchadnezzar II destroyed ancient Ashkelon, leaving the town in ruins. In 1992 archaeological excavations carried out by Lawrence E. Stager, director of the Leon Levy Expedition to Ashkelon, discovered grim evidence of this event.a On the floor of a shop burned and ruined during the destruction was a badly crushed human skeleton. It was sprawled on its back with limbs splayed, indicative of sudden death.
Who was this person abandoned in the debris? One of the invaders or one of the victims? What kind of life did this person lead, and what was the cause of death? The bones hold the answers to many of these questions.