It has always been my opinion that the finest proof of the conventionally accepted chronology of the Ancient Near East has been stratigraphy. Palestine, being the best-excavated, published, and discussed of all lands there, is by far the best place for stratigraphy to be used to prove a point.

Here, I shall demonstrate the Neo-Assyrians were not the Persians (man, I told you someone will believe my proposed duplication of American presidents):


Lachish III was destroyed by Sennacherib (Sennacherib’s Nineveh relief and 2 Kings 18:17, 19:8).

Lachish II was destroyed by Nebuchadnezzar (Lachish letters and Jeremiah 34:7).

Lachish I was established in the late Persian period (though some settlement existed before that) and survived until the conquest of Idumea by the Hasmoneans (Nehemiah 11:30).

Q. E. D.

I could also cite the more devastating Argument From Greek Pottery.

But, seriously folks, is there any archaeological reason to support the idea the Neo-Assyrians were the Persians?

Let us hear the testimony of Xenophon, who tells us the tale of the ruin of Nineveh, and describes the ruins of Calah, showing these cities were long destroyed in his time.

Also, we do not need to find a Persian stratum at Babylon; the Chaldean buildings there were already good enough to last a few more centuries, and we must also remember that they were cleaned out routinely. Also, it must be pointed out that, like the Chaldeans did to Assyria, the Persians did to Chaldea, encouraging agriculture rather than urbanism, and it is obvious that, especially in a place like Iraq, rural farmsteads might not be detected as they might be in Israel.

Thus, I can find no evidence the Neo-Assyrians and the early Persians were the same.