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of silk and wool, which were attached to all parts of the harness. The bridle consisted of a headstall, a strap divided into three parts joining the bit, and straps over the forehead, under the cheeks, and behind the ears. We find sacred emblems used as ornaments in the trappings of horses, as on the robes of figures; the winged bull, the sun, moon, stars, and horned cap being frequently introduced. Three richly embroidered straps, passing round the body of the horse, kept the harness and chariot-pole in their places, and were attached to a highly decorated breast-band. To the yoke was suspended an elegant ornament, formed by the head of an animal and a circle, into which was generally introduced a winged bull, a star, or some other sacred device. Embroidered trappings, such as are described by Ezekiel" as the precious clothes for chariots, coming from Dedan, covered the backs of the horses. Their bits, as well as the metal used in the harness, may have been of gold and other precious materials, like those of the ancient Persians.f Their manes were either allowed to fall loosely on the neck or were plaited, and their tails were bound in the centre with ribands adorned with tassels. In the Bible frequent mention is made of the use of chariots and horsemen both in sieges and battles. “The choicest valleys shall be full of chariots, and the horsemen shall set themselves in array against the gate.”f Amongst the tributaries of the Assyrians, the Elamites were celebrated for their chariots carrying archers. § The Jewish kings appear to have granted certain privileges to cities equipping chariots, hence called “chariot cities,” which in the time of Solomon supplied no less than one thousand four hundred chariots and twelve thousand horsemen.| Chariots of iron were used in Palestine from the earliest period, and appear to have been so formidable in war, that the Israelites were long unable to contend with them.T * xxvii. 20. f 1 Esdras, iii. 6. ; Xenophon, Cyrop. lib. i. c. 3.
i Isaiah, xxii. 7. di Isaiah, xxii. 6. | 2 Chron. i. 14.; Isaiah, xxii. Judges, i. 19., and iv. 3.
The three remaining bas-reliefs — the passage of the river were highly interesting and curious. In the first was a boat containing a chariot, in which stood the king. In one hand he held two arrows, in the other a bow. An eunuch, standing in front of the chariot, appeared to point to some object in the distance, perhaps the stronghold of the enemy. Behind the chariot was a second eunuch, holding a bow and mace. The boat was towed by two naked men; four men sat at the oars, and one oar with a broad flat end, attached to a thick wooden pin at the stern, served both for steering and propelling. It is singular that this is precisely the kind of vessel used by the natives of Mosul to this day; and such probably were the Babylonian boats described by Herodotus, constructed of willowboughs and covered with skins. A man, standing in the vessel, held the halters of four horses, swimming over the stream, in which was a naked figure on an inflated skin. This bas-relief, with the exception of the king and the chariot, might represent a scene daily witnessed on the banks of the Tigris, — probably the river here represented. On the next slab were two smaller boats; one carrying the couch of the king and a jar or large vessel; the other an empty chariot : they were impelled by two rowers, seated face to face. Five men, two leading horses by their balters, were swimming on skins.
On the third slab was represented men embarking the chariots and preparing to cross the river. The proceedings were su
perintended by officers, one of whom, an eunuch, held a whip, which was probably used – as in the army of Xerxes — to keep the soldiers to their duty, and prevent them flying from the enemy. *
On the opposite side of the hall, between the entrances, only one slab was discovered in its original position. The upper
compartment was almost completely defaced ; in the lower was represented a battle between Assyrian warriors, in chariots, and
* Herod. lib. vii. ch. 56., in which Xerxes is described as seeing his troops driven by blows over the bridge across the Hellespont; it was also the custom for the officers to carry whips to urge the soldiers to the combat : lib. vii, ch. 223.
the cavalry of the enemy. The conquered people wore high boots, turned up at the toes, and conical caps, probably of felt or linen. One of the horsemen turned back, whilst his horse was at full speed, to discharge an arrow against his pursuers. This mode of fighting is described by ancient authors as peculiar to the Parthian and Persian tribes, and is still practised by the irregular cavalry of Persia.” The Arabs employed in removing the rubbish from the chamber with the kneeling winged figures f, discovered a quantity of iron, in which I soon recognised the scales of the armour represented on the sculptures. These scales were from two to three inches in length, rounded at one end, and square at the other, with a raised or embossed line in the centre, and had probably been fastened to a vest of linen or felt. The iron was so eaten by rust, that I had much difficulty in detaching it from the soil. Two or three baskets were filled with these relics. As the earth was removed, other portions of armour were found. At length a perfect helmet of iron inlaid with copper bands, resembling in shape and in the ornaments the pointed helmet represented in the bas-reliefs, was discovered. Several helmets of other shapes, some with the arched crest, were also dug out ; but they fell to pieces as soon as exposed to the air; and I was only able to collect a few of the fragments. Several slabs in this chamber had fallen from their places, and were broken. Beneath them were the fragments of a number of alabaster vases, and of several vessels of baked clay. The name and title of the Khorsabad king, accompanied by the figure of a lion, were still preserved on some of the fragments. Upon the pottery were painted characters resembling the rounded letters of Babylonia and Phoenicia, probably a cursive writing in common use, whilst the cuneiform
* Anab. lib. iii. ch. 3. “Fidentemque fugā Parthum, versisque sagittis.” Virg. Georg. 3. and Hor. Carm. lib. i. ode xix. f Chamber I, plan 2.
was reserved for monuments. The earthen vases were of a light yellow color, ornamented with bars, zig-zag lines, and simple designs in black.
Whilst I was collecting and examining these curious relics, a workman found a perfect vase; but unfortunately broke the upper part by striking it with his pick. I took the instrument, and, working cautiously myself, was rewarded by the discovery of two perfect vases, one in alabaster, the other in glass. Each bore the name and title of the Khorsabad king, in cuneiform characters, with the figure of a lion.
A kind of exfoliation had taken place on the surface of the glass vase, which was incrusted with thin, semi-transparent lamina, glowing with the brilliant colors of the opal. This beautiful appearance is a well-known result of age, and is found on glass from Egyptian, Greek, and other early tombs. It is remarkable that this vase has been turned from a block and not blown, the marks left by the instrument being perfectly preserved in the interior. Both these interesting relics are now in the British Museum.
In the lower compartment of a slab in the same chamber, were two beardless figures, which, from a certain feminine character in the features, and from a clustre of long curls falling down their backs, appeared to be women. They wore the usual horned cap and had wings. They faced one another, and between them was the sacred tree. In one hand they held a garland or chaplet; and wore round their necks a necklace, with seven stars.”
* This bas-relief is in the British Museum.