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a human figure, and a monster with the head of a lion, the body of a man, and the feet of a bird, raising a sword.
Between the two lions, forming this entrance, were a pair of crouching sphinxes, not in relief, but entire. The human head was beardless; and the horned cap square, and highly ornamented at the top, like that of the winged bulls of Khorsabad. The body was that of a winged lion. These sphinxes may have been altars for sacrifice or offerings.
The whole entrance was buried in charcoal, and the sphinxes were almost reduced to lime. One had been nearly destroyed; but the other, although cracked into a thousand pieces, was still standing when uncovered. I endeavoured to secure it with rods of iron and wooden planks; but the alabaster was too much calcined to resist exposure to the atmosphere. I had scarcely time to make a careful drawing, before the whole fell into fragments, too small to admit of their being collected with
a view to future restoration. The sphinxes, when entire, were about five feet in height, and the same in length.
Buried in the charcoal, was found a small head in alabaster, with the high-horned cap, precisely similar to that of the large sphinx ; and subsequently the body was dug out, giving thus a complete model of the larger sculptures.* In the same place I discovered the bodies of two lions, united and forming a platform or pedestal, like the one crouching sphinx; but the human heads were wanting, and the rest of the sculpture had been so much injured by fire, that I was unable to preserve it.
The plan of the edifice in which these discoveries were made could not yet be determined. All the slabs uncovered had evidently been brought from another building; chiefly from the N. W. palace. The entrance I have just described, proved this beyond a doubt ; as it enabled me to distinguish between the back and front of the walls. I was now convinced that the sculptures hitherto found, were not meant to be exposed to view; but had been placed against the wall of
* Now in the British Museum.
evidence yet the editorial was
N. DOcen bro, eterminehich these to po
sun-dried bricks; the backs of the slabs, smoothed preparatory to being re-sculptured, having been turned towards the interior of the chambers.
There were no inscriptions between the legs of the lions just described, as in other buildings at Nimroud and Khorsabad. I had not before found sculptures unaccompanied by the name and genealogy of the founder of the edifice in which they had been placed. When no inscription was on the face, it was invariably on the back of the slab. I dug, therefore, at the back of the lions, and was not disappointed in my search; a few lines in the cuneiform character were discovered, containing the names of three kings in genealogical series. The name of the first king nearly resembled that of the builder of the N. W. palace; that of his father was identical with the name on the bricks found in the ruins opposite Mosul : and that of his grandfather with the name of the founder of Khorsabad. This fortunate discovery served to connect the latest palace at Nimroud with two other Assyrian edifices.
Whilst excavations were thus successfully carried on amongst the centre ruins, and those of the two palaces first opened, discoveries of a different nature were made in the S. E. corner, which was much higher than any other part of the mound. I dug to a considerable depth, without meeting with any other remains than fragments of inscribed bricks and pottery, and a few entire earthen vessels. At length an imperfect slab bearing a royal name similar to that on the bull in the centre of the mound, was found at some depth beneath the surface. On raising it to copy the inscription, I found to my surprise that it had been used as a lid to an earthen sarcophagus, which, with its contents, was still entire beneath. The sarcophagus was about five feet in length, and very narrow. The skeleton was well preserved, but fell to pieces almost immediately when exposed to the air; by its sides were two jars in baked clay of a red color, and a small alabaster bottle, precisely resembling in shape similar vessels discovered in Egyptian tombs. There was no other clue to the date, or origin of the sepulchre.
The sarcophagus was too small to contain a man of ordinary size if stretched at full length; and it was evident, from the position of the skeleton, that the body had been doubled up. A second earthen case was soon found, resembling a dish-cover in shape, and scarcely four feet long. In it were also vases of baked clay, and it was closed by an inscribed slab like the sarcophagus first discovered. Although the skulls were entire when first exposed to view, they crumbled into dust as soon as an attempt was made to move them.
The six weeks following the commencement of excavations upon a large scale were amongst the most prosperous, and fruitful in events, during my researches in Assyria. Every day produced some new discovery. The Arabs entered with zeal into the work, and felt almost as much interested in its results as I did myself. They were now well organised, and I had no difficulty in managing them. Even their private disputes and domestic quarrels were referred to me. They found this a cheaper fashion of settling their differences than litigation; and I have reason to hope that they received an ampler measure of justice than they could have expected at the hands of his reverence the Cadi. The tents had greatly increased in numbers, as the relatives of those who were engaged in the excavations came to Nimroud and swelled the encampment; for although they received no pay, they managed to live upon the gains of their friends. They were, moreover, preparing to glean,—in the event of there being any crops in the spring, and to take possession of little strips of land along the banks of the river, for the cultivation of millet during the summer. They already began to prepare water-courses, and machines for irrigation. The mode of raising water in Mesopotamia is very simple. In the first place a high bank, which is never completely deserted by the river, is chosen, and a broad recess is cut in it down to the water's edge. Over this recess are fixed three or four upright poles, according to the number of oxen to be employed, united at the top by rollers running on a swivel, and supporting a large framework of boughs and grass, which extends to some distance behind, and is intended as a shelter from the sun. Over each roller are passed two ropes, one fastened to the mouth, and the other to the opposite end, of a sack, formed out of an entire bullock skin. These ropes are attached to oxen, who throw all their weight upon them by descending an inclined plane. A trough formed of wood, and lined with bitumen, or a shallow trench coated with matting, is constructed at the bottom of the poles, and leads to a canal running into the fields. When the sack is drawn up to the roller, the ox turns round at the bottom of the inclined plane. The rope attached to the lower part of the bucket being fastened to the back part of the animal, he raises, in turning, the bottom of the sack, and the contents are poured into the trough. As the ox ascends, the bucket is again lowered into the stream, Although this mode of irrigation is very toilsome, and requires the constant labor of several men and animals, it is generally adopted on the banks of the Tigris and Euphrates. In this way all the gardens of Baghdad and Busrah are watered; and by such means the wandering Arabs, who condescend to cultivate —when famine is staring them in the face—raise a little millet to supply their immediate wants. The principal public quarrels, over which my jurisdiction extended, related to property abstracted, by the Arabs, from one another's tents. These I disposed of in a summary manner, as I had provided myself with handcuffs; and Ibrahim Agha and the Bairakdar were always ready to act with energy and decision, to show how much they were devoted to my service. But the domestic dissensions were of a more serious nature, and their adjustment offered far greater difficulties. They related, of course, always to the women. As soon as the workmen saved a few piastres, their thoughts were turned to the purchase of a new wife, a striped cloak, and a spear. To accomplish this, their ingenuity was taxed to the utmost extent. The old wife naturally enough raised objections, and picked a quarrel with the intended bride, which generally ended in an appeal to physical force. Then the fathers and brothers were dragged