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flowers and evergreens, was raised over his remains; and an Arabic inscription records the virtues and probable reward of one of the most honest and amiable men that it has been my lot, in a life of some experience amongst men of various kinds, to meet. I visited his monument during my journey to Constantinople. From the lofty terrace, where it stands, the eye wanders over the vast plains of Mesopotamia, stretching to the Euphrates, — in spring one great meadow, covered with the tents and flocks of innumerable tribes.
The Kiayah, or chief secretary, was chosen Governor of the province by the council, until the Porte could name a new Pasha, or take other steps for the administration of affairs, Essad Pasha, who had lately been at Beyrout, was at length appointed to succeed Tahyar, and soon after reached his Pashalic. These changes did not affect my proceedings. Armed with my Vizirial letter I was able to defy the machinations of the Cadi and the Ulema, who did not cease their endeavours to throw obstacles in my way. .
After the celebration of Christmas I returned to Nimroud, and the excavations were again carried on with activity.
The N. W. palace was naturally the most interesting portion of the ruins, and to it were principally directed my researches. I had satisfied myself beyond a doubt that it was the most ancient building yet explored in Assyria ; although, not having been destroyed by fire, it was in a better state of preservation than any edifice hitherto discovered.
When the excavations were resumed after Christmas, eight chambers had been opened. There were now so many outlets, and entrances, that I had no trouble in finding new chambers — one leading into another. By the end of the month of April I had explored almost the whole building; and had opened twenty-eight rooms cased with alabaster slabs. Although many new sculptures of considerable interest 'were found in them, still the principal part of the edifice seems to have been that to the north, where the best artists had evidently been employed upon the walls of the chambers, and the bas-reliefs
excelled all those that had yet been discovered, in the elegance and finish of the ornaments, and in the spirited delineation of the figures. In the other chambers were either winged figures, separated by the sacred tree, and resembling one another in every respect, or the standard inscription alone was carved upon the slabs.
The colossal figure of a female with four wings, carrying a garland, now in the British Museum, was discovered in a
chamber on the south side of the palace *, as was also the fine bas-relief of the king leaning on a wand or staff, one of the best preserved and most highly finished specimens in the national collection.
In the centre of the palace was a great hall, nearly square, with entrances on the four sides formed by colossal humanheaded lions and bulls. The slabs which panelled the walls were unsculptured, but upon each was the standard inscription.
To the south of this hall, was a cluster of small chambers, opening into each other. At the entrance to one of them were winged figures wearing garlands, and carrying a wild goat and an ear of corn.t In another chamber were discovered the beautiful ivory ornaments now in the British Museum. These interesting relics adhered so tenaciously to the soil, and were so completely decomposed, that it was a task of great difficulty to remove them even in fragments. The ivory separated in flakes, or fell into powder. Consequently many interesting objects were irretrievably lost, notwithstanding the care which was taken to collect the smallest pieces. Those preserved were restored in England by an ingenious process, which, replacing the gelatinous matter, and thus reuniting the decaying particles into one solid body, gave them the appearance and consistency of recent ivory.
The most interesting of these ivories are two small tablets, one nearly entire, the other much injured, on which are carved two sitting figures, holding in one hand the Egyptian sceptre or symbol of power. Between the figures is a cartouche, containing a name in hieroglyphics, and surmounted by a feather or plume, such as is found in monuments of the eighteenth, and subsequent dynasties of Egypt. The robes of the figures, the chairs on which they are seated, the hieroglyphics in the cartouche,
* In chamber L (plan 2). In front of this figure was an earthen pipe connecting the floor of the chamber with a drain — the whole cemented with bitumen. It may have been used to carry off the blood of the sacrifice.
+ One of these figures is in the British Museum,
and the feather above it, were enamelled with a blue substance let into the ivory; and the uncarved portions of the tablet, the cartouche, and part of the figures, were originally gilded,—remains of the gold leaf still adhering to them. The forms, and style of art, have a purely Egyptian character; although there are certain peculiarities in the execution, and mode of treatment, that would seem to mark the work of a foreign, perhaps an Assyrian, artist. The same peculiarities characterised all the other objects discovered. Several small human heads in frames, supported by low pillars, and the heads of lions and bulls, show not only a considerable acquaintance with art, but an intimate knowledge of the process of working in ivory. Found with them were oblong tablets, upon which are sculptured, with great delicacy, standing figures, with one hand elevated, and holding in the other a stem or staff, surmounted by an ornament resembling the Egyptian lotus. Scattered about were fragments of winged sphinxes, the head of a lion of singular beauty, which unfortunately fell to pieces, human heads, hands, legs, and feet, bulls, flowers, and scroll-work. In all the specimens the spirit of the design and the delicacy of the workmanship are equally to be admired. These ornaments may have belonged to a throne or chest, or may have decorated the walls or ceilings of the room. In Scripture we find frequent allusion to the employment of this beautiful material both in architecture and in furniture. Ahab had an ivory house, and ivory palaces are mentioned in the Psalms. Solomon made a throne of ivory, and ivory beds are spoken of by the prophets.” The hands and feet probably belonged to an entire human figure, the draped part of which was in wood or metal, resembling the chryselephantine statues of the Greeks. On two slabs, forming an entrance to a small chamber in this part of the building f were inscriptions containing the name of the king who built the Khorsabad palace. They had been
cut above the usual inscription, to which they are evidently long posterior, a fact which alone proves the greater antiquity of the Nimroud ruins. In all the chambers to the south of the centre hall, were found copper vessels of peculiar shape; but they fell to pieces almost immediately on exposure to the air, and I was unable to preserve one of them entire. When the chambers panelled with alabaster slabs ceased, I was unable for some time to trace any remains of the building beyond. A brick pavement proved that the ruins did not end here, and on examining the trenches carefully it was found that we had entered chambers, the walls of which were of sundried bricks, covered with a coating of plaster, and painted with figures and ornaments. The colors had faded so completely, that scarcely any of the subjects or designs could be traced. It required the greatest care to separate the rubbish from the walls, without removing, at the same time the plaster which fell off in flakes, notwithstanding all my efforts to preserve it. The subject of the paintings, as far as could be judged from the remains, was the king, followed by eunuchs and warriors, receiving prisoners and tribute. The figures appear to have been merely in black outline upon a blue ground, and I was unable to distinguish any other colors. As the means at my disposal did not warrant any outlay in making mere experiments, without the certainty of the discovery of removable objects, I felt myself compelled, much against my inclination, to abandon the excavations in this part of the mound, after uncovering portions of two chambers. The doorway, which united them, was paved with one large slab, ornamented with flowers and scroll-work. The flooring was of baked bricks. On the western face of the great mound, to the south of the N. W. palace, there is a considerable elevation. To examine it, a trench was opened on a level with the platform. It was some time before I ascertained that we were cutting into a kind of tower, or nest of upper chambers, constructed entirely of unbaked bricks; the walls being plastered, and elaborately