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but the first stroke of the pick on the opposite side, disclosed the top of a bas-relief. The Arabs were no less excited than myself by the discovery; and notwithstanding a heavy fall of rain, working until dark, they completely exposed to view two slabs.” On each slab were two bas-reliefs, divided by an inscription. In the upper compartment of the largest was a battle scene, in which were represented two chariots, each drawn by richly caparisoned horses at full speed, and containing a group of three warriors, the principal of whom was beardless and evidently an eunuch. This figure was clothed in a complete suit of mail of metal scales, embossed in the centre, and apparently attached to a shirt of felt or linen. This shirt was confined at the waist by a girdle. On his head was a pointed helmet, from which fell lappets, covered with scales, protecting the ears, lower part of the face, and neck, the whole head dress resembling that of the early Normans. His left hand grasped a bow at full stretch, whilst his right drew the string, with the arrow ready to be discharged. The left arm was en circled by a guard, probably of leather, to protect it from the arrow. His sword was in a sheath, the end of which was elegantly adorned with the figures of two lions. In the same chariot were a charioteer urging on the horses with reins and whip, and a shield-bearer who warded off the shafts of the enemy with a circular shield, which, like those of Solomon, and of the servants or shield-bearers of Hadad-ezer, king of Zobah, may have been of beaten gold.f. The chariots were low, rounded at the top, and edged by a rich moulding or border, probably inlaid with precious metals or painted. To the sides were suspended two highly ornamented quivers, each containing, beside the arrows, a hatchet and axe. The wheels had six spokes. The end of the pole, formed by the head of a bull, was attached to the fore part of the chariot by a singular contrivance, of which neither the use nor the
* Nos. 1 and 2, wall f, plan 1. f 1 Kings, x. 17. ; 2 Sam, viii. 7.
material can be determined from the sculptures. It appears to have been intended both as an ornament and as a support for the pole, and to have been a light frame-work, covered with linen or silk; its breadth almost precludes the idea of its having been of any other material. It was elaborately painted or embroidered with sacred emblems and elegant devices. The chariot, which was probably of wood and open behind, was drawn by three horses, whose trappings decorated with a profusion of tassels and rosettes, must have been of the most costly description. They may have been of the looms of Dedan, whose merchants, in the days of old, supplied the East with “precious clothes for chariots.”” The archer, who evidently belonged to the conquering nation, was pursuing a flying enemy. Beneath the chariot wheels were scattered the conquered and the dying, and an archer, about to be trodden down, was represented as endeavoring to check the speed of the advancing horses. The costume of the vanquished differed entirely from that of the Assyrian warriors. They wore short tunics descending to their knees, and their hair was confined by a simple fillet round the temples. I observed with surprise the elegance and richness of the ornaments, the faithful and delicate delineation of the limbs and muscles, both in the men and horses, and the knowledge of art displayed in the grouping of the figures, and in the general composition. In all these respects, as well as in costume, this sculpture appeared to me not only to differ from, but to surpass, the bas-reliefs of Khorsabad. I traced also, in the character used in the inscription, a marked difference from that on the monument discovered by M. Botta. Unfortunately, the slab had been exposed to fire, and was so much injured that its removal was hopeless. The edges had, moreover, been cut away, to the injury of some of the figures and of the inscription; and as the next slab was reversed, it was evident that both had been brought from another building.
* Ezekiel, xxvii. 20.
The lower bas-relief on the same slab represented the siege of a castle, or walled city. To the left were two warriors, armed with a short sword and circular shield, and dressed in a tunic, edged by a fringe of tassels, and confined at the waist by a broad girdle. Each carried a quiver at his back, and a bow on his left arm. They wore the pointed helmets before described. The foremost warrior was ascending a ladder placed against the castle. Three turrets, with angular battlements, rose above walls similarly ornamented. In the first turret were two warriors, one in the act of discharging an arrow, the other raising a shield and casting a stone at the assailants, from whom the besieged were distinguished by their head-dress, a simple fillet binding the hair above the temples. The second turret was occupied by a slinger preparing his sling. In the interval between this turret and the third, and over an arched gateway, was a female figure, known by long hair descending upon her shoulders in ringlets. Her right hand was raised as if in the act of asking for mercy. In the third turret were two more of the besieged, the first discharging an arrow, the second elevating his shield and endeavoring with a torch to burn an instrument resembling a catapult, which had been brought up to the wall by an inclined plane apparently built of boughs of trees and rubbish. These figures were out of all proportion when compared with the size of the building. A warrior with a pointed helmet, bending on one knee, and holding a torch in his right hand, was setting fire to the gate of the castle, whilst another in full armour was forcing stones from the walls with an instrument, probably of iron, resembling a blunt spear. Between them was a wounded man falling headlong from the battlements.
The adjoining slab, which was angular in shape and formed a corner, was much injured, the greater part having been cut away to reduce it to convenient dimensions. The upper part, or the lower as reversed, was occupied by two warriors; the foremost in a pointed helmet, riding on one horse and leading a second; the other without helmet, standing in a chariot, and holding the reins loosely in his hands. The horses had been destroyed, and the marks of the chisel were visible on many parts of the slab, the sculpture having been in some places carefully defaced. The lower bas-relief represented the battlements and towers of a castle. A woman stood on the walls tearing her hair in token of grief. Beneath, by the side of a stream, denoted by numerous undulating lines, crouched a fisherman drawing a fish from the water. This slab had been exposed to fire like that adjoining, and had sustained too much injury to be removed. As I was meditating in the evening over my discovery, Daoud Agha entered, and seating himself near me, delivered a long speech, to the effect, that he was a servant of the Pasha, who was again the slave of the Sultan; and that servants were bound to obey the commands of their master, however disagreeable and unjust they might be. I saw at once to what this exordium was about to lead, and was prepared for the announcement, that he had received orders from Mosul to stop the excavations by threatening those who were inclined to work for me. On the following morning, therefore, I rode to the town, and waited upon his Excellency. He pretended to be taken by surprise, disclaimed having given any such orders, and directed his secretary to write at once to the commander of the irregular troops, who was to give me every assistance rather than throw impediments in my way. He promised to let me have the letter in the afternoon before I returned to Selamiyah; but an officer came to me soon after, and stated that as the Pasha was unwilling to detain me he would forward it during the night. I rode back to the village, and acquainted Daoud Agha with the result of my visit. About midnight, however, he returned to me, and declared that a horseman had just brought him more stringent orders than any he had yet received, and that on no account was he to permit me to carry on the excavation. Surprised at this inconsistency, I returned to Mosul early next day, and again called upon the Pasha. “It was with deep