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not detain the reader with a detailed account of the place. Suffice it to mention, that the walls of the city, flanked by numerous towers, form almost a complete circle, in the centre of which rises the palace, an edifice of great magnificence, solidly constructed of squared stones, and elaborately sculptured with figures and ornaments. It dates probably from the reign of one of the Sassanian Kings of Persia, certainly not prior to the Arsacian dynasty, although the city itself was, I have little doubt, founded at a very early period, being one of the great caravan stations, like Palmyra, connecting the cities of Syria with those on the banks of the Tigris. The singular marks upon the stones, which appear to be either a builder's sign or to have reference to some religious observance, are found in most of the buildings of Sassanian origin in Persia, Babylonia, and Susiana.
With the exception of occasional alarms in the night, caused by thieves attempting to steal our horses, we were not disturbed during our visit. The Arabs from the tents in the neighborhood brought us milk, butter, and sheep. We drank the water of the Thathar, which is, however, rather salt; and our servants and camel-drivers filled during the day many baskets with truffles.
On our return we crossed the desert, reaching Wadi Ghusub the first night, and Mosul on the following morning. Dathan and Abiram, who had both distinguished themselves in recent forays, and had consequently accounts to settle with the respectable merchants of the place, the balance being very much against them, could not be prevailed upon to enter the town, where they were generally known. We had provided ourselves with two or three dresses of Damascus silk, and we invested our guides as a mark of satisfaction for their services. Dathan grinned a melancholy smile as he received his reward. “Ya Bej," he exclaimed, as he turned his mare towards the desert ; “may God give you peace! Wallah! your camels shall be as the camels of the Shammar. Be they laden with gold, they shall pass through our tents, and our people shall not touch them.”
A year after our visit the career of Sofuk was brought to its
close. I have mentioned that Nejris, his rival, had obtained the support of nearly the whole tribe of Shammar. In a month Sofuk found himself nearly alone. His relations and immediate adherents, amongst whom were Dathan and Abiram, still pitched their tents with him ; but he feared the attacks of his enemies, and retreated for safety into the territory of Beder Khan Bey, to the East of the Tigris, near Jezirah. He then sought the support of Nejib Pasha of Baghdad, under whose authority the Shammar were supposed to be, and having succeeded in bringing back a considerable part of the tribe, proposed to Nejris, that they should meet at his tents, forget their differences, and share equally the Sheikhship of the Shammar. The unfortunate Sheikh was induced by Ferhan, the son of Sofuk, to enter the encampment of his rival, where he was perfidiously murdered, in violation of those laws of hospitality which are so much respected by the Arabs. The Shammar were amazed and disgusted by an act of perjury which brought disgrace upon the tribe. They withdrew a second time from Sofuk, and placed themselves under a new leader, a relation of the murdered Sheikh. Sofuk again appealed to Nejib Pasha, justifying his conduct by the dissensions which would have led to constant disorders in Mesopotamia had there still been rival candidates for the Sheikhship. Nejib pretended to be satisfied, and agreed to send out a party of irregular troops to assist Sofuk in enforcing his authority throughout the desert.
The commander of the troops sent by Nejib was joyfully received by Sofuk, who immediately marched against the tribe. But he had scarcely left his tent, when he found that he had fallen into a snare such as he had more than once set for others. In a few hours after, his head was in the palace of the Pasha of Baghdad.
Such was the end of one whose name will long be remembered in the wilds of Arabia ; who, from his power and wealth, received the title of “the King of the Desert," and led the great tribe of Shammar from the banks of the Khabour to the ruins of Babylon. The tale of the Arab will turn for many years to come on the exploits and magnificence of Sofuk,
DISCOVERY OF SMALL OBJECTS. - PAVEMENT OF THE CHAMBERS. — AN ARAB
FEAST. — ARRIVAL OF TAHYAR PASHA. —- EXCAVATIONS CONTINUED.—THE SUMMER AT NIMROUD. — A WHIRLWIND. — FURTHER DISCOVERIES OF BAS-RELIEFS. — DESCRIPTION OF THE SCULPTURES. - PAINTED PLASTER. -- RECEIPT OF VIZIRIAL LETTER. — EXCAVATIONS AT KOUYUNJIK. “ FRESH DISCOVERIES AT NIMROUD, – SURPRISE OF THE ARABS. - FIRST COLLECTION OF SCULPTURES SENT TO ENGLAND. — VISIT FROM TAHYAR
PASHA. - SPECULATIONS OF THE TURKS ON THE SCULPTURES. — REMOVE · TO MOSUL. - DISCOVERY OF A BUILDING IN A MOUND NEAR KOUYUNJIK.
NEW CHAMBERS OPENED AT NIMROUD.
On my return to Mosul I hastened back to Nimroud. During my absence little progress had been made, as only two men had been employed in removing the rubbish from the upper part of the chamber to which the great human-headed lions formed an entrance. The lions to the east of them* had, however, been completely uncovered ; that to the right had fallen from its place, and was sustained by the opposite sculpture. Between them was a large pavement slab covered with cuneiform characters.
In clearing the earth from this entrance, and from behind the fallen lion, many ornaments in copper, two small ducks in baked clay, and tablets of alabaster inscribed on both sides were discovered.f Amongst the remains in copper were the head of a ram or bull , several hands (the fingers closed and slightly bent), and a few flowers. The hands may have served as a casing to similar objects in baked clay, frequently found amongst the ruins, and having an inscription, containing the names, titles, and genealogy of the King, graved upon the fingers. The heads of the ducks are turned and rest upon the back, which bears an inscription in cuneiform characters. Objects
* Entrance d, plan 2.
somewhat similar have been found in Egypt. The inscribed tablets appear to have been built into the walls of sun-dried bricks, to record the foundation of the edifice. The inscription upon them resembled that on all the slabs in the N.W. palace.
It is remarkable that whilst such parts of the great hall as had been uncovered were paved with baked bricks, and the smaller entrance to it with a large slab of alabaster, between the two great lions there were only sun-dried bricks. In the middle of this entrance, near the fore-part of the lions, were a few square stones carefully placed. I expected to find under them small figures in clay, similar to those discovered by M. Botta in the doorways at Khorsabad; but nothing of the kind existed.
As several of the principal Christian families of Mosul were anxious to see the sculptures, whose fame had spread over the town and province, I was desirous of gratifying their curiosity before the heat of summer had rendered the plain of Nimroud almost uninhabitable. An opportunity, at the same time, presented itself of securing the good-will of the Arab tribes encamped near the ruins, by preparing an entertainment which might gratify all parties. The Christian ladies, who had never before been out of sight of the walls of their houses, were eager to see the wonders of Nimroud, and availed themselves joyfully of the permission, with difficulty extracted from their husbands, to leave their homes. The French consul and his wife, and Mr. and Mrs. Rassam, joined the party. On the day after their arrival I issued a general invitation to all the Arabs of the district, men and women.
White pavilions, borrowed from the Pasha, had been pitched near the river, on a broad lawn still carpeted with flowers. These were for the ladies, and for the reception of the Sheikhs. Black tents were provided for some of the guests, for the attend. ants, and for the kitchen. A few Arabs encamped around us to watch the horses, which were picketted on all sides. An open space was left in the centre of the group of tents for dancing, and for various exhibitions provided for the entertainment of the company.
Early in the morning came Abd-ur-rahman, mounted on a tall white mare. He had adorned himself with all the finery he possessed. Over his keffiah or head-kerchief, was folded a white turban, edged with long fringes which fell over his shoulders, and almost concealed his handsome features. He wore a long robe of red silk and bright yellow boots, an article of dress much prized by Arabs. He was surrounded by horsemen carrying spears tipped with tufts of ostrich feathers.
As the Sheikh of the Abou-Salman approached the tents I rode out to meet him. A band of Kurdish musicians advanced at the same time to do honor to the Arab chief. As he drew near to the encampment, the horsemen, led by Schloss, his nephew, urged their mares to the utmost of their speed, and engaging in mimic war, filled the air with their wild war-cry. Their shoutings were, however, almost drowned by the Kurds, who belabored their drums, and blew into their pipes with redoubled energy. Sheikh Abd-ur-rahman, having dismounted, seated himself with becoming gravity on the sofa prepared for guests of his rank; whilst his Arabs picketted their mares, fastening the halters to spears driven into the ground.
The Abou-Salman were followed by the Shemutti and Jehesh, who came with their women and children on foot, except the Sheikhs, who rode on horseback. They also chanted their peculiar war-cry as they advanced. When they reached the tents, the chiefs placed themselves on the divan, whilst the others seated themselves in a circle on the greensward.
The wife and daughter of Abd-ur-rahman, mounted on mares, and surrounded by their slaves and hand-maidens, next appeared. They dismounted at the entrance of the ladies' tents, where an abundant repast of sweetmeats, halwa, parched peas, and lettuces had been prepared for them.
Fourteen sheep had been roasted and boiled to feast the crowd that had assembled. They were placed on large wooden platters, which, after the men had satisfied themselves, were