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In the bas-relief I am describing, the dress of the king consisted of a long flowing garment, edged with fringes and tassels descending to his ankles, and confined at the waist by a girdle. Over this robe a second, similarly ornamented, and open in front, appears to have been thrown. From his shoulders fell a cape, or hood, also adorned with tassels, and to it were attached two long ribbons or lappets. He wore the conical mitre, or tiara, which distinguishes the monarch in Assyrian bas-reliefs, and appears to have been reserved for him alone. It is impossible to determine (N.w.'pai'ie.Nfmrrad!) from the sculptures the nature of the material of which it was made, but it may be conjectured that it consisted of bands or folds of linen or silk. It was adorned with flowers and other ornaments, and was surmounted by a small cone.* Around the neck of the king was a necklace. He wore earings, and his arms, which were bare from a little above the elbow, were encircled by armlets and bracelets remarkable for the beauty of their forms. The clasps were formed by the heads of animals, and the centre by stars and rosettes, probably inlaid with precious stones .f His beard was elaborately plaited, and his hair, which fell in ringlets on his shoulders, may have been partly artificial like that of the Persian monarchs, who, according to Xenophon J, wore a wig. Both the hair and beard were probably dyed, and the eyes black
* Such was the head-dress of the Persian monarchs, called the " cidaris," which appears to have resembled the Phrygian bonnet, or the French Cap of Liberty. That worn by Darius was of blue and white, or purple and white. (Quint. Curt. lib. iii. ch. hi. and lib. vi. ch. 6.)
f The dress of the Assyrian King appears to have been similar to that of his successors in the empire of the East. Xenophon describes Astyages as clothed in a purple coat and rich habit, with necklaces round his neck and bracelets on his arms. (Cyrop. lib. i. ch. 3.) Darius wore a tunic of white and purple, embroidered robes, golden girdle, and sword adorned with jewels. (Quint. Curt. lib. iii. ch. 3.)
J Cyrop. lib. i. c. 3.
ened with some preparation, resembling the kohl or surma still used by persons of both sexes in the East. His sandals covered
The King's Footstool.
the back part of the foot, leaving the fore part exposed, and were fastened by bands crossing the instep and passing round the great toe. The soles appear to have been of wood or thick leather.
The eunuchs and winged figures wore robes and ornaments similar in most respects to those of the king. The eunuchs, however, had no other head-dress than the carefully curled ringlets.
The arms, carried by the eunuchs for their own use, as well as for that of the king, were richly ornamented with the heads of lions: the beaks of eagles held the strings of their bows, and their quivers were covered with groups of human figures and animals. The king's throne and his footstool were in
keeping with the rest of the details. The throne or rather stool, for it had neither back nor arms, was tastefully carved, and adorned with the heads of rams; the legs of the footstool terminated in lions' paws. They may have been of wood or copper, inlaid with ivory and other precious materials, or of solid gold, like the tables and couches in the temple of Belus at Babylon.
The figures in these fine bas-reliefs were about eight feet high. They were in an extraordinary state of preservation, the most delicate chasings being still distinct, and the outline retaining all its original sharpness.* On the other slabs forming the walls of this chamber were alternate groups, representing the king holding his bow in one hand and two arrows in the other, standing between winged figures ; and the king also erect, raising the sacred cup, and attended by eunuchs. The details in these sculptures were similar in character to those already described. They furnished, however, many new and interesting groups; such as the combats of winged figures with monsters of various forms, scenes of the chase, goats and bulls kneeling before the sacred tree, and the king performing certain religious ceremonies.
The Arabs marvelled at these strange figures. As each head was uncovered they showed their amazement by extravagant gestures, or exclamations of surprise. If it were a bearded man, they concluded at once that it was an idol or a Jin, and cursed, or spat upon, it. If an eunuch, they declared that it was the likeness of a beautiful female, and kissed or patted the cheek. They soon felt as much interest as I did in the discoveries, and worked with renewed ardour when their curiosity was excited by the appearance of a fresh sculpture. On such occasions stripping themselves almost naked, throwing the kerchief from their heads, and letting their matted hair stream in the wind, they would rush like madmen into the trenches to carry off the baskets of earth, shouting, at the same time, the war-cry of the tribe.
Passing through an entrance formed by the usual winged figures, I reached a chamber panelled by slabs, on which was
* They are now in the British Museum; but, unfortunately, owing to the extreme neglect shown in their transport to this country, they have been much injured.
sculptured the king, raising a richly ornamented cup and standing between two divinities wearing fillets adorned with rosettes round their temples.*
I quitted this chamber, after uncovering the upper part of four or five bas-reliefs; and returning to the western wall of that previously explored, discovered another pair of humanheaded lions, similar to, but smaller than, those forming the grand entrance to the. great hall. So perfect was the preservation of even the smallest details, that had not the slabs been slightly cracked, I could have fancied they had issued but the day before from the hand of the sculptor. The accumulation of earth and rubbish above this part of the ruins was very considerable, and it is not improbable that it was owing to this the sculptures had been so completely guarded from injury.
I was now anxious to send to Baghdad, or Busrah, for transport to Bombay, such sculptures as I could move with the means at my disposal. Major Rawlinson had obligingly proposed that, for this purpose, the small steamer navigating the lower part of the Tigris should be sent up to Nimroud, and I expected the most valuable assistance, both in removing the slabs and in forming plans for future excavations, from her able commander, Lieutenant Jones. The Euphrates, one of the two vessels originally constructed for the navigation of the rivers of Mesopotamia, had some years before succeeded in reaching the tomb of Sultan Abd-Allah, a few miles below Nimroud. Impediments, not more serious than those she had already surmounted, occurring in this part of the bed of the stream, she returned to Baghdad. A vessel, even of her size, and with engines of the same power, could have reached, I have little doubt, the bund or dam of the Awai, which would probably have been a barrier to a further ascent of the Tigris. It was found, however, that the machinery of the Nitocris was either too much out of repair, or not sufficiently powerful to impel the vessel over the rapids, which occur in the river.
• Ch. H, plan 2.
After ascending some miles above Tekrit the attempt was given up, and she returned to her station.
Without proper materials it was impossible to move the colossal lions, or even any entire slab. The ropes of the country were so ill-made that they could not support any considerable weight. I determined, therefore, to saw the slabs containing double bas-reliefs into two pieces, and to lighten them as much as possible by cutting from the back. The inscriptions being a mere repetition of the same formula, I did not consider it necessary to preserve them, as they added to the weight. With the help of levers of wood, and by digging away the wall of sun-dried bricks, I was able to move the sculptures into the centre of the trenches, where they were reduced to the requisite size. They were then packed and transported from the mound upon rude buffalo carts belonging to the Pasha, to the river, where they were placed upon a raft constructed of inflated skins and beams of poplar wood. They were floated down the Tigris as far as Baghdad, were there transferred to boats of the country, and reached Busrah in the month of August. The sculptures sent home on this occasion formed the first collection exhibited to the public in the British Museum.
Whilst I was moving these bas-reliefs, Tahyar Pasha visited me. He was accompanied, for his better security, by a large body of regular and irregular troops, and three guns. His Diwan Effendesi, seal-bearer, and all the dignitaries of his household, were also with him. I entertained this large company for two days. The Pasha's tents were pitched on an island in the river near my shed. He visited the ruins, and expressed no less wonder at the sculptures than the Arabs; nor were his conjectures as to their origin and the nature of the subjects represented much more rational than those of the sons of the desert. The colossal human-headed lions terrified, as well as amazed, his Osmanli followers. "La Illahi il Allah" (there is no God but God), was echoed from all sides. "These are the idols of the infidels," said one, more knowing than the