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rest. "I saw many such when I was in Italia with Reshid Pasha, the ambassador. Wallah! they have them in all the churches, and the Papas (priests) kneel and burn candles before them." "No, my lamb," exclaimed a more aged and experienced Turk. "I have seen the images of the infidels in the churches of Beyoglu; they are dressed in many colors 5 and although some of them have wings, none have a dog's body and a tail; these are the works of the Jin, whom the holy Solomon, peace be upon him! reduced to obedience and imprisoned under his seal." "I have seen something like them in your apothecaries' and barbers' shops," said I, alluding to the well-known figure, half woman and half lion, which is met with so frequently in the bazaars of Constantinople. "Istafer Allah" (God forbid), piously ejaculated the Pasha; "that is a sacred emblem of which true believers speak with reverence, and not the handywork of infidels." "There is no infidel living," exclaimed the engineer, who was looked up to as an authority on these subjects, "either in Frangistan or in Yenghi Dunia (America), who could make anything like that; they are the work of the Majus (Magi), and are to be sent to England to form a gateway to the palace of the Queen." "May God curse all infidels and their works!" observed the cadi's deputy, who accompanied the Pasha; "what comes from their hands is of Satan: it has pleased the Almighty to let them be more powerful and ingenious than the true believers in this world that their punishment and the reward of the faithful may be greater in the next."
The heat had now become so intense that my health began to suffer from continual exposure to the sun, and from the labor entailed upon me by the excavations. In the trenches, where I daily passed many hours, the thermometer generally ranged from 112° to 115° in the shade, and on one or two occasions even reached 117°. Hot winds swept like blasts from a furnace over the desert during the day, and drove away sleep by night. I resolved, therefore, to take refuge for a week in the sardaubs or cellars of Mosul; and, in order not to lose time, to try further excavations in the Mound of Kouyunjik. Chap. V. DISCOVERY OF A MOUND NEAR KOUTUNJIK. 103
Leaving a superintendent, and a few guards to watch over the uncovered sculptures, I rode to the town.
The houses of Baghdad and Mosul are provided with underground apartments, in which the inhabitants pass the day during the summer months. They are generally ill-lighted, and the air is close and frequently unwholesome; still they offer a welcome retreat during the hot weather, when it is impossible to sit in a room. At sunset the people emerge from these subterraneous chambers and congregate on the roofs, where they spread their carpets, eat their evening meal, and pass the night.
After many fruitless inquiries after the bas-relief, described by Rich* as having been discovered in one of the mounds forming the large quadrangle in which are included Nebbi Yunus and Kouyunjik, I met with an aged stone-cutter, who declared that he had not only been present when the sculpture was found, but that he had been employed to break it up. He pointed out the spot, in the northern line of ruins, and I at once commenced excavations. The workmen were not long in coming upon fragments of sculptured alabaster, and after two or three days' labor, an entrance was discovered, formed by two winged figures, which had been purposely destroyed. The legs and the lower part of the tunic were alone preserved. The proportions were colossal, and the relief higher than that of any sculpture hitherto discovered in Assyria. This entrance led into a chamber, the lower part of the walls of which was panelled with limestone slabs about five feet high and three broad. There were marks of the chisel upon them all as if something had been effaced; but from their size it appeared doubtful whether figures had ever been sculptured upon them. The upper part of the walls was of sun-dried bricks. In the rubbish filling up the chamber were discovered numerous baked bricks, bearing the name of the Kouyunjik king. The pavement was of limestone. After tracing the walls of one chamber, I renounced a further examination of the ruin, as no traces of
* Residence in Kurdistan and Nineveh, vol. ii. p. 89. sculpture were to be found, and the accumulation of rubbish was very considerable.
This Mound appears to cover either an entrance to the city, or a small temple or tower forming part of the walls. From its height, it would seem that the building had two or more stories.
The comparative rest obtained in Mosul so far restored my strength, that I returned to Nimroud in the middle of August, and again attempted to renew the excavations. I uncovered the top of many of the slabs in the chamber last discovered, and found two chambers leading out of it.* The sculptures were similar to those already described; the king standing between two winged figures, and holding in one hand a cup, and in the other a bow. The only new feature was a recess cut out of the upper part of one of the slabs. I am at a loss to account for its use; from its position it might have been taken for a window, opening into the adjoining room in which, however, there was no corresponding aperture. It may have been used as a place of deposit for sacred vessels and instruments, or as an altar for sacrifice, as a large square stone slightly hollowed in the centre, probably to contain a fluid, was generally found in front of similar slabs.
The walls of the small chamber to the west were unsculptured. The pavement was formed by inscribed slabs of alabaster. The further entrance f led me into a long narrow room surrounded by double bas-reliefs separated by the usual inscription; the upper (similar on all the slabs) representing two winged human figures, kneeling before the mystic tree; the lower eagle-headed figures facing each other in pairs, and separated by the same symbol.
The state of my health again compelled me to renounce for the time, my labors at Nimroud. As I required a cooler climate, I determined to visit the Tiyari mountains, inhabited by the Chaldaean Christians, and to return to Mosul in September, when the violence of the heat had abated.
* Chambers I and B, plan 2
DEPARTURE POR THE TIYARI MOUNTAINS.—KHORSABAD.— SHEIKH ADI.—
A KURDISH ENCAMPMENT. A CHALDEAN VILLAGE AMADIYAH. — A
TURKISH GOVERNOR. — ALBANIAN IRREGULARS. — AN ALBANIAN CHIEF.
THE VALLEY OP BERWARI. — CHALDEAN VILLAGES. — A KURDISH BEY. ASHEETHA.
The preparations for my journey were completed by the 28th August, and on that day I started from Mosul. My party consisted of Mr. Hormuzd Bassam, Ibrahim Agha, two Albanian irregulars, who were to accompany me as far as Amadiyah, a servant, a groom, and one Ionan, or Ionunco, as he was familiarly called, a half-witted Nestorian, whose drunken frolics were reserved for the entertainment of the Patriarch, and who was enlisted into our caravan for the amusement of the company. We rode our own horses. As Ionunco pretended to know all the mountain-roads, and volunteered to conduct us, we placed ourselves under his guidance. I was provided with Bouyourouldis, or orders, from the Pasha to the authorities as far as Amadiyah, and with a letter to Abdul-Summit Bey, the Kurdish chief of Berwari, through whose territories we had to pass. Mar Shamoun, the Patriarch, gave me a very strong letter of recommendation to the meleks and priests of the Nestorian districts.
As I was anxious to visit the French excavations at Khorsabad on my way to the mountains, I left Mosul early in the afternoon, notwithstanding the great heat of the sun. It was the sixth day of Ramazan, and the Mahommedans were still endeavoring to sleep away their hunger when I passed through the gates, and crossed the bridge of boats. Leaving my baggage and servants to follow leisurely, I galloped on with the Albanians, and reached Khorsabad in about two hours.
The mound is about fourteen miles N. N. E. of Mosul. A small village* formerly stood on its summit, but the houses were purchased and removed by M. Botta, when excavations were undertaken by the French Government. It has been rebuilt in the plain at the foot of the mound. The Khausser, a small stream issuing from the hills of Makloub, is divided into numerous branches as it approaches Khorsabad, and irrigates extensive rice grounds. The place is consequently very unhealthy, and the few squalid inhabitants who appeared were almost speechless from ague. M. Botta's workmen suffered greatly from fever, and many fell victims to it.
The excavations were carried on as at Nimroud; and the general plan of the building is the same as that of the Assyrian edifices already described. It has, however, more narrow passages, and the chambers are inferior in size; though the sculptured slabs are in general higher. The relief of the larger figures is bolder, that of the smaller about the same. The human-headed bulls differ principally in the head-dress from those at Nimroud; the horned cap is not rounded off, but is high and richly ornamented, like that of the winged monsters of Persepolis. The faces of several of the bulls are turned inwards, which gives them an awkward appearance.
Since M. Botta's departure the sides of the trenches have fallen in, and have filled up the greater part of the chambers; the sculptures are rapidly perishing; and, shortly, little will remain of this remarkable monument. Scarcely any part of the building had escaped the fire which destroyed it, and consequently very few bas-reliefs could be removed. Of exterior architecture I could find no trace except a curious cornice, and a flight of steps, flanked by solid masonry, apparently leading to a small temple of black stone or basalt, the foundations of
* In the drawing of this Tillage engraved in M. Botta's large work on Nineveh, the houses are represented with shelving roofs and as of considerable size. Such roofs are never seen in this part of the East, and the village, like all others in Assyria, was a mere collection of miserable mud huts.