Discoveries At Nineveh
Austen Henry Layard, Esq., D.C.L.

A Popular Account of Discoveries at Nineveh. Austen Henry Layard. J. C. Derby. New York. 1854.

Assyrian International News Agency
Books Online

Chapter 1
Layard's visit, in 1840, to Syria, Asia Minor, Babylon and Assyria. Differences in the ruins described. Dangers in traveling through the area. Layard's visit to area made him desire to investigate the ruins, but circumstances hindered him for a few years. Work of French (M. Botta) at Kouyunjik. Attempts to get people interested in supporting excavation work. Botta discovers artifacts at Khorsabad, and the French government started to financially support the excavations. Botta confined his research to Khorsabad, finding many sculptures and inscriptions. Botta's work stimulated Layard, who finally received some financial support late in 1845, when he traveled to Mosul.
Chapter 2
Layard visited the pashaw of Mosul, but concealed the purpose of his visit. Cruelties of pashaw and the state of the country. Layard traveled by raft to Nimroud. Arabs found for workmen. Initial discovery of a chamber and a few ivory objects. Layard revisited the pashaw, since the excavations were known, and many were suspecting Layard of a treasure hunt. Problems of residence during rains. Discovery of bas-reliefs, of chariots and a city siege. Pashaw stops the work, by claiming graves were disturbed. Layard found that the Pashaw had "created" graves on the mound. Layard continued work using a few "guards" who were protecting the excavations. As Christmas approached, Layard ordered the excavations filled in, and left Mosul to obtain a more permanent access to excavation. Pashaw was deposed.
Chapter 3
With new pashaw, Layard was allowed to continue excavation in January. Much greater political stability. Spring look to country, return of Arabs in tents. Graves dug up and moved to bottom of hill. Sculptured slab found, damaged by fire. Trouble from cadi (claiming financial and religious issues) temporarily halt work. Layard visits Arabs living near Nimroud, to try to prevent them from stealing. Description of Arabs. Mid February, Layard resumed work with a few men in secret. More bas-reliefs found. Huge statue found, causing more political problems. Second statue found at other side of chamber entrance. Work forced to slow because of political pressure. 2 lion statues found. Description of country and people during Spring.
Chapter 4
Excavation was halted by political pressure. Layard visits leading sheik (Sofuk) of the Arabs to gain his friendship and possibly cut down the number of Arab raids. Hospitality of Arabs met on the travels. Thorough consumption of food. Description of special Arabian horse. Initial greetings with Sofuk. Life and influence of Sofuk. Description of meal, and Sofuk's wives. Visit to the ruins of Al Hather Horse theft attempted regularly at night. A year later, Sofuk tricked and murdered a rival, and was likewise tricked and executed by the Pashaw.
Chapter 5
Clearing chamber with human-headed lions. Small artifacts with cuneiform writing on them found. Layard hosted a visit from Christians and Arabs who wanted to see the ruins, creating much good will among the Arabs. Description of meal, dancing and sword play entertainment. New Turkish governor. Layard allowed to continue excavation, but his financial resources were very limited. Problems of excessive heat, dust storms, insects and reptiles. Descriptions of bas-reliefs. More sculpture and copper lions. Siege and lion hunting scenes found on bas-reliefs. Layard given vizirial authorization to excavate and remove finds to England. Excavations started at Kouyunjik, but stopped after a month because of little success. More descriptions of bas-reliefs at Nimroud. Problems removing items for museum. Visit by Pashaw. Excessive heat hindered and then stopped the work.
Chapter 6
General description of Layard's travel to the mountains to avoid the summer heat: Started with visit to French excavations at Khorsabad. Descriptions of Yezidi and Kurd villages passed. Poverty and disease of people at Amadiyah (Ecbatana). A few artifacts found there. Descriptions of the country, and the hospitality of the people during further travel toward the Tiyari. Contrast of the richness of the land and the poverty of the people due to excessive governmental taxation. Layard rebuked the governor (Bey) with both his ill manners and his harsh control. Arrival at Asheetha.
Chapter 7
Asheetha joyously welcomed Layard's company. Threat of invasion by Beder Khan Bey, who had previously slaughtered more than 10,000 and enslaved others. Layard decided to continue travel, to warn Christian communities of new threat. Layard saw effects of Khan's previous attack. Description of Asheetha's history and current state. Description of travels to various communities, with the contrast of the physical beauty of the area and the destruction by Khan. Layard visits scene of worst massacre, with unburied remains of 1000 people scattered over the ground. More villages visited, possible defensive plans considered. At Tkhoma the people were preparing for armed resistance to Khan. Discussion of the beliefs of the Nestorian Christians. Letter written to pashaw of Mosul for help against Khan. Layard met, and was threatened by Kurds, but kept going. Layard was talked out of visiting the last few communities, because of the threat of Nur-Ullah Bey, and his likely support of Beder Khan. Layard tricked Nur-Ullah, and left rapidly to returned to Asheetha. Continued travel towards Mosul. Possible Assyrian ruins found at Challek. Description of bas-reliefs cut into the hill at Malthaiyah, Attack of Tkhoma by Beder Khan Bey occurred days after Layard left the area. Description of new massacres, and the retaliation by the Turkish government.
Chapter 8
Layard invited to annual feast of the Yedizis (Devil worshippers). History of oppression which the Yedizis suffered. Layard traveled with Yedizis to the tomb of Sheik Adi for the feast. Description of area, interaction between pilgrims and festivities. Special concert at night: started with a long solemn song, and ended with an extended period of fast, joyous music in which everyone joined in. Activities continued until dawn. Religious beliefs of Yedizis. Layard returned to Mosul, then accompanied the pashaw on a visit to the Yedizis at Sinjar. The Yedizis distrusted the pashaw because of previous persecution, and shot two soldiers sent with Layard to speak to them. The pashaw retaliated by burning the city but was unsuccessful in attacking the main group of the community hiding in caves. Layard left to return to excavations at Mosul.
Chapter 9
Layard given some funding from British Museum. Preparations for more excavation. Bas-reliefs found and removed for shipment to England. Descriptions of scenes on the walls. Parts of iron armor discovered. Alabaster and glass vases found in good condition. Winged bulls discovered at entrance to building, with large bas-reliefs nearby. Black Obelisk (of Shalmaneser) found and described. Winged lions and bas-reliefs found and described. Sphinxes found, but they had been burnt and they crumbled when exposed. Inscriptions found with names of several kings in sequence, connecting finds in Nimroud with Khorsabad. A sarcophagus found, with items similar to Egyptian burials. Arab methods of irrigation. Layard settling domestic quarrels; status of women in Arab culture. Customs of Arabs. Layard arranges for rafts to move artifacts, and then recovers the materials after they were stolen by the Arabs. Artifacts shipped to England.
Chapter 10
Excavations continue after Christmas, at NW palace. By April, 28 chambers had been discovered. Ivory ornaments and tablets found. Copper vessels found, but unable to be preserved. Pavement slabs with new names of Assyrian kings. Several tombs found, walled with brick; artifacts described. Ruins of a building found under the tombs. About 100 wall panel slabs found stacked up instead of on the walls. Discussion of how walled cities were attacked. Bas-reliefs showing the sack of a city. SW chambers found, but walls badly damaged by fire. Comparison between NW and SW palaces. More tombs found, with buildings under them. Discovery of possible furnace for glass or metal manufacture.
Chapter 11
Layard decided to excavate at Kalah Sherghat. Passed bitumen pits. Initial statues found were badly defaced. Crumbled walls, tombs and small artifacts found, but no more statues in the initial dig (before Layard arrived). Arab customs when moving. Description of the desolation of the ruins. Layard divided the crew into several groups and made exploratory digs - tombs and fragments of Assyrian artifacts found. Description of how Tigris river is gradually destroying the mound. Layard left people to continue excavation, while he returned to Mosul. Arabs arguing throughout the night kept Layard awake. When the Arabs which accompanied Layard returned to their home, they were attacked. Because of lack of grass, the Arabs which camped near Kalah Sherghat left. Without their protection, the workmen were twice attacked by raiding parties, and Layard ordered the work stopped.
Chapter 12
Lack of rain caused crop failure and start of a famine. Bedouins resort to plundering, making the excavation risky. Layard decided to move the larger statues before the summer, expecting more serious trouble. Layard constructs a large cart to move the heavy statues, which amazed the people. A huge trench "road" was needed to get the statues from the ruins to the cart, which resulted in some accidental discoveries. Discussion of skill of craftsmen in making bas-reliefs. Process of lowering the bull to rollers. Arabs discuss why England wants the statues, and how a man living far away could walk up to a mound and find a palace hidden for a thousand years. Celebration at the success of moving the bull. Problems getting to the river. The lion moved in similar fashion. Layard decided to use rafts to move the bull and lion. Difficulty finding natives to build what Layard wanted. Construction of rafts of wood and inflated animal skins. Lion and bull loaded successfully. Increasing attacks by Arabs on settlements. Workmen, fearing attacks, wanted to stop excavation. Layard ordered the trenches filled up. Layard describes what one would see if they walked through the dig, and how soon it would seem like a dream to someone looking at the mound.
Chapter 13
Layard returned to Kouyunjik, since Nimroud was too dangerous. Speculation that Nimroud, Kouyunjik, Khorsabad and Karamless formed corners of the ancient city of Nineveh. Discussion of how to excavate an Assyrian city. Chambers found on SW corner of mound. The palace had been destroyed by fire, and the walls turned to lime. Comparisons of finds to those found at Khorsabad and Nimroud. Some small glass bottles and clay tablets found. Few inscriptions. Descriptions of bas-reliefs. Scenes of siege of a port city. Pictures of ships. Continued descriptions of war scenes on bas-reliefs, which was their primary if not sole subject. Discussion of the architecture of the Assyrians. Mud bricks used because of lack of stone. Discussion of use of alabaster and gypsum. Relationship between king and religion. Close of excavation due to lack of funds. Artifacts prepared for shipment to England. Entertainment given to workmen before Layard left. Preparations for leaving country.


(Page iii) The interest felt in the discoveries on the site of Nineveh having been so general, it was suggested to me that an abridgment of my work on "Nineveh and its Remains," published in a cheap and popular form, would be acceptable to the public. I had already commenced such an abridgment, when I was called away on a second expedition into Assyria, which left me no leisure for literary occupations.

On my return to England, I found that several inaccurate and incomplete accounts of my first researches had already been published. I determined, therefore, to complete without delay the abridged work which is now presented to the public.

In this abridgment I have omitted the second part of the original work, introducing the principal Biblical and historical illustrations into the narrative, which has thus, I hope, been rendered more useful and complete.

As recent discoveries, and the contents of the inscriptions, as far as they have been satisfactorily deciphered, have confirmed nearly all the opinions expressed in the original work, no changes on any material points have been introduced into this abridgment. I am still inclined (Page iv) to believe that all the ruins explored represent the site of ancient Nineveh, and while still assigning the later monuments to the kings mentioned in Scripture, Shalmanezer, Sennacherib, and Essarhadon, I am convinced that a considerable period elapsed between their foundation and the erection of the older palaces of Nimroud. The results of the attempts to decipher the inscriptions are still too uncertain to authorize the use of any actual names for the earlier kings mentioned in them.

September, 1851.


(Page v) Before submitting the following narrative of my labors in Assyria to the reader, it may not be uninteresting to give a slight sketch of what had been done in the field of Assyrian antiquities, previous to the recent discoveries on the site of Nineveh.

A few fragments scattered among ancient authors, and a list of kings of more than doubtful authenticity, is all that remains of a history of Assyria by Ctesias; while of that attributed to Herodotus not a trace has been preserved. Of later writers who have touched upon Assyrian history, Diodorus Siculus, a mere compiler, is the principal. In Eusebius, and the Armenian historians, such as Moses of Chorene, may be found a few valuable details and hints, derived, in some instances, from original sources not altogether devoid of authenticity.

It is remarkable that in profane history we meet with only three Assyrian monarchs of whose deeds we have any account, - Ninus, Semiramis, and Sardanapalus. Ninus and his queen, like all the heroes of primitive nations, appear to have become mythic characters, to whom all great deeds and national achievements were assigned. Although originally historic personages, they were subsequently invested to some extent with divine attributes, and were interwoven with the theology of the race of (Page vi) which they were the first, or among the earliest, chiefs. Above thirty generations elapsed between Semiramis and Sardanapalus, during which more than one dynasty of kings occupied the Assyrian throne, and maintained the power of the empire. Yet of these kings nothing has been preserved but doubtful names.

The Assyrians are not particularly alluded to in Holy Writ, until the period when their warlike expeditions to the west of the Euphrates brought them into contact with the Jews. Pul, the first king whose name is recorded in Scripture, having reigned between eight and nine hundred years before the Christian era, and about two hundred previous to the fall of the empire, must have been nearly the last of a long succession of kings who had ruled over the greater part of Asia. The later monarchs are more frequently mentioned in the Bible on account of their wars with the Jews, whom they led captive into Assyria. Very little is related of even their deeds unless they particularly concern the Jewish people.

Of modern historians who have attempted to reconcile the discrepancies of Assyrian chronology, and to restore to some extent, from the fragments to which I have alluded, a history of the Assyrian empire, I scarcely know whom to point out. From such contradictory materials, it is not surprising that each writer should have formed a system of his own; and we may, without incurring the charge of skepticism, treat all their efforts as little better than ingenious speculations. In the date alone to be assigned to the commencement of the Assyrian empire, they differ nearly a thousand years; and even when they treat of events which approach the epoch of authentic history, - such as the death of Sardanapalus, the invasion (Page vii) of the Medes, and the fall of the empire, - there is nearly the same comparative discrepancy. The Bactrian and Indian expeditions of Ninus, the wonderful works of Semiramis, and the effeminacy of Sardanapalus, have been described over and over again, and form the standard ingredients of the Assyrian history of modern authors. The narratives framed upon them convey useful lessons, and are, moreover, full of romantic events to excite the imagination. As such they have been repeated, with a warning that their authenticity rests upon a slender basis, and that it is doubtful whether they are to be regarded as history, or to be classed among fables. Although the names of Nineveh and Assyria have been familiar to us from childhood, and are connected with the earliest impressions we derive from the Inspired Writings, it is only when we ask ourselves what we really know concerning them, that we discover our ignorance of all that relates to their history, and even to their geographical position.

It is indeed one of the most remarkable facts in history, that the records of an empire, so renowned for its power and civilization, should have been entirely lost; and that the site of a city as eminent for its extent as its splendor, should for ages have been a matter of doubt: it is not perhaps less curious that an accidental discovery should suddenly lead us to hope that these records may be recovered, and this site satisfactorily identified.

The ruins in Assyria and Babylonia, chiefly huge mounds, apparently of mere earth and rubbish, had long excited curiosity from their size and evident antiquity. They were the only remains of an unknown period, - of a period antecedent to the Macedonian conquest. Consequently they alone could be identified with Nineveh and (Page viii) Babylon, and could afford a clew to the site and nature of those cities. There is, at the same time, a vague mystery attaching to remains like these, which induces travelers to examine them with more than ordinary interest, and even with some degree of awe. A great vitrified mass of brick-work, surrounded by the accumulated rubbish of ages, was believed to represent the identical tower, which called down the divine vengeance, and was overthrown, according to an universal tradition, by the fires of heaven. The mystery and dread, which attached to the place, were kept up by exaggerated accounts of wild beasts, who haunted the subterraneous passages, and of the no less savage tribes who wandered among the ruins. Other mounds in the vicinity were identified with the hanging gardens, and those marvelous structures which tradition has attributed to two queens, Semiramis and Nitocris. The difficulty of reaching these remains, increased the curiosity and interest with which they were regarded; and a fragment from Babylon was esteemed a precious relic, not altogether devoid of a sacred character. The ruins which might be presumed to occupy the site of the Assyrian capital, were even less known, and less visited, than those in Babylonia. Several travelers had noticed the great mounds of earth opposite the modern city of Mosul, and when the inhabitants of the neighborhood pointed out the tomb of Jonah upon the summit of one of them, it was natural to conclude, at once, that it marked the site of Nineveh.[0.1]

(Page ix) The first to engage in a serious examination of the ruins within the limits of ancient Assyria was Mr. Rich, many years the political resident of the East India Company at Baghdad, - a man whom enterprise, industry, extensive and varied learning, and rare influence over the inhabitants of the country, acquired as much by character as position, eminently qualified for such a task. The remains near Hillah, being in the immediate vicinity of Baghdad, first attracted his attention; and he commenced his labors by carefully examining their position, and by opening trenches into the various mounds. It is unnecessary to enter into a detailed account of his discoveries. They were of considerable interest, consisting chiefly of fragments of inscriptions, bricks, engraved stones, and a coffin of wood; but the careful account which he drew up of the site of the ruins was of greater value, and has formed the ground-work of all subsequent inquiries into the topography of Babylon.

In the year 1820, Mr. Rich, having been induced to visit Kurdistan for the benefit of his health, returned to Baghdad by way of Mosul. Remaining some days in this city, his curiosity was naturally excited by the great mounds on the opposite bank of the river, and he entered upon an examination of them. He learned from the inhabitants of Mosul that, some time previous to his visit, a sculpture, representing various forms of men and animals, had been dug up in a mound forming part of the great inclosure. This strange object had been the cause of general wonder, and the whole population had issued (Page x) from the walls to gaze upon it. The ulema having at length pronounced that these figures were the idols of the infidels, the Mohammedans, like obedient disciples, so completely destroyed them, that Mr. Rich was unable to obtain even a fragment.

His first step was to visit the village containing the tomb of Jonah. In the houses he met with a few stones bearing inscriptions, which had probably been discovered in digging the foundations; and under the mosque containing the tomb, he was shown three very narrow and apparently ancient passages, one within the other, with several doors or apertures.

He next examined the largest mound of the group, called Kouyunjik by the Turks, and Armousheeah by the Arabs; the circumference of which he ascertained to be 7690 feet. Among the rubbish he found a few fragments of pottery, bricks with cuneiform characters, and some remains of building in the ravines. On a subsequent occasion he made a general survey of the ruins, which is published in the collection of his journals, edited by his widow.

With the exception of a small stone chair, and a few remains of inscriptions, Mr. Rich obtained no other Assyrian relics from the site of Nineveh; and he left Mosul, little suspecting that in the mounds were buried the palaces of the Assyrian kings. As he floated down the Tigris to Baghdad, he visited Nimroud, and was struck by its evident antiquity. The tales of the inhabitants of the neighboring villages connected the ruins with Nimrod's own city, and better authenticated traditions with those of Al Athur, or Ashur, from which the whole country anciently received its name. He collected a few (Page xi) bricks bearing cuneiform characters, and proceeded with his journey.

The fragments obtained by Mr. Rich were subsequently placed in the British Museum, and formed the principal and indeed almost only, collection of Assyrian antiquities in Europe. A case scarcely three feet square inclosed all that remained, not only of the great city, Nineveh, but of Babylon itself!

Other museums in Europe contained a few cylinders and gems, which came from Assyria and Babylonia; but they were not classified, nor could it be determined to what exact epoch they belonged. Of Assyrian art nothing was known. The architecture of Nineveh and Babylon was a matter of speculation, and the poet or painter restored their palaces and temples, as best suited his theme or his subject. A description of the temple of Belus by Herodotus, led to an imaginary representation of the tower of Babel. Its spiral ascent, its galleries gradually decreasing in circumference, and supported by innumerable columns, are familiar to us from the illustrations, adorning almost the opening page of that Book, which is associated with our earliest recollections.

Such was our acquaintance four years ago with Nineveh - its history, its site, and its arts. The reader will judge from the following pages, how far recent discoveries are likely to extend our knowledge.

As inscriptions in the cuneiforrn character will be so frequently mentioned in the following pages, a few words on the nature of this very ancient mode of writing may not be unacceptable to the reader. The epithets of cuneiform, cuneatic, arrow-headed, and wedge-shaped - tete-a-clou in French, and keilformig in German - have been (Page xii) assigned to it according as the fancy of the describer saw in its component parts a resemblance to a wedge, the barb of an arrow, or a nail. The term "cuneiform" is now most generally used in England, and probably best expresses the peculiar form of the character, each letter being composed of several distinct wedges combined together. The following may be given as an example:-

This inscription contains the names of an Assyrian king, and his title of king of Assyria. It is not improbable that these letters were originally formed by mere lines, for which the wedge was afterward substituted as an embellishment; and that the character itself may once have resembled the picture writing of Egypt, though all traces of its ideographic properties have been lost. The Assyrians, like the Egyptians, possessed at a later period a cursive writing, resembling the rounded character of the Phoenicians, Palmyrenes, Babylonians, and Jews, which was probably used for written documents, while the cuneiform was reserved for monumental purposes. There is this great difference between the two forms of writing, which appears to point to a distinct origin, - the cuneiform runs always from left to right, the cursive from right to left.

The cuneiform under various modifications, the letters being differently formed in different countries, prevailed over the greater part of western Asia to the time of the overthrow of the Persian empire by Alexander the Great. It is to this circumstance that we mainly owe the progress which has been made in deciphering the Assyrian (Page xiii) inscriptions, and the hope that we shall ultimately be able to ascertain, with some degree of certainty, their contents. The Persian kings ruled over all the nations using this peculiar form of writing. These nations consisted of three principal races, the Babylonian (including the Assyrian) speaking a language allied to the Hebrew and Arabic, the Persian, and the Tatar, the last two using dialects nearly approaching those still found among their descendants. When recording their victories, as was their custom, on rocks and pillars, these monarchs used the three languages spoken by their subjects. Such was the origin of what are called the trilingual inscriptions of Persia, which afford the principal clew to the Assyrian writing. The tablets containing these inscriptions are divided into three columns, each column being occupied by a version of the same inscription in one of the three national languages, and each language being written in the modification of the cuneiform character peculiar to it. Fortunately, the contents of the Persian inscriptions have long been accurately ascertained, and the alphabet and grammar reduced to a system. Owing, however, to the very large number of distinct characters in the Assyrian inscriptions, there being nearly 400 different signs, while in the Persian there are but thirty-nine or forty, and the great apparent laxity in the use of letters and the grammar, the process of deciphering is one of considerable difficulty, notwithstanding the aid which a version of the same inscription in a known tongue naturally supplies.

The most important trilingual inscriptions hitherto discovered are those on the palaces of Darius and Xerxes at Persepolis, over the tomb of Darius, and in the rock (Page xiv) tablets of Behistun. The latter are by far the most extensive and valuable. They contain a history of the principal events of the reign of Darius, and giving a long list of countries and tribes subdued by that monarch, and the names of conquered kings and rebels, afford the best materials for deciphering the Assyrian character, proper names being the real clew to the value of letters. The inscriptions of Behistun are upon the face of a lofty precipice, so difficult of access that Colonel Rawlinson has alone succeeded in copying them. He has printed the Persian column with a translation, but the corresponding Babylonian or Assyrian column is still in his possession, and the scientific world is anxiously awaiting the publication of an inscription which can afford the only trustworthy materials for deciphering the Assyrian records.

In the meanwhile, Colonel Rawlinson has communicated to the public, through the journals of the Royal Asiatic Society, some of the results of his own inquiries, which are of great interest and importance; and other scholars, among whom may be mentioned Dr. Hincks, have made such progress in deciphering the Assyrian character as the means at their disposal would permit. It is to Dr. Hincks we owe the determination of the numerals, the name of Sennacherib on the monuments of Kouyunjik and of Nebuchadnezzar on the bricks of Babylon - three very important and valuable discoveries. The actual state of our knowledge of the cuneiform character will enable us to ascertain the general contents of an inscription, although probably no one can yet give a literal translation of any one record, or the definite sound of many words.

The custom of engraving inscriptions on stone, as well (Page xv) as on baked clay, the two methods of perpetuating their annals adopted by the Assyrians, is of the very highest antiquity. The divine commands were first given to man on stone tables; Job is made to exclaim, "Oh that my words were now written! . . . that they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock forever;"[0.2] and Ezekiel, when prophesying on the river Chebar, was directed "to take a tile and portray upon it the city of Jerusalem."[0.3] There could have been no more durable method of preserving the national records; and the inscribed walls of palaces and rock tablets have handed down to us the only authentic history of ancient Assyria.


[0.1] It need scarcely be observed, that the tomb of Jonah could not stand on the ruins of a palace, and that the tradition placing it there is not authenticated by any passage in the Scriptures. It is, however, received by Christians and Mussulmans, and probably originated in the spot having been once occupied by a Christian church or convent, dedicated to the prophet. The building, which is supposed to cover the tomb, is very much venerated, and few Christians have been allowed to enter it. The Jews in the time of St. Jerome, pointed out the sepulcher of Jonah at Gathhepher, in the tribe of Zabulon.

[0.2] Job 19:23, 24.

[0.3] Ezekiel 4:1.

Chapter 1

(Page 1) During the autumn of 1839 and winter of 1840, I had been wandering through Asia Minor and Syria, scarcely leaving untrod one spot hallowed by tradition, or unvisited one ruin consecrated by history. I was accompanied by one no less curious and enthusiastic than myself.[1.1] We were both equally careless of comfort and unmindful of danger. We rode alone; our arms were our only protection; a valise behind our saddles was our wardrobe, and we tended our own horses, except when relieved from the duty by the hospitable inhabitants of a Turcoman village or an Arab tent. Thus unembarrassed by needless luxuries, and uninfluenced by the opinions and prejudices of others, we mixed among the people, acquired without effort their manners, and enjoyed without alloy those emotions which (Page 2) scenes so novel, and spots so rich in varied association, can not fail to produce.

I look back with feelings of grateful delight to those happy days when, free and unheeded, we left at dawn the humble cottage or cheerful tent, and lingering as we listed, unconscious of distance and of the hour, found ourselves, as the sun went down, under some hoary ruin tenanted by the wandering Arab, or in some crumbling village still bearing a well known name. No experienced dragoman measured our distances, and appointed our stations. We were honored with no conversations by pashaws, nor did we seek any civilities from governors. We neither drew tears nor curses from villagers by seizing their horses, or searching their houses for provisions: their welcome was sincere; their scanty fare was placed before us; we ate, and came, and went in peace.

I had traversed Asia Minor and Syria, visiting the ancient seats of civilization, and the spots which religion has made holy. I now felt an irresistible desire to penetrate to the regions beyond the Euphrates, to which history and tradition point as the birth place of the wisdom of the West. Most travelers, after a journey through the usually frequented parts of the East, have the same longing to cross the great river, and to explore those lands which are separated on the map from the confines of Syria by a vast blank stretching from Aleppo to the banks of the Tigris. A deep mystery hangs over Assyria, Babylonia, and Chaldea. With these names are linked great nations and great cities dimly shadowed forth in history; mighty ruins, in the midst of deserts, defying, by their very desolation and lack of definite form, the description of the traveler; the remnants of mighty races still roving over the land; the fulfilling and fulfillment of prophecies; the plains to which the Jew and the Gentile alike look as the cradle of their race. After a journey in Syria, the thoughts naturally turn eastward; and without treading on the remains of Nineveh and Babylon our pilgrimage is incomplete.

I left Aleppo, with my companion, on the 18th of March. (Page 3) We still traveled as we had been accustomed - without guide or servants. The road across the desert is at all times impracticable, except to a numerous and well-armed caravan, and offers no object of interest. We preferred that through Bir and Orfa. From the latter city we traversed the low country at the foot of the Kurdish hills, a country little known, and abounding in curious remains. The Egyptian frontier, at that time, extended to the east of Orfa, and the war between the sultan and Mohammed Ali Pasha being still unfinished, the tribes took advantage of the confusion, and were plundering on all sides. With our usual good fortune, we succeeded in reaching Nisibin unmolested, although we ran daily risks, and more than once found ourselves in the midst of foraging parties, and of tents, which, an hour before, had been pillaged by the wandering bands of Arabs. We entered Mosul on the 10th of April.

During a short stay in this town, we visited the great ruins on the east bank of the river, which have been generally believed to be the remains of Nineveh.[1.2] We rode also into the desert, and explored the mound of Kalah Sherghat, a vast ruin on the Tigris, about fifty miles below its junction with the Zab. As we journeyed thither, we rested for the night at the small Arab village of Hammum Ali, around which are still the vestiges of an ancient city. From the summit of an artificial eminence we looked down upon a broad plain, separated from us by the river. A line of lofty mounds bounded it to the east, and one of a pyramidical form rose high above the rest. Beyond it could be faintly traced the waters of the Zab. Its position rendered its identification easy. This was the pyramid which Xenophon had described, and near which the ten thousand had encamped: the ruins around it were those which the Greek general saw twenty-two centuries before, and which were even then the remains of an ancient city. Although Xenophon had confounded a name, spoken by a strange race, with one (Page 4) familiar to a Greek ear, and had called the place Larissa, tradition still points to the origin of the city, and, by attributing its foundation to Nimrod, whose name the ruins now bear, connect it with one of the first settlements of the human race.[1.3]

Kalah Sherghat, like Nimroud, was an Assyrian ruin: a vast, shapeless mass, now covered with grass, and showing scarcely any traces of the work of man except where the winter rains had formed ravines down its almost perpendicular sides, and had thus laid open its contents. A few fragments of pottery and inscribed bricks, discovered after a careful search among the rubbish which had accumulated around the base of the great mound, served to prove that it owed its construction to the people who had founded the city of which Nimroud is the remains. There was a tradition current among the Arabs, that strange figures, carved in black stone, still existed among the ruins; but we searched for them in vain, during the greater part of a day in which we were engaged in exploring the heaps of earth and bricks, covering a considerable extent of country on the right bank of the Tigris. At the time of our visit, the country had been abandoned by the Bedouins, and was only occasionally visited by a few plunderers from the Shammar or Aneyza tents. We passed the night in the jungle which clothes the banks of the river, and wandered during the day undisturbed by the tribes of the desert. A cawass, who had been sent with us by the Pashaw of Mosul, alarmed at the solitude, and dreading the hostile Arabs, left us in the wilderness, and turned homeward. But he fell into the danger he sought to avoid. Less fortunate than ourselves, at a short distance from Kalah Sherghat, he was met by a party of horsemen, and fell a victim to his timidity.

Were the traveler to cross the Euphrates to seek for such ruins in Mesopotamia and Chaldea as he had left behind him in Asia Minor or Syria, his search would be vain. The (Page 5) graceful column rising above the thick foliage of the myrtle, ilex, and oleander; the gradines of the amphitheater covering a gentle slope, and overlooking the dark blue waters of a lake-like bay; the richly-carved cornice or capital half hidden by luxuriant herbage, - are replaced by the stern, shapeless mound rising like a hill from the scorched plain, the fragments of pottery, and the stupendous mass of brick-work occasionally laid bare by the winter rains. He has left the land where nature is still lovely, where, in his mind's eye, he can rebuild the temple or the theater, half doubting whether they would have made a more grateful impression upon the senses than the ruin before him. He is now at a loss to give any form to the rude heaps upon which he is gazing. Those of whose works they are the remains, unlike the Roman and the Greek, have left no visible traces of their civilization, or of their arts: their influence has long since passed away. The more he conjectures, the more vague the results appear. The scene around is worthy of the ruin he is contemplating; desolation meets desolation: a feeling of awe succeeds to wonder; for there is nothing to relieve the mind, to lead to hope, or to tell of what has gone by. These huge mounds of Assyria made a deeper impression upon me, gave rise to more serious thoughts, and more earnest reflection, than the temples of Balbec, and the theaters of Ionia.

In the middle of April I left Mosul for Baghdad. As I descended the Tigris on a raft, I again saw the ruins of Nimroud, and had a better opportunity of examining them. It was evening as we approached the spot. The spring rains had clothed the mound with the richest verdure, and the fertile meadows, which stretched around it, were covered with flowers of every hue. Amid this luxuriant vegetation were partly concealed a few fragments of bricks, pottery, and alabaster, upon which might be traced the well defined wedges of the cuneiform character. Did not these remains mark the nature of the ruin, it might have been confounded with a natural eminence. A long line of consecutive narrow mounds, still (Page 6) retaining the appearance of walls or ramparts, stretched from its base, and formed a vast quadrangle. The river flowed at some distance from them: its waters, swollen by the melting of the snows on the Armenian hills, were broken into a thousand foaming whirlpools by an artificial barrier, built across the stream. On the eastern bank, the soil had been washed away by the current; but a solid mass of masonry still withstood its impetuosity. The Arab, who guided my small raft, gave himself up to religious ejaculations as we approached this formidable cataract, over which we were carried with some violence. Once safely through the danger, he explained to me that this unusual change in the quiet face of the river was caused by a great dam which had been built by Nimrod,[1.4] and that in the autumn, before the winter rains, the huge stones of which it was constructed, squared, and united by cramps of iron, were frequently visible above the surface of the stream.[1.5] It was, in fact, one of those monuments of a great people, to be found in all the rivers of Mesopotamia, which were undertaken to insure a constant supply of water to the innumerable canals, spreading like net-work over the surrounding country, and which, even in the days of Alexander, were looked upon as the works of an ancient nation.[1.6] No wonder that the traditions of the present inhabitants of the land should assign them to one of the founders of the human race! The Arab explained the connection between the dam and the city, built by Athur, (Page 7) the lieutenant of Nimrod, the vast ruins of which were then before us, and its purpose as a causeway for the mighty hunter to cross to the opposite palace, now represented by the mound of Hammum Ali. He was telling me of the histories and fate of the kings of a primitive race, still the favorite theme of the inhabitants of the plains of Shinar, when the last glow of twilight faded away, and I fell asleep as we glided onward to Baghdad.

My curiosity had been greatly excited, and from that time I formed the design of thoroughly examining, whenever it might be in my power, these singular remains.

It was not until the summer of 1842 that I again passed through Mosul on my way to Constantinople. I was then anxious to reach the Turkish capital, and had no time to explore ruins. I had not, however, forgotten Nimroud. I had frequently spoken to others on the subject of excavations in this and another mound, to which a peculiar interest also attached; and at one time had reason to hope that some persons in England might have been induced to aid in the undertaking. I had even proposed an examination of the ruins to M. Coste, an architect who had been sent by the French government, with its embassy to Persia, to draw and describe the monuments of that country.

I found that M. Botta had, since my first visit, been named French consul at Mosul; and had already commenced excavations on the opposite side of the river in the large mound of Kouyunjik. These excavations were on a very small scale, and, at the time of my passage, only fragments of brick and alabaster, upon which were engraved a few letters in the cuneiform character, had been discovered.

While detained by unexpected circumstances at Constantinople, I entered into correspondence with a gentleman in England on the subject of excavations; but with this exception, no one seemed inclined to assist or take any interest in such an undertaking. I also wrote to M. Botta, encouraging him to proceed, notwithstanding the apparent paucity of results, and (Page 8) particularly calling his attention to the mound of Nimroud, which, however, he declined to explore on account of its distance from Mosul and its inconvenient position. I was soon called away from the Turkish capital to the provinces; and for some months numerous occupations prevented me turning my attention to the ruins and antiquities of Assyria.

In the meanwhile M. Botta, not discouraged by the want of success which had attended his first essay, continued his excavations in the mound of Kouyunjik; and to him is due the honor of having found the first Assyrian monument. This remarkable discovery owed its origin to the following circumstances. The small party employed by M. Botta were at work on Kouyunjik, when a peasant from a distant village chanced to visit the spot. Seeing that every fragment of brick and alabaster uncovered by the workmen was carefully preserved, he asked the reason of this, to him, strange proceeding. On being informed that they were in search of sculptured stones, he advised them to try the mound on which his village was built, and in which, he declared, many such things as they wanted had been exposed on digging the foundations of new houses. M. Botta, having been frequently deceived by similar stories, was not at first inclined to follow the peasant's advice, but subsequently sent an agent and one or two workmen to the place. After a little opposition from the inhabitants, they were permitted to sink a well in the mound; and at a small distance from the surface they came to the top of a wall which, on digging deeper, they found to be lined with sculptured slabs of gypsum. M. Botta, on receiving information of this discovery, went at once to the village, which was called Khorsabad. Directing a wider trench to be formed, and to be carried in the direction of the wall, he soon found that he had entered a chamber, connected with others, and surrounded by slabs of gypsum covered with sculptured representations of battles, sieges, and similar events. His wonder may easily be imagined. A new history had been suddenly opened to him - the records of an unknown people were before him. He was (Page 9) equally at a loss to account for the age and the nature of the monument. The style of art of the sculptures, the dresses of the figures, the mythic forms on the walls, were all new to him, and afforded no clew to the epoch of the erection of the edifice, or to the people who were its founders. Numerous inscriptions, accompanying the bas-reliefs, evidently contained the explanation of the events thus recorded in sculpture, and being in the cuneiform, or arrow headed, character, proved that the building belonged to an age preceding the conquests of Alexander; for it is generally admitted that after the subjugation of the west of Asia by the Macedonians, the cuneiform writing ceased to be employed. It was evident that the monument appertained to a very ancient and very civilized people; and it was natural from its position to refer it to the inhabitants of Nineveh, a city, which, although it could not have occupied a site so distant from the Tigris, must have been in the vicinity of these ruins. M. Botta had discovered an Assyrian edifice, the first, probably, which had been exposed to the view of man since the fall of the Assyrian empire.

M. Botta was not long in perceiving that the building which had been thus partly excavated, unfortunately owed its destruction to fire; and that the gypsum slabs, reduced to lime, were rapidly falling to pieces on exposure to the air. No precaution could arrest this rapid decay; and it was to be feared that this wonderful monument had only been uncovered to complete its ruin. The records of victories and triumphs, which had long attested the power and swelled the pride of the Assyrian kings, and had resisted the ravages of ages, were now passing away forever. They could scarcely be held together until an inexperienced pencil could secure an imperfect evidence of their former existence. Almost all that was first discovered thus speedily disappeared; and the same fate has befallen nearly every thing subsequently found at Khorsabad. A regret is almost felt that so precious a memorial of a great nation should have been exposed to destruction; but as far as the object of the monument is concerned, the intention of its founders will (Page 10) be amply fulfilled, and the records of their might will be more widely spread, and more effectually preserved, by modern art, than the most exalted ambition could have contemplated.

This remarkable discovery having been communicated by M. Botta, through M. Mohl, to the French Academy of Fine Arts, that body lost no time in applying to the Minister of Public Instruction for means to carry on the researches. The recommendation was attended to with that readiness and munificence which almost invariably distinguish the French government in undertakings of this nature. Ample funds for excavations were at once assigned to M. Botta, and an artist of acknowledged skill was placed under his orders to draw such objects as could not be removed. The work was carried on with activity and success, and by the beginning of 1845, the monument had been completely uncovered. M. Botta did not extend his researches beyond Khorsabad; but, having secured many fine specimens of Assyrian sculpture for his country, he returned to Europe with a rich collection of inscriptions, the most important result of his discovery.

The success of M. Botta had increased my anxiety to explore the ruins of Assyria. It was evident that Khorsabad could not stand alone. It did not represent ancient Nineveh, nor did it afford us any additional evidence as to the site of that city. If the edifice discovered had been one of its palaces, surely other buildings of a vaster and more magnificent character must exist nearer the seat of government, on the banks of the river Tigris. It was true that M. Botta had labored unsuccessfully for above three months in the great mound opposite Mosul, which was usually identified with the Assyrian capital; but that mound much exceeded in extent any other known ruin; and it was possible that in the part hitherto explored the traces of the buildings which it once contained were as completely lost as they were in many parts of the mound of Khorsabad. My thoughts still went back to Nimroud, and to the traditions which attached to it. I spoke to others, but received little encouragement. At last, in the autumn of 1845, Sir Stratford (Page 11) Canning offered to incur, for a limited period, the expense of excavations in Assyria, in the hope that, should success attend the attempt, means would be found to carry it out on an adequate scale.

It was now in my power to prosecute a work which I had so long desired to undertake; and the reader will not, I trust, be disinclined to join with me in feelings of gratitude toward one who, while he has maintained so successfully the honor and interests of England by his high character and eminent abilities, has acquired for his country so many great monuments of ancient civilization and art.[1.7] It is to Sir Stratford Canning we are mainly indebted for the collection of Assyrian antiquities with which the British Museum has been enriched; without his liberality and public spirit the treasures of Nimroud would have been reserved for the enterprise of those who have appreciated the value and importance of the discoveries at Khorsabad.

It was deemed prudent that I should leave Constantinople without acquainting any one with the object of my journey. I was furnished with the usual documents given to travelers when recommended by the Embassy, and with letters of introduction to the authorities at Mosul and in the neighborhood. My preparations were soon completed, and I started from Constantinople by steamer to Samsoun in the middle of October. Anxious to reach the end of my journey, I crossed the mountains of Pontus and the great steppes of the Usun Yilak as fast as post horses could carry me, descended the high lands into the valley of the Tigris, galloped over the vast plains of Assyria, and reached Mosul in twelve days.

[1.1] My traveling companion, during a long journey from England to Hamadan, was Edward Ledwich Mitford, Esq., now of her Majesty's civil service in the island of Ceylon.

[1.2] These ruins include the mounds of Kouyunjik and Nebbi Yunus.

[1.3] "He (Nimrod) went out into Assyria and builded Nineveh, the city Rehoboth and Calah, and Resen, between Nineveh and Calah; the same is a great city." (Gen. 10:11, 12.)

[1.4] This dam is called by the Arabs, either Sukr el Nimroud, from the tradition, or El Awayee, from the noise caused by the breaking of the water over the stones. Large rafts are obliged to unload before crossing it, and accidents frequently happen to those who neglect this precaution.

[1.5] Diodorus Siculus, it will be remembered, states that the stones of the bridge built by Semiramis across the Euphrates were united by similar iron cramps, while the interstices were filled up with molten lead.

[1.6] These dams greatly impeded the fleets of the conqueror in their navigation of the rivers of Susiana and Mesopotamia, and he caused many of them to be removed. (Strabo, p. 1051. ed. Ox. 1807.) By Strabo they were believed to have been constructed to prevent the ascent of the rivers by hostile fleets; but their use is evident. Tavernier mentions, in his Travels (vol. i. p. 226), this very dam. He says that his raft went over a cascade twenty-six feet high; but he must have greatly exaggerated.

[1.7] I need scarcely remind the reader that it is to Sir S. Canning we owe the marbles of Halicarnassus now in the British Museum. The difficulties which stood in the way of the acquisition of these valuable relics, and the skill which was required to obtain them, are not generally known. I can testify to the efforts and labor which were necessary for nearly three years before the repugnance of the Ottoman government could be overcome, and permission obtained to extract the sculptures from the walls of a castle which was more jealously guarded than any similar edifice in the empire. Their removal, notwithstanding the almost insurmountable difficulties raised by the authorities and inhabitants of Budroon was most successfully effected by Mr. Alison. The Elgin marbles, and all other remains from Turkey or Greece now in Europe, were obtained with comparative ease.

Chapter 2

(Page 12) My first step on reaching Mosul was to present my letters to Mohammed Pashaw, the governor of the province. Being a native of Candia, he was usually known as Keritli Oglu (the son of the Cretan), to distinguish him from his celebrated predecessor of the same name. The appearance of his excellency was not prepossessing, but it matched his temper and conduct. Nature had placed hypocrisy beyond his reach. He had one eye and one ear; he was short and fat, deeply marked by the small-pox, uncouth in gestures and harsh in voice. His fame had reached the seat of his government before him. On the road he had revived many good old customs and impositions, which the reforming spirit of the age had suffered to fall into decay. He particularly insisted on dish-parasi; [2.1] or a compensation in money, levied upon all villages in which a man of such rank is entertained, for the wear and tear of his teeth in masticating the food he condescends to receive from the inhabitants. On entering Mosul, he had induced several of the principal aghas, who had fled from the town on his approach, to (Page 13) return to their homes; and having made a formal display of oaths and protestations, cut their throats to show how much his word could be depended upon. At the time of my arrival, the population was in a state of terror and despair. Even the appearance of a casual traveler led to hopes, and reports were whispered about the town of the disgrace of the tyrant. Of this the pashaw was aware, and hit upon a plan to test the feelings of the people toward him. He was suddenly taken ill one afternoon, and was carried to his harem almost lifeless. On the following morning the palace was closed, and the attendants answered inquiries by mysterious motions, which could only be interpreted in one fashion. The doubts of the Mosuleeans gradually gave way to general rejoicings; but at mid-day his excellency, who had posted his spies all over the town, appeared in perfect health in the market-place. A general trembling seized the inhabitants. His vengeance fell principally upon those who possessed property, and had hitherto escaped his repacity. They were seized and stripped, on the plea that they had spread reports detrimental to his authority.

The villages, and the Arab tribes, had not suffered less than the townspeople. The pashaw was accustomed to give instructions to those who were sent to collect money, in three words - "Go, destroy, eat;"[2.2] and his agents were not generally backward in entering into the spirit of them. The tribes, who had been attacked and plundered, were retaliating upon caravans and travelers, or laying waste the cultivated parts of the pashawlic. The villages were deserted, and the roads were little frequented and very insecure.

Such was the pashaw to whom I was introduced two days after my arrival by the British vice-consul, Mr. Rassam. He read the letters which I presented to him, and received me with that civility which a traveler generally expects from a Turkish functionary of high rank. His anxiety to know the object of (Page 14) my journey was evident, but his curiosity was not gratified for the moment.

Many reasons rendered it necessary that my plans should be concealed, until I was ready to put them into execution. Although I had always experienced from M. Botta the most friendly assistance, there were others who did not share his sentiments; from the authorities and the people of the town I could only expect the most decided opposition. On the 8th of November, having secretly procured a few tools, I engaged a mason at the moment of my departure, and carrying with me a variety of guns, spears, and other formidable weapons, declared that I was going to hunt wild boars in a neighboring village, and floated down the Tigris on a small raft constructed for my journey. I was accompanied by Mr. Ross (a British merchant of Mosul[2.3]), my cawass, and a servant.

At this time of the year nearly seven hours are required to descend the Tigris, from Mosul to Nimroud. It was sunset before we reached the awai, or dam across the river. We landed and walked to the village of Naifa. No light appeared as we approached, nor were we even saluted by the dogs, which usually abound in an Arab village. We had entered a heap of ruins. I was about to return to the raft, upon which we had made up our minds to pass the night, when the glare of a fire lighted up the entrance to a miserable hovel. Through a crevice in the wall, I saw an Arab family crouching round a heap of half-extinguished embers. The dress of the man, the ample cloak and white turban, showed that he belonged to one of the tribes which cultivate a little land on the borders of the Desert, and are distinguished, by their more sedentary habits, from the Bedouins. Near him were three women, lean and haggard, their heads almost concealed in black handkerchiefs, (Page 15) and the rest of their persons enveloped in the striped aba. Some children, nearly naked, and one or two mangy greyhounds, completed the group. As we entered, all the party rose, and showed some alarm at this sudden appearance of strangers. The man, however, seeing Europeans, bid us welcome, and spreading some corn-sacks on the ground, invited us to be seated. The women and children retreated into a corner of the hut. Our host, whose name was Awad or Abd-Allah, was a sheikh of the Jehesh. His tribe having been plundered by the pashaw, and being now scattered in different parts of the country, he had taken refuge in this ruined village. He had learnt a little Turkish, and was intelligent and active. Seeing, at once, that he would be useful, I acquainted him with the object of my journey; offering him the prospect of regular employment in the event of the experiment proving successful, and assigning him fixed wages as superintendent of the workmen. He volunteered to walk, in the middle of the night, to Selamiyah, a village three miles distant, and to some Arab tents in the neighborhood, to procure men to assist in the excavations.

I had slept little during the night. The hovel in which we had taken shelter, and its inmates, did not invite slumber; but such scenes and companions were not new to me: they could have been forgotten, had my brain been less excited. Hopes, long cherished, were now to be realized or were to end in disappointment. Visions of palaces underground, of gigantic monsters, of sculptured figures, and endless inscriptions, floated before me. After forming plan after plan for removing the earth, and extricating these treasures, I fancied myself wandering in a maze of chambers from which I could find no outlet. Then, again, all was reburied, and I was standing on the grass-covered mound. Exhausted, I was at length sinking into sleep, when hearing the voice of Awad, I rose from my carpet, and joined him outside the hovel. The day already dawned; he had returned with six Arabs, who agreed for a small sum to work under my direction.

(Page 16) The lofty cone and broad mound of Nimroud broke like a distant mountain on the morning sky. But how changed was the scene since my former visit! The ruins were no longer clothed with verdure and many colored flowers; no signs of habitation, not even the black tent of the Arab, were seen upon the plain. The eye wandered over a parched and barren waste, across which occasionally swept the whirlwind, dragging with it a cloud of sand. About a mile from us was the small village of Nimroud, like Naifa, a heap of ruins.

Twenty minutes' walk brought us to the principal mound. The absence of all vegetation enabled me to examine the remains with which it was covered. Broken pottery and fragments of bricks, both inscribed with the cuneiform character, were strewed on all sides. The Arabs watched my motions as I wandered to and fro, and observed with surprise the objects I had collected. They joined, however, in the search, and brought me handfuls of rubbish, among which I found with joy the fragment of a bas relief. The material on which it was carved had been exposed to fire, and resembled, in every respect, the burnt gypsum of Khorsabad. Convinced from this discovery, that sculptured remains must still exist in some part of the mound, I sought for a place where excavations might be commenced with a prospect of success. Awad led me to a piece of alabaster which appeared above the soil. We could not remove it, and on digging downward, it proved to be the upper part of a large slab. I ordered all the men to work around it, and they shortly uncovered a second slab. Continuing in the same line, we came upon a third; and, in the course of the morning, discovered ten more, the whole forming a square, with a slab missing at one corner. It was evident that we had entered a chamber, and that the gap was its entrance. I now dug down the face of one of the stones, and an inscription in the cuneiform character was soon exposed to view. Similar inscriptions occupied the center of all the slabs, which were in the best preservation; but plain, with the exception of the writing. Leaving half the workmen to remove the rubbish (Page 17) from the chamber, I led the rest to the S. W. corner of the mound, where I had observed many fragments of calcined alabaster.

A trench, opened in the side of the mound, brought me almost immediately to a wall, bearing inscriptions in the same character as those already described. The slabs, which had been almost reduced to lime by exposure to intense heat, threatened to fall to pieces as soon as uncovered.

Night interrupted our labors. I returned to the village well satisfied with their result. It was now evident that the remains of buildings of considerable extent existed in the mound; and that although some had been injured by fire, others had escaped the conflagration. As inscriptions, and the fragment of a bas-relief had been found, it was natural to conclude that sculptures were still buried under the soil. I determined, therefore, to explore the N. W. corner, and to empty the chamber partly uncovered during the day.

On returning to the village, I removed from the crowded hovel in which we had passed the night. With the assistance of Awad, who was no less pleased than myself with our success, we patched up with mud the least ruined house in the village, and restored its falling roof. We contrived at least to exclude, in some measure, the cold night winds; and to obtain a little privacy for my companion and myself.

Next morning my workmen were increased by five Turcomans from Selamiyah, who had been attracted by the prospect of regular wages. I employed half of them in emptying the chamber, and the rest in following the wall at the S. W. corner of the mound. Before evening, the work of the first party was completed, and I found myself in a room[2.4] paneled with slabs about eight feet high, and varying from six to four feet in breadth. Upon one of them, which had fallen backward from its place, was rudely inscribed, in Arabic characters, the name of Ahmed Pashaw, one of the former (Page 18) hereditary governors of Mosul. A native of Selamiyah remembered that some Christians were employed to dig into the mound about thirty years before, in search of stone for the repair of the tomb of Sultan Abd-Allah, a Mussulman saint, buried on the left bank of the Tigris, a few miles below its junction with the Zab. They uncovered this slab; but being unable to move it, they cut upon it the name of their employer, the pashaw. My informant further stated that, in another part of the mound, he had forgotten the precise spot, they had found sculptured figures, which they broke in pieces to carry away the fragments.

The bottom of the chamber was paved with smaller slabs than those which lined the walls. They were covered with inscriptions on both sides, and had been placed upon a layer of bitumen, which, having been used in a liquid state, had retained a perfect impression in relief of the characters carved upon the stone. The inscriptions on the upright slabs were about twenty lines in length, and all were precisely similar.

In the rubbish near the bottom of the chamber, I found several objects in ivory, upon which were traces of gilding; among them were the figure of a king carrying in one hand the Egyptian crux ansata, or emblem of life, part of a crouching sphinx, and an elegant ornamental border of flowers. Awad, who had his own suspicions of the object of my search, which he could scarcely persuade himself was limited to mere stones, carefully collected all the scattered fragments of gold leaf he could find in the rubbish; and, calling me aside in a mysterious and confidential fashion, produced them wrapped up in a piece of dingy paper. "O bey," said he, "Wallah! your books are right, and the Franks know that which is hid from the true believer. Here is the gold, sure enough, and please God, we shall find it all in a few days. Only don't say anything about it to those Arabs, for they are asses and can not hold their tongues. The matter will come to the ears of the pashaw." The sheikh was much surprised, and equally disappointed, when I generously presented him with the treasures he had collected, and all such (Page 19) as he might hereafter discover. He left me, muttering "Yia Rubbi!" and other pious ejaculations, and lost in conjectures as to the meaning of these strange proceedings.

At the foot of the slabs in the S. W. corner, we found a great accumulation of charcoal, proving that the building of which they had formed part had been destroyed by fire. I dug also in several directions in this part of the mound, and in many places came upon the calcined remains of walls.

On the third day, I opened a trench in the high conical mound, but found only fragments of inscribed bricks. I also dug at the bank of the north side of the chamber first explored, in the expectation of coming upon other walls beyond, but unsuccessfully. As my chief aim was to ascertain the existence, as soon as possible, of sculptures, all my workmen were moved to the S. W. corner, where the many remains of walls already discovered evidently belonging to the same edifice, promised speedier success. I continued the excavations in this part of the mound until the 13th, still finding inscriptions, but no sculptures.

Some days having elapsed since my departure from Mosul, and the experiment having been so far successful, it was time to turn to the town and acquaint the pashaw, who had, no doubt, ready heard of my proceedings, with the object of my researches. I started, therefore, early in the morning of the 14th, and galloped to Mosul in about three hours.

I found the town in great commotion. In the first place, his excellency had, on the previous day, entrapped his subjects by the reports of his death, in the manner already described, and was now actively engaged in seeking pecuniary compensation for the insult he had received in the rejoicings of the population. In the second, the British vice-consul having purchased an old building to store his stock in trade, the cadi, a fanatic and man of infamous character, had given out that the Franks had formed a design of buying up the whole of Turkey, and was endeavoring to raise a riot, which was to end in the demolition of the consulate and other acts of violence. I called (Page 20) on the pashaw, and, in the first place, congratulated him on his speedy recovery; a compliment which he received with a grim smile of satisfaction. He then introduced the subject of the cadi, and the disturbance he had created. "Does that ill-conditioned fellow," exclaimed he, "think that he has Sheriff Pashaw (his excellency's immediate predecessor) to deal with, that he must be planning a riot in the town? When I was at Siwas the ulema tried to excite the people because I encroached upon a burying-ground. But I made them eat dirt! Wallah! I took every gravestone and built up the castle walls with them." He pretended at first to be ignorant of the excavations at Nimroud; but subsequently thinking that he would convict me of prevarication in my answers to his questions as to the amount of treasure discovered, pulled out of his writing tray a scrap of paper, as dingy as that produced by Awad, in which was also preserved an almost invisible particle of gold leaf. This, he said, had been brought to him by the commander of the irregular troops stationed at Selamiyah, who had been watching my proceedings. I suggested that he should name an agent to be present as long as I worked at Nimroud, to take charge of all the precious metals that might. be discovered. He promised to write on the subject to the chief of the irregulars; but offered no objection to the continuation of my researches.

Reports of the wealth extracted from the ruins had already reached Mosul, and had excited the cupidity and jealousy of the cadi and principal inhabitants of the place. It was evident that I should have to contend against a formidable opposition; but as the pashaw had not, as yet, openly objected to my proceedings, I hired some Nestorian Chaldeans, who had left their mountains for the winter to seek employment in Mosul, and sent them to Nimroud. At the same time I engaged agents to explore several mounds in the neighborhood of the town, hoping to ascertain the existence of sculptured buildings in some parts of the country, before steps were taken to interrupt me.

(Page 21) While at Mosul, Mormous, an Arab of the tribe of Haddedeen, informed me that figures had been accidentally uncovered in a mound near the village of Tel Kef. As he offered to take me to the place, we rode out together; but he only pointed out the site of an old quarry, with a few rudely hewn stones. Such disappointments were daily occurring; and I wearied myself in scouring the country to see remains which had been most minutely described to me as sculptures, or slabs covered with writing, and which generally proved to be the ruin of some modern building, or an early tombstone inscribed with Arabic characters.

The mounds, which I directed to be opened, were those of Baasheikha (of considerable size), Baazani, Karamles, Karakush, Yara, and Jerraiyah. Connected with the latter ruin many strange tales were current in the country. It was said at on its lofty conical mound formerly stood a temple of black stone, held in great reverence by the Yezidis, or worshipers of the devil; its walls covered with all manner of sculptured figures, and with inscriptions in an unknown language. When the Bey of Rowandiz fell upon the Yezidis, and massacred those who were unable to escape, he destroyed this house of idols; but the ruins of the building, it was declared, had only been covered by small accumulation of rubbish. The lower part of an Assyrian figure, in relief on basalt, dug up, it was said, in the mound, was actually brought to me; but I had afterward reason to suspect that it was discovered at Khorsabad. Excavations were carried on for some time at Jerraiyah, but no remains of the Yezidi temple were brought to light.

Having finished my arrangements in. Mosul, I returned to Nimroud on the 19th. During my absence, my cawass had carried the excavations along the back of a wall, in the S. W. corner of the mound,[2.5] and had discovered an entrance or doorway. [2.6] Being anxious to make as much progress as possible, increased my workmen to thirty, and distributed them in (Page 22) three parties. By opening long trenches at right angles in various directions, we came upon the top of a wall, [2.7] built of slabs with inscriptions similar to those already described. One, however, was reversed, and was covered with characters, exceeding in size any I had yet seen. On examining the inscription carefully I found that it corresponded with those of the chamber in the N. W. corner; but as the edges of this, as well as of all the other slabs hitherto discovered in the S. W. ruins, had been cut away to make the stones fit into the wall, several letters had been destroyed. From these facts it was evident that materials taken from another building had been used in the construction of the one we were now exploring; but as yet it could not be ascertained whether the face or the back of the slabs had been uncovered; for the general plan of the edifice could not be determined until the heap of rubbish and earth under which it was buried had been removed. The excavations were now carried on but slowly. The soil, mixed with sun-dried and baked bricks, pottery, and fragments of alabaster, offered considerable resistance to the tools of the workmen; and when loosened, could only be removed in baskets to be thrown over the edge of the mound. The Chaldeans from the mountains, strong and hardy men, could alone wield the pick; the Arabs were employed in carrying away the earth. Spades could not be used, and there were no other means, than those I had adopted, to clear away the rubbish from the ruins. A person standing on the mound could see no remains of building until he approached the edge of the trenches, into which the workmen descended by steps, where parts of the walls were exposed to view.

The Abou-Salman and Tai Arabs continuing their depredations in the plains of Nimroud and surrounding country, I deemed it prudent to remove from Naifa, where I had hitherto resided, to Selamiyah. This village is built on a rising ground near the Tigris, and was formerly a place of some importance, (Page 23) being mentioned at a very early period as a market-town by the Arab geographers, who generally connect it with the ruins of Athur or Nimroud. It occupies an ancient site, and in long lines of mounds, inclosing the village, can be traced the walls of an Assyrian town, or more probably of one of the suburbs of the capital. Even five years ago Selamiyah was a flourishing place, and could furnish 150 well armed horsemen. The pashaw had, however, plundered it; and the inhabitants had fled to the mountains or into the neighboring province of Baghdad. Ten miserable huts now stood in the midst of ruins of bazars and streets surrounding a kasr or palace, belonging to the old hereditary pashaws of Mosul, well built of alabaster, but rapidly falling into decay. I had intended to take possession of this building, which was occupied by a few hytas or irregular troops; but the rooms were in such a dilapidated condition that the low mud hut of the kiayah, or chief of the village, appeared to be both safer and warmer. I accordingly spread my carpet in one of its corners, and giving the owner a few piastres to finish other dwelling-places which he had commenced, established myself for the winter. The premises, which were speedily completed, consisted of four hovels, surrounded by a mud wall, and roofed with reeds and boughs of trees. I occupied half of the largest habitation, the other half being appropriated for beasts of the plow, and various domestic animals. We were separated by a wall; in which, however, numerous apertures served as a means of communication. These I studiously endeavored for some time to block up. A second hut was devoted to the wives, children, and poultry of my host; a third served as kitchen and servants' hall: the fourth was converted into a stall for my horses. In the inclosure formed by the buildings and outer wall, the few sheep and goats which had escaped the rapacity of the pashaw, congregated during the night, and kept up a continual bleating and coughing until they were milked and turned out to pasture at daybreak.

The roofs not being constructed to exclude the winter rains (Page 24) now setting in, it required some exercise of ingenuity to escape the torrent which descended into my apartment. I usually passed the night on these occasions crouched up in a corner, or under a rude table which I had constructed. The latter, having been surrounded by trenches, to carry of the accumulating waters, generally afforded the best shelter. My cawass, who was a Constantinopolitan, complained bitterly of the hardships he was compelled to endure, and I had some difficulty in prevailing upon my servants to remain with me.

The present inhabitants of Selamiyah, and of most of the villages in this part of the pashawlic of Mosul, are Turcomans, descendants of tribes brought by the early Turkish sultans from the north of Asia Minor, to people a country which had been laid waste by repeated massacres and foreign invasions. In this portion of the Ottoman empire, there is scarcely, except in Mosul and the Mountains, a vestige of the ancient population. The great tribes which inhabit the desert were brought from the Jebel Shammar, in Nedjd, within the memory of man. The inhabitants of the plains to the east of the Tigris are mostly Turcomans and Kurds, mixed with Arabs, or with Yezidis, who are strangers in the land, and whose origin can not easily be determined. A few Chaldean and Jacobite Christians, scattered in Mosul and the neighboring villages, or dwelling in the most inaccessible part of the mountains, their places of refuge from the devastating bands of Tamerlane, are probably the only descendants of that great people which once swayed, from these plains, the half of Asia.

The yuz-bashi, or captain of the irregular troops, one Daoud Agha, a native of the north of Asia Minor, called upon me as soon as I was established in my new quarters. Like most men of his class, acknowledged freebooters,[2.8] he was frank and (Page 25) intelligent. He tendered me his services, entertained me with his adventures, and planned hunting expeditions. A few presents secured his adherence, and he proved himself afterward a very useful and faithful ally.

I had now to ride three miles every morning to the mound; and my workmen, who were afraid, on account of the Arabs, live at Naifa, returned, after the day's labor, to Selamiyah. The excavations were however carried on as actively as the means at my disposal would permit. An entrance, or doorway, had now been completely cleared, and the backs of several inscribed slabs had been uncovered.[2.9] A corner-stone which had evidently been brought from another building, was richly ornamented with flowers and scroll-work in relief; but there were no sculptures; nor could any idea be yet formed of the relative position of the walls. I therefore ordered a trench to be opened from the doorway into the interior of the mound, presuming that we should ultimately come to the opposite side of the chamber, to which, it appeared probable, we had found the entrance. After removing a large accumulation of earth mixed with charcoal, charred wood, and broken bricks, we reached the top of a new wall on the afternoon of the 28th November. In order to ascertain whether we were in the inside of a chamber, the workmen were directed to clear away the earth from both sides of the slabs. The south face was unsculptured, (Page 26) 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.[2.10]

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 center, 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, while his right drew the string, with the arrow ready to be discharged. The left arm was encircled 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.[2.11] The chariots were low, rounded at the top, and edged by a rich molding 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 (Page 28) 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."[2.12] 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.

(Page 29) 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, while another in full armor was forcing stones from the walls with an instrument, probably of iron, resembling blunt spear. Between them was a wounded man falling head-long 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, (Page 30) 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 pashaw, 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 pashaw 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 pashaw. "It was with deep (Page 31) regret," said he, "I learnt, after your departure yesterday, that the mound in which you are digging had been used as a burying-ground by Mussulmans, and was covered with their graves; now you are aware that by the law it is forbidden to disturb a tomb, and the cadi and mufti have already made representations to me on the subject." "In the first place," replied I, "being pretty well acquainted with the mound, I can state that no graves have been disturbed; in the second, after the wise and firm "politica" which your excellency exhibited at Siwas, gravestones would present no difficulty. Please God, the cadi and mufti have profited by the lesson which your excellency gave to the ill-mannered ulema of that city." "In Siwas," returned he, immediately understanding my meaning, "I had Mussulmans to deal with, and there was tanzimat, [2.13] but here we have only Kurds and Arabs, and Wallah! they are beasts. No, I can not allow you to proceed; you are my dearest and most intimate friend; if any thing happens to you, what grief should I not suffer; your life is more valuable than old stones; besides, the responsibility would fall upon my head." Finding that the pashaw had resolved to interrupt my proceedings, I pretended to acquiesce in his answer, and reqested that a cawass of his own might be sent with me to Nimroud, as I wished to draw the sculptures and copy the inscriptions which had already been uncovered. To this he consented, and ordered an officer to accompany me.

On my return to Selamiyah there was little difficulty inducing the pashaw's cawass to permit a few workmen to guard the sculptures during the day; and as Daoud Agha considered that this functionary's presence relieved him from any further responsibility, he no longer interfered with me. Wishing to ascertain the existence of the graves, and also to draw one of the bas-reliefs, which had been uncovered, I rode to the ruins on the following morning, accompanied by the (Page 32) hytas and their chief, who were going their usual rounds in search of plundering Arabs. Daoud Agha confessed to me on our way that he had received orders to make graves on the mound, and that his troops had been employed for two nights in bringing stones from distant villages for that purpose.[2.14] "We have destroyed more real tombs of the true believers," said he, "in making sham ones, than you could have defiled between the Zab and Selamiyah. We have killed our horses and ourselves in carrying those accursed stones." A steady rain setting in, I left the horsemen, and returned to the village.

In the evening Daoud Agha brought back with him a prisoner and two of his followers severely wounded. He had fallen in with a party of horsemen under Sheikh Abd-ur-rahman of the Abou-Salman Arabs, whose object in crossing the Zab had been to plunder me as I worked at the mound. After a short engagement, the Arabs were compelled to recross the river.

I continued to employ a few men to open trenches by way of experiment, and was not long in finding other sculptures. Near the western edge of the mound were discovered the lower part of several colossal figures, at the foot of the S. E. corner a crouching lion, rudely carved in black basalt, and in the center a pair of gigantic winged bulls, the head and half of the wings of which had been destroyed. On the backs of the slabs, on which the bulls were sculptured in high relief, were inscriptions in the arrow-headed character. The remains of two small winged lions forming the entrance into a chamber, and a bas-relief nine feet in height, representing a human figure raising the right hand, and carrying a branch with three flowers resembling the poppy, in the left, were also uncovered. But these afforded no clew to the nature of the buildings, of which only detached and unconnected walls had as yet been exposed.

The experiment had now been fairly made; there was no longer any doubt of the existence not only of sculptures and (Page 33) inscriptions, but even of large edifices in the interior of the mound Nimroud. I lost no time, therefore, in acquainting Sir Stratford Canning with my discovery, and in urging the necessity of a firman, or order from the Porte, which would prevent any future interference on the part of the authorities, or the inhabitants of the country.

It was now nearly Christmas, and as it was desirable to remove from the mound the tombs, which had been made by the pashaw's orders, and others, more genuine, which had since been found, I came to an understanding on the subject with Daoud Agha. I covered over the sculptures brought to light, and withdrew altogether from Nimroud, leaving an agent at Selamiyah .

On entering Mosul on the morning of the 18th of December, I found the whole population in a ferment of joy. A Tatar had that morning brought from Constantinople the welcome news that the Porte, at length alive to the wretched condition of the province, and to the misery of the inhabitants, had disgraced the governor, and had named Ismail Pashaw, a young major-general of the new school, to carry on affairs until Hafiz Pashaw, who had been appointed to succeed Keritli Oglu, could reach his government.

Ismail Pashaw, who had been for some time in command of the troops at Diarbekir, had gained a great reputation for justice among the Mussulmans, and for tolerance among the Christians. Consequently his appointment had given much satisfaction to the people of Mosul, who were prepared to receive him with a demonstration. However, he slipped into the town during the night, some time before he had been expected. On the following morning a change had taken place at the palace, and Mohammed Pashaw, with his followers, were reduced to extremities. The dragoman of the consulate, who had business to transact with the late governor, found him sitting in a dilapidated chamber, through which the rain penetrated without hindrance. "Thus it is," said he, "with God's creatures. Yesterday all those dogs (Page 34) were kissing my feet; to-day every one, and every thing, falls upon me, even the rain!"

Meanwhile the state of the country rendering the continuation of my researches at Nimroud almost impossible, I determined to proceed to Baghdad, to make arrangements for the removal of the sculptures at a future period.

[2.1] Literally, "tooth-money."

[2.2] To eat money, i. e. to get money unlawfully or by pillage, is a common expression in the East.

[2.3] Mr. Ross will perhaps permit me to acknowledge in a note the valuable assistance I received from him, during my labors in Assyria. His knowledge of the natives, and intimate acquaintance with the resources of the country, enabled him to contribute much to the success of my undertaking - while to his friendship I am indebted for many pleasant hours, which would have been passed wearily in a land of strangers.

[2.4] Chamber A, plan 3

[2.5] Wall e, plan 2

[2.6] Entrance d, same plan.

[2.7] Wall m, same plan.

[2.8] The irregular cavalry (hytas as they are called in this part of Turkey, and bashi-bozuks in Roumelia and Anatolia) are collected from all classes and provinces. A man known for his courage and daring is named hyta-bashi, or chief of the hytas, and is furnished with teskeres or orders for pay and provisions for so many horsemen, from four or five hundred to a thousand or more. He collects all the vagrants and freebooters he can find to make up his number. They must provide their own arms and horses, although sometimes they are furnished with them by the hyta-bashi, who deducts a part of their pay until he reimburses himself. The best hytas are Albanians and Lazes, and they form a very effective body of irregular cavalry. Their pay at Mosul is small, amounting to about eight shillings a month; in other provinces it is considerably more. They are quartered on the villages, and are the terror of the inhabitants, whom they plunder and ill-treat as they think fit. When a hyta-bashi has established a reputation for himself, his followers are numerous and devoted. He wanders about the provinces, and like a condottiere of the middle ages, sells his services, and those of his troops, to the pashaw who offers most pay, and the best prospects of plunder. Since the introduction of the tanzimat, or reformed system of government, the number of irregular troops has been greatly reduced, and the hytas are no longer able to ill-treat the inhabitants of villages as formerly.

[2.9] Wall and entrance d, plan 2.

[2.10] Nos. 1 and 2, wall f, plan 2.

[2.11] 1 Kings 10:17; 2 Sam. 8: 7.

[2.12] Ezekiel 27:20.

[2.13] The reformed system, introduced into most provinces of Turkey, had not yet been extended to Mosul and Baghdad.

[2.14] In Arabia, the graves are merely marked by large stones placed upright at the head and feet, and in a heap over the body.

Chapter 3

(Page 35) On my return to Mosul in the beginning of January, I found Ismail Pashaw installed in the government. He received me with courtesy, offered no opposition to the continuation of my researches at Nimroud, and directed the irregular troops stationed at Selamiyah to afford me every assistance and protection. The change since my departure had been as sudden as great. A few conciliatory acts on the part of the new governor, an order from the Porte for an inquiry into the sums unjustly levied by the late pashaw, with a view to their repayment, and a promise of a diminution of taxes, had so far encouraged those who had fled to the mountains and the desert, that the inhabitants of the villages were slowly returning to their homes; and even the Arab tribes, whose pasture-grounds are in the districts of Mosul, were again pitching their tents on the banks of the Tigris.

During my absence my agents had not been inactive. Several trenches had been opened in the great mound of Baasheikha; and fragments of sculpture and inscriptions, with entire pottery and inscribed bricks, had been discovered there. At Karamles a platform of brickwork had been uncovered, (Page 36) and the Assyrian origin of the ruin proved by the inscription on the bricks, which contained the name of the Khorsabad king.

I rode to Nimroud on the 17th of January, having first engaged a party of Nestorian Chaldeans to accompany me.

The change that had taken place in the face of the country during my absence, was no less remarkable than that in the political state of the province. To me they were both equally agreeable and welcome. The rains, which had fallen almost incessantly from the day of my departure from Baghdad, had rapidly brought forward the vegetation of spring. The mound was no longer an arid and barren heap; its surface and its sides were covered with verdure. From the summit of the pyramid my eye ranged, on one side, over a broad plain inclosed by the Tigris and the Zab; on the other, over a low undulating country bounded by the snow capped mountains of Kurdistan; but it was no longer the dreary waste I had left a month before; the landscape was clothed in green, the black tents of the Arabs checkered the plain of Nimroud, and their numerous flocks pastured on the distant hills. The Abou-Salman had re-crossed the Zab, and had sought their old encamping grounds. The Jehesh and Shemutti Arabs had returned to their villages, around which the wandering Jebours had pitched their tents, and were now engaged in cultivating the soil. Even on the mound the plow opened its furrows, and corn was sown over the palaces of the Assyrian kings.

Security had been restored, and Nimroud offered a more convenient and agreeable residence than Selamiyah. Hiring, therefore, three huts, I removed to my new dwelling-place. A few rude chairs, a table, and a wooden bedstead, formed the whole of my furniture. My cawass spread his carpet, and hung his tobacco-pouch in the corner of a hovel, which he had appropriated, and spent his days in peaceful contemplation. The servants constructed a rude kitchen, and the grooms shared the stalls with the horses. Mr. Hormuzd Rassam, the brother of the British vice consul, came to reside with me, and undertook (Page 37) the daily payment of the workmen and the domestic arrangements.

My agent, with the assistance of the chief of the hytas, had punctually fulfilled the instructions he had received on my departure. Not only were the counterfeit graves carefully removed, but even others, which possessed more claim to respect, had been rooted out. I entered into an elaborate argument with the Arabs on the subject of the latter, and proved to them that, as the bodies were not turned toward Mecca, they could not be those of true believers. I ordered the remains, however, to be carefully collected, and to be reburied at the foot of the mound.

Since my last visit, a sculptured slab, divided into two compartments, had been discovered in the S. W. ruins.[3.1] The upper bas-relief had been destroyed; the lower contained four figures, carrying supplies for a banquet, or spoil taken from the enemy. The object carried by the foremost figure could not be determined; the second bore either fruit or a loaf of bread; the third a basket and a skin of wine; the fourth a similar skin, and a vessel of not inelegant shape. The four figures were clothed in long fringed robes, descending to the ankles, and wore the conical cap or helmet before described. The slab had been reduced in size, to the injury of the sculpture, and had evidently belonged to another building. It had on either side the usual inscription, and had been so much injured by fire that it could not be moved.

My labors had scarcely been resumed when I received information that the Cadi of Mosul was endeavoring to stir up the people against me, chiefly on the plea that I was carrying away treasure; and, what was worse, finding inscriptions proving that the Franks once held the country, and upon the evidence of which they intended immediately to resume possession of it, exterminating all true believers. These stories, however absurd they may appear, rapidly gained ground in the (Page 38) town. Old Mohammed Emin Pashaw brought out his Yakuti, and confirmed, by that geographer's account of treasures anciently found at Khorsabad, the allegations of the cadi. A representation was ultimately made by the ulema to Ismail Pashaw; and as he expressed a wish to see me, I rode to Mosul. He was not, he said, influenced by the cadi or the mufti, nor did he believe the absurd tales which they had spread abroad. I should shortly see how he intended to treat these troublesome fellows, but he thought it prudent at present to humor them, and made it a personal request that I would, for the time, suspend the excavations. I consented with regret; and once more returned to Nimroud, without being able to gratify the ardent curiosity I felt to explore further the extraordinary building, the nature of which was still a mystery to me.

The Abou-Salman Arabs, who encamp around Nimroud, are known for their thievish propensities, and might have caused me some annoyance. Thinking it prudent, therefore to conciliate their chief, I rode over one morning to their principal encampment. Sheikh Abd-ur-rahman received me at the entrance of his capacious tent of black goat-hair, which was crowded with relations, followers, and strangers, enjoying his hospitality. He was one of the handsomest Arabs I ever saw; tall, robust, and well made, with a countenance in which intelligence was no less marked than courage and resolution. On his head he wore a turban of dark linen, from under which a many-colored kerchief fell over his shoulders; his dress was a simple white shirt, descending to the ankles, and an Arab cloak thrown loosely over it. Contrary to the custom of the Arabs, he had shaved his beard; and, although he could scarcely be much beyond forty, I observed that the little hair which could be distinguished from under his turban was gray. He received me with every demonstration of hospitality, and led me to the upper place in the tent, which was divided by a goat-hair curtain from the harem. The place of reception for the guests was at the same time occupied by two favorite mares and a colt. A few camels were kneeling on the grass around, and the (Page 39) horses of the strangers were tied by their halters to the tent-pins. From the carpets and cushions, which were spread for me, stretched on both sides a long line of men of the most motley appearance, seated on the bare ground. The sheikh placed himself at the furthest end, as is the custom in some of the tribes, to show his respect for his guest; and could only be prevailed upon, after many excuses and protestations, to share the carpet with me. In the center of the group, near a small fire of camel's dung, crouched a half-naked Arab, engaged alternately in blowing up the expiring embers, and in pounding the roasted coffee in a copper mortar, ready to replenish the huge pots which stood near him.

After the customary compliments had been exchanged with all around, one of my attendants beckoned to the sheikh, who left the tent to receive the presents I had brought to him, - a silk gown and a supply of coffee and sugar. He dressed himself in his new attire and returned to the assembly. "Inshallah," said I, "we are now friends, although scarcely a month ago you came over the Zab on purpose to appropriate the little property I am accustomed to carry about me." "Wallah, Bey," he replied, "you say true, we are friends; but listen: the Arabs either sit down and serve his majesty the sultan, or they eat from others, as others would eat from them. Now my tribe are of the Zobeide, and were brought here many years ago by the pashaws of the Abd-el-Jelleel.[3.2] These lands were given us in return for the services we rendered the Turks in keeping back the Tai and the Shammar, who crossed the rivers to plunder the villages. All the great men of the Abou-Salman perished in encounters with the Bedouin,[3.3] and Injeh Bairakdar, Mohammed Pashaw, upon whom God has had mercy, acknowledged our fidelity and treated us with honor. When that blind dog, the son of the Cretan, may curses fall upon him! came to Mosul, I waited upon him, as it is usual for the sheikh; what did (Page 40) he do? Did he give me the cloak of honor? No; he put me, an Arab of the tribe of Zobeide, a tribe which had fought with the prophet, into the public stocks. For forty days my heart melted away in a damp cell, and I was exposed to every variety of torture. Look at these hairs," continued he, lifting up his turban, "they turned white in that time, and I must now shave my beard, a shame among the Arabs. I was released at last; but how did I return to the tribe? - a beggar, unable to kill a sheep for my guests. He took my mares, my flocks, and my camels, as the price of my liberty. Now tell me, O Bey, in the name of God, if the Osmanlis have eaten from me and my guests, shall I not eat from them and theirs?"

The fate of Abd-ur-rahman had been such as he described it; and so had fared several chiefs of the desert and of the mountains. It was not surprising that these men, proud of their origin and accustomed to the independence of a wandering life, had revenged themselves upon the unfortunate inhabitants of the villages, who had no less cause to complain than themselves. However, the sheikh promised to abstain from plunder for the future, and to present himself to Ismail Pashaw, of whose conciliatory conduct he had already heard.

It was nearly the middle of February before I thought it prudent to make fresh experiments among the ruins. To avoid notice I employed only a few men, and confined myself to the examination of such parts of the mound as appeared to contain buildings. My first attempt was in the S. W. corner, where a new wall was speedily discovered, all the slabs of which were sculptured, and uninjured by fire, though they had, unfortunately, been half destroyed by long exposure to the atmosphere.[3.4] On three consecutive slabs was one bas-relief; on others were only parts of a subject. It was evident from the costume, the ornaments, and the general treatment, that these sculptures did not belong either to the same building, or to the same period as those previously discovered. I recognized in them the style of Khorsabad, and in the inscriptions certain characters, which (Page 41) were peculiar to monuments of that age. The slabs, like those in other parts of the edifice, had been brought from elsewhere.

The most perfect of the bas-reliefs was, in many respects, interesting. It represented a king, distinguished by his high conical tiara, raising his extended right hand and resting his left upon a bow. At his feet crouched a warrior, probably a captive enemy or rebel, but more likely the latter as he wore the pointed helmet peculiar to the Assyrians. An eunuch held a fly-flapper or fan over the head of the king, who appeared to be conversing or performing some ceremony with an officer standing in front of him, - probably his vizier or minister.[3.5] Behind this personage, who differed from the king by his head-dress, - a simple fillet confining the hair, - were two attendants, the first an eunuch, the second a bearded figure. This bas-relief was separated from a second above, by an inscription; the upper sculpture had been almost totally destroyed, and I could with difficulty trace a wounded figure, wearing a helmet with a curved crest, resembling the Greek, and horsemen engaged in battle. Both subjects were continued on the adjoining slabs, but they were broken off near the bottom, and the feet of a row of figures, probably other attendants, standing behind the king and his minister, could alone be distinguished.

On the same wall, which had completely disappeared in some places, could be traced a group resembling that just described, and several colossal winged figures in low relief.

Several deep trenches led me to two new walls,[3.6] the sculptures on which were not better preserved than those previously discovered in this part of the mound. Of the lower parts of several colossal figures, some had been purposely defaced by a sharp instrument, others, from long exposure, had been worn almost smooth.

(Page 42) These experiments were sufficient to prove that the building I was exploring had not been entirely destroyed by fire, but had been partly exposed to gradual decay. No sculptures had hitherto been discovered in a perfect state of preservation, and only one or two could bear removal. I determined, therefore, to abandon this corner, and to resume excavations in the north-west ruins near the chamber first opened, where the slabs were uninjured. The workmen were directed to dig behind the remains of the small lions, which appeared to have formed an entrance; and after removing much earth, they discovered a few unsculptured slabs, fallen from their places, and broken in many pieces. The walls of the room of which they had originally formed part could not be traced.

As this part of the building stood on the very edge of the mound, it had probably been more exposed, and had consequently sustained more injury, than any other. I determined, therefore, to open-a trench more in the center of the edifice, and choose for the purpose a deep ravine, which, apparently worn by the winter rains, extended far into the ruins. In two days the workmen reached the top of an entire slab, standing in its original position.[3.7] On one face of it I discovered, to my great satisfaction, two human figures, considerably above the natural size, in low relief, and in admirable preservation. In a few hours the earth and rubbish were completely removed from the sculpture. The ornaments delicately graven on the robes, the tassels and fringes, the bracelets and armlets, the elaborate curls of the hair and beard, were all entire. The figures were back to back, and from the shoulders of each sprang two wings. They appeared to represent divinities, presiding over the seasons, or over particular religious ceremonies. The one, whose face was turned to the east, carried a fallow deer on his right arm, and in his left hand a branch bearing five flowers. Around his temples was a fillet, adorned in front with a rosette. The other held a square vessel, or basket, in the left hand, and an object (Page 43) resembling a fir-cone in the right.[3.8] On his head he wore a (Page 44) rounded cap, ornamented at the lower part by a kind of horn curved upward in front. The garments of both, consisting of a stole falling from the shoulders to the ankles, and a short tunic underneath, descending to the knee, were richly and tastefully decorated with embroideries and fringes. Their hair fell in a profusion of ringlets on their shoulders, and their beards were elaborately arranged in alternate rows of curls. Although the relief was lower, yet the outline was perhaps more careful, and true, than that of the sculptures of Khorsabad. The limbs were delineated with peculiar accuracy, and the muscles and bones faithfully, though somewhat too strongly, marked. In the center of the slab, and crossing the figures, was an inscription .

Adjoining this slab, was a second, cut so as to form a corner, sculptured with an elegant device, in which curved branches, springing from a kind of scroll-work, terminated in flowers of graceful form. As one of the figures last described was turned, as if act of adoration, toward this device, it was evidently a sacred emblem; and I recognized in it the holy tree, or tree of life, so universally adored at the remotest periods in the East, and which was preserved in the religious systems of the Persians to the final overthrow (Page 45) of their empire by the Arabian conquerors. The flowers were formed by seven petals springing from two tendrils, or a double scroll; thus in all its details resembling that tasteful ornament of Ionic architecture known as the honeysuckle. The alternation of this flower with an object resembling a tulip in the embroideries on the garments of the two winged figures just described, and in other bas-reliefs subsequently discovered, establishes, beyond a doubt, the origin of one of the most favorite and elegant embellishments of Greek art. We are also reminded, by the peculiar arrangement of the intertwining branches, of the "network of pomegranates," which was one of the principal ornaments of the temple of Solomon. [3.9] This sculpture and the two winged figures resembled in their style and details several of the fragments built into the S.W. palace, proving at once, from whence the greater part of the materials used in the construction of that building had been obtained.

Adjoining this corner-stone was a figure of singular form. A human body, clothed in robes similar to those of the winged (Page 46) men already described, was surmounted by the head of an eagle or of a vulture.[3.10] The curved beak, of considerable length, was half open, and displayed a narrow tongue, on which were still the remains of red paint. On the shoulders (Page 47) fell the usual curled and bushy hair of the Assyrian images, and comb of feathers rose on the top of the head. Two wings sprang from the back, and in either hand was the square vessel and fir-cone. In a kind of girdle were three daggers, the handle one being in the form of the head of a bull. They may have been of precious metal, but more probably of copper, inlaid with ivory or enamel, as a few days before a copper dagger-handle, precisely similar in form to one of those carried by this figure, hollowed to receive an ornament of some such material, had been discovered in the S.W. ruins, and is now preserved in the British Museum.

This effigy, which probably typified by its mythic form the lion of certain divine attributes, may perhaps be identified with the god Nisroch, in whose temple Sennacherib was slain by his sons[3.11] after his return from his unsuccessful expedition against Jerusalem; the word Nisr signifying, in all Semitic languages, an eagle.[3.12]

On all these figures were traces of color, particularly on the hair, beard, eyes, and sandals, and there can be no doubt that they had been originally painted. The slabs on which they were sculptured had sustained no injury, and they evidently formed part of a chamber, which could be completely explored by digging along the wall, now partly uncovered.

On the morning following these discoveries, I had ridden to the encampment of Sheikh Abd-ur-rahman, and was returning to the mound, when I saw two Arabs of his tribe urging their mares to the top of their speed. On approaching me they stopped. "Hasten, O Bey," exclaimed one of them - "hasten the diggers, for they have found Nimrod himself. Wallah! it is wonderful, but it is true! we have seen him with our eyes. There is no God but God ;" and both joining in this pious (Page 48) exclamation, they galloped off, without further words, in the direction of their tents.

On reaching the ruins I descended into the new trench, and found the workmen, who had already seen me, as I approached, standing near a heap of baskets and cloaks. While Awad advanced and asked for a present to celebrate the occasion, the Arabs withdrew the screen they had hastily constructed, and disclosed an enormous human head sculptured in full out of the alabaster of the country. They had uncovered the upper part of a figure, the remainder of which was still buried in the earth. I saw at once that the head must belong to a winged lion or bull, similar to those of Khorsabad and Persepolis. It (Page 49) was in admirable preservation. The expression was calm, yet majestic, and the outline of the features showed a freedom and knowledge of art, scarcely to be looked for in works of so remote a period. The cap had three horns, and, unlike that of the human-headed bulls hitherto found in Assyria, was rounded and without ornament at the top.

I was not surprised that the Arabs had been amazed and terrified at this apparition. It required no stretch of imagination to conjure up the most strange fancies. This gigantic head, blanched with age, thus rising from the bowels of the earth, might well have belonged to one of those fearful beings which are pictured in the traditions of the country, as appearing to mortals, slowly ascending from the regions below. One of the workmen, on catching the first glimpse of the monster, had thrown down his basket and had run off toward Mosul as fast as his legs could carry him. I learned this with regret, as I anticipated the consequences.

While I was superintending the removal of the earth, which still clung to the sculpture, and giving directions for the continuation of the work, a noise of horsemen was heard, and presently Abd-ur-rahman, followed by half his tribe, appeared the edge of the trench. As soon as the two Arabs had reached the tents, and published the wonders they had seen, every one mounted his mare and rode to the mound to satisfy himself of the truth of these inconceivable reports. When they beheld the head they all cried together, "There is no God but God, and Mohammed is his Prophet!" It was some time before the sheikh could be prevailed upon to descend into the pit, and convince himself that the image he saw was of stone. "This is not the work of men's hands," exclaimed he, "but of those infidel giants of whom the Prophet, peace be with him! has said, that they were higher than the tallest date tree; this is one of the idols which Noah, peace be with him! cursed before the flood." In this opinion, the result of a careful examination, all the by-standers concurred.

I now ordered a trench to be dug due south from the head (Page 50) in the expectation of finding a corresponding figure, and before night-fall reached the object of my search about twelve feet distant. Engaging two or three men to sleep near the sculptures, I returned to the village, and celebrated the day's discovery by a slaughter of sheep, of which all the Arabs near partook. As some wandering musicians chanced to be at Selamiyah, I sent for them, and dances were kept up during the greater part of the night. On the following morning Arabs from the other side of the Tigris, and the inhabitants of the surrounding villages, congregated on the mound. Even the women could not repress their curiosity, and came in crowds, with their children, from afar. My cawass was stationed during the day in the trench, into which I would not allow the multitude to descend.

As I had expected, the report of the discovery of the gigantic head, carried by the terrified Arab to Mosul, had thrown the town into commotion. He had scarcely checked his speed before reaching the bridge. Entering breathless into the bazars, he announced to every one he met that Nimrod had appeared. The news soon got to the ears of the cadi, who called the mufti and the ulema together, to consult upon this unexpected occurrence. Their deliberations ended in a procession to the governor, and a formal protest, on the part of the Mussulmans of the town, against proceedings so directly contrary to the laws of the Koran. The cadi had no distinct idea whether the bones of the mighty hunter had been uncovered, or only his image; nor did Ismail Pashaw very clearly remember whether Nimrod was a true-believing prophet, or an infidel. I consequently received a somewhat unintelligible message from his excellency, to the effect that the remains should be treated with respect, and be by no means further disturbed; that he wished the excavations to be stopped at once, and desired to confer with me on the subject.

I called upon him accordingly, and had some difficulty in making him understand the nature of my discovery. As he requested me to discontinue my operations until the sensation (Page 51) in the town had somewhat subsided, I returned to Nimroud and dismissed the workmen, retaining only two men to dig leisurely along the walls without giving cause for further interference. I ascertained by the end of March the existence of a second pair of winged human-headed lions,[3.13] differing from those previously discovered in form, the human shape being continued to the waist, and being furnished with human arms, as well as with the legs of the lion. In one hand each figure carried a goat or stag, and in the other, which hung down by the side, a branch with three flowers. They formed a northern entrance into the chamber of which the lions previously described were the western portal. I completely uncovered the latter, and found them to be entire. They were about twelve feet in height, and the same number in length. The body and limbs were admirably portrayed; the muscles and bones, although strongly developed to display the strength of the animal, showed at the same time a correct knowledge of its anatomy and form. Expanded wings sprung from the shoulder and spread over the back; a knotted girdle, ending in tassels, encircled the loins. These sculptures, forming an entrance, were partly in full and partly in relief. The head and fore-part, facing the chamber, were in full; but only one side of the rest of the slab was sculptured, the back being placed against the wall of sun-dried bricks. That the spectator might have both a perfect front and side view of the figures, they were furnished with five legs; two were carved on the end of the slab to face the chamber, and three on the side. The relief of the body and limbs was high and bold, and the slab was covered, in all parts not occupied by the image, with inscriptions in the cuneiform character. The remains of color could still be traced in the eyes - the pupils being painted black, and the rest filled up with an opaque white pigment; but on no other parts of the sculpture. These magnificent specimens of Assyrian art were in perfect preservation; the most minute (Page 52) lines in the details of the wings and in the ornaments had been retained with their original freshness.

I used to contemplate for hours these mysterious emblems, and muse over their intent and history. What more noble forms could have ushered the people into the temple of their gods? What more sublime images could have been borrowed from nature, by men who sought, unaided by the light of revealed religion, to embody their conception of the wisdom, power, and ubiquity of a Supreme Being? They could find no better type of intellect and knowledge than the head of the man; of strength, than the body of the lion; of ubiquity, than the wings of the bird. These winged human-headed lions were not idle creations, the offspring of mere fancy; their meaning was written upon them. They had awed and instructed races which flourished 3000 years ago. Through the portals which they guarded, kings, priests, and warriors had borne sacrifices to their altars, long before the wisdom of the East had penetrated to Greece, and had furnished its mythology with symbols recognized of old by the Assyrian votaries. They may have been buried, and their existence may have been unknown, before the foundation of the eternal city. For twenty-five centuries they had been hidden from the eye of man, and they now stood forth once more in their ancient majesty. But how changed was the scene around them! The luxury and civilization of a mighty nation had given place to the wretchedness and ignorance of a few half. barbarous tribes. The wealth of temples, and the riches of great cities, had been succeeded by ruins and shapeless heaps of earth. Above the spacious hall in which they stood, the plow had passed and the corn now waved. Egypt has monuments no less ancient and no less wonderful; but they have stood forth for ages to testify her early power and renown; while those before me had but now appeared to bear witness, in the words of the prophet, that once "the Assyrian was a cedar in Lebanon with fair branches and with a shadowing shroud of an high stature; and his top was among the thick boughs . . . his height was exalted above all the trees of the field, and his(Page 54) boughs were multiplied, and his branches became long, because of the multitude of waters when he shot forth. All the fowls of heaven made their nests in his boughs, and under his branches did all the beasts of the fields bring forth their young, and under his shadow dwelt all great nations;" for now is "Nineveh a desolation, and dry like a wilderness, and flocks lie down in the midst of her: all the beasts of the nations, both the cormorant and bittern, lodge in the upper lintels of it; their voice sings in the windows; and desolation is in the thresholds."[3.14]

The entrance formed by the human-headed lions led into a chamber round which were sculptured winged figures, such as I have already described. They were in pairs facing one another, and separated by the sacred tree. These bas-reliefs were inferior in execution, and finish, to those previously discovered.

During the month of March I received visits from the principal sheikhs of the Jebour Arabs, whose followers had now partly crossed the Tigris, and were pasturing their flocks in the neighborhood of Nimroud, or cultivating millet on the banks of the river. The Jebours are a branch of the ancient tribe of Obeid, and their pasture-grounds are on the banks of the Khabour, from its junction with the Euphrates, - from the ancient Carchemish or Circesium, to its source at Ras-el-Ain. Having been suddenly attacked and plundered a year or two before by the Aneyza, they had left their haunts, and taken refuge in the districts around Mosul. They were at this time divided into three branches obeying different sheikhs. The names of the three chiefs were Abd'rubbou, Mohammed-Emin, and Mohammed-ed-Dagher. Although all three visited me at Nimroud, it was the first with whom I was best acquainted, and who rendered me most assistance. I thought it necessary to give to each a few small presents, a silk dress, or an embroidered cloak, with a pair of capacious boots, as in case of any fresh disturbances in the country, it would be as well to be on friendly terms with the tribe.

The middle of March in Mesopotamia is the brightest epoch (Page 55) of spring. A new change had come over the face of the plain of Nimroud. Its pasture lands, known as the "Jaif," are renowned for their rich and luxuriant herbage. In times of quiet, the studs of the pashaw and of the Turkish authorities, with the horses of the cavalry and of the inhabitants of Mosul, are sent here to graze. Day by day they arrived in long lines. The Shemutti and Jehesh left their huts, and encamped on the greensward which surrounded the villages. The plain, as far as the eye could reach, was studded with the white pavilions of the hytas and the black tents of the Arabs. Picketed around them were innumerable horses in gay trappings, struggling to release themselves from the bonds which restrained them from ranging over the green pastures.

Flowers of every hue enameled the meadows; not thinly scattered over the grass as in northern climes, but in such thick and gathering clusters that the whole plain seemed a patchwork of many colors. The dogs, as they returned from hunting, issued from the long grass dyed red, yellow, or blue, according to the flowers through which they had last forced their way.

The villages of Naifa and Nimroud were deserted, and I remained alone with Said (my host) and my servants. The houses now began to swarm with vermin; we no longer slept under the roofs, and it was time to follow the example of the Arabs. I accordingly encamped on the edge of a large pond on the outskirts of Nimroud. Said accompanied me; and Salah, his young wife, a bright-eyed Arab girl, built up his shed, and watched and milked his diminutive flock of sheep and goats.

I was surrounded with Arabs, who had either pitched their tents, or, too poor to buy the black goat-hair cloth of which they are made, had erected small huts of reeds and dry grass.

In the evening, after the labor of the day, I often sat at the door of my tent, and giving myself up to the full enjoyment of that calm and repose which are imparted to the senses by such scenes as these, gazed listlessly on the varied groups before me. As the sun went down behind the low hills which separate the river from the desert - even their rocky sides had struggled to (Page 56) emulate the verdant clothing of the plain - its receding rays were gradually withdrawn, like a transparent vail of light, from the landscape. Over the pure, cloudless sky was the glow of the last light. The great mound threw its dark shadow far across the plain. In the distance, and beyond the Zab, Keshaf, another venerable ruin, rose indistinctly into the evening mist. Still more distant, and still more indistinct was a solitary hill overlooking the ancient city of Arbela. The Kurdish mountains, whose snowy summits cherished the dying sunbeams, yet struggled with the twilight. The bleating of sheep and lowing of cattle, at first faint, became louder as the flocks returned from their pastures, and wandered among the tents. Girls hurried over the greensward to seek their fathers' cattle, or crouched down to milk those which had returned alone to their well remembered folds. Some were coming from the river bearing the replenished pitcher on their heads or shoulders; others, no less graceful in their form, and erect in their carriage, were carrying the heavy load of long grass which they had cut in the meadows. Sometimes a party of horsemen might have been seen in the distance slowly crossing the plain, the tufts of ostrich feathers which topped their long spears showing darkly against the evening sky. They would ride up to my tent, and give me the usual salutation, "Peace be with you, O Bey," or, "Allah Aienak, God help you." Then driving the end of their lances into the ground, they would spring from their mares, and fasten their halters to the still quivering weapons. Seating themselves on the grass, they related deeds of war and plunder, or speculated on the site of the tents of Sofuk, until the moon rose, when they vaulted into their saddles and took the way of the desert.

The plain now glittered with innumerable fires. As the night advanced, they vanished one by one until the landscape was wrapped in darkness and in silence, only disturbed by the barking of the Arab dog.

Abd-ur-rahman rode to my tent one morning, and offered to take me to a remarkable cutting in the rock, which he described as the work of Nimrod, the giant. The Arabs call it "Negoub," or The Hole. We were two hours in reaching the (Page 57) place, as we hunted gazelles and hares by the way. A tunnel through the rock opens by two low arched outlets, upon the river. It is of considerable length, and is continued for about a mile by a deep channel, also cut in the rock, but open at the top. I suspected at once that this was an Assyrian work, and on examining the interior of the tunnel, discovered a slab covered with cuneiform characters, which had fallen from its place, and had been wedged in a crevice. With much difficulty I ascertained that an inscription had also been cut on the back of the tablet. From the darkness of the place, I could scarcely copy even the few characters which had resisted the wear of centuries. Some days after, others who had casually heard of my visit, and conjectured that some Assyrian remains might have been found there, sent a party of workmen to the spot; who, finding the slab, broke it into pieces, in their attempt to displace it. This wanton destruction of the tablet is much to be regretted; as, from the fragment of the inscription copied, I can perceive that it contained several royal names previously unknown.[3.15]

The tunnel of Negoub is undoubtedly a remarkable work, undertaken, as it would appear from the inscription, during the reign of the builder of the palace at Kouyunjik. Its object is doubtful. It may have led the waters of the Zab into the surrounding country for irrigation; or it may have been the termination of the great canal, which is still to be traced by a double range of lofty mounds near the ruins of Nimroud, and which may have united the Tigris with the neighboring river, and thus fertilized a large tract of land. In either case, the level of the two rivers, as well as the face of the country, must have changed considerably since the period of its construction. At present Negoub is above the Zab, except at the time of the highest floods in spring, and then water is only found in the mouth of the tunnel; all other parts having been much choked up with rubbish and river deposits.

[3.1] No. 12, wall k, plan 2

[3.2] The former hereditary governors of Mosul.

[3.3] The father, uncles, and two or three brothers of Abd-ur-rahman, besides many of his other relations, had been slain as he described.

[3.4] Wall q, plan 2.

[3.5] I shall in future designate this person, who is continually represented in the Assyrian bas-reliefs, the king's vizier or minister. It has been conjectured that he is a friendly or tributary monarch, but as he often occurs among the attendants, aiding the king in his battles, or waiting upon him at the celebration of religious ceremonies, with his hands crossed in front, as is still the fashion in the East with dependents, it appears more probable that he was his adviser or some high officer of the court.

[3.6] s and t, plan 2

[3.7] No. 30, chamber B, plan 3.

[3.8] This square vessel was probably of metal, sometimes made to resemble a basket. It may have contained water, as one of the sacred elements; while the fir-cone, from its inflammable nature, may have typified fire, another holy element. Such is the only explanation I can give of the two objects so generally seen in the Assyrian sculptures..

[3.9] 1 Kings 7: 41, 42. Similar trees, in which the flowers above described were replaced by pomegranates, were afterward discovered in the center palace of Nimroud. Mr. Fergusson, in his "Palace of Nineveh and Persepolis restored," has conjectured that this remarkable object represents the "grove" or "groves" which led the Israelites into idolatry. (Judges 3:7; 1 Kings 14:23; 2 Kings 21:3, 7, &c.) Mr. Fergusson also remarks, with regard to the connection between the ornaments mentioned in the text, and those of Greek architecture, "that it is now impossible to doubt that all that is Ionic in the arts of Greece is derived from the valleys of the Tigris and Euphrates." (P. 340.)

[3.10] It has been suggested that it is the head of a cock, but it is unquestionably that of a carnivorous bird of the eagle tribe.

[3.11] 2 Kings 19:37.

[3.12] The form of this deity was conjectured to be that of an eagle long before the discovery of the Assyrian sculptures. (And. Beyeri ad Joh. Sedeni de Dis Syriis Syntag. addit. p. 325.)

[3.13] Entrance d to chamber B, plan 3.

[3.14] Ezekiel 31:3, &c.; Zephaniah 2:13, 14.

[3.15] I have since been able to restore the greater part of the inscription from the fragments of this tablet. It is of considerable importance, as it gives us the names of the father, and perhaps grandfather of the Khorsabad king with which we were not previously acquainted.

Chapter 4

(Page 58) The operations at Nimroud having been completely suspended until orders could be received from Constantinople, I thought the time not inopportune to visit Sofuk, the sheikh of the great nomad Arab tribe of Shammar, which occupies nearly the whole of Mesopotamia. He had lately left the Khabour, and was now encamped near the western bank of the Tigris, below its junction with the Zab, and consequently not far from Nimroud. I had two objects in going to his tents; in the first place I wished to obtain the friendship of the chief of a powerful tribe of Bedouins, who would probably cross the river in the neighborhood of the excavations during the summer, and might indulge, to my cost, in their plundering propensities; and, at the same time, I was anxious to visit the remarkable ruins of Al Hather, which I had only examined very hastily on my former journey.

Mr. Rassam (the vice-consul) and his wife, with several native gentlemen of Mosul, Mussulmans and Christians, were induced to accompany me; and, as we issued from the gates of the town, and assembled in the well-peopled burying ground opposite the governor's palace, I found myself at the head of a formidable party. Our tents, obtained from the pashaw, with our provisions and necessary furniture, were carried by a string of twelve camels. Mounted above these loads, and on donkeys, was an army of camel-drivers, tent-pitchers, and volunteers ready for all services. There were, moreover, a few irregular (Page 59) horsemen, the cawasses, the attendants of the Mosul gentlemen, the Mosul gentlemen themselves, and our own servants, all armed to the teeth. Ali Effendi, chief of the Mosul branch of the Omeree, or descendants of Omar, which had furnished several pashaws to the province, was our principal Mussulman friend. He was mounted on the Hedban, a well known white Arab, beautiful in form and pure in blood, but then of great age. Close at his horse's heels followed a confidential servant; who, perched on a pack-saddle, seemed to roll from side to side on two small barrels, the use of which might have been an enigma, had they not emitted a very strong smell of raki. A Christian gentleman was wrapped up in cloaks and furs, and appeared to dread the cold, although the thermometer was at 100. The English lady was equipped in riding habit and hat. The two Englishmen, Mr. Ross and myself, wore a striking mixture of European and oriental raiments. Mosul ladies, in blue vails, their faces concealed by black horsehair sieves, had been dragged to the top of piles of carpets and cushions, under which groaned their unfortunate mules. Greyhounds in leashes were led by Arabs on foot; while others played with strange dogs, who followed the caravan for change of air. The horsemen galloped round and round, now dashing into the center of the crowd, throwing their horses on their haunches when at full speed, or discharging their guns and pistols into the air. A small flag with British colors was fastened to the top of a spear, and confided to a cawass. Such was the motley caravan which left Mosul by the Bab el Top, where a crowd of women had assembled to witness the procession.

We took the road to the ruins of the monastery of Mar Elias, a place of pilgrimage for the Christians of Mosul, which we passed after an hour's ride. Evening set in before we could reach the desert, and we pitched our tents for the night on a lawn near a deserted village, about nine miles from the town.

On the following morning we soon emerged from the low limestone hills; which, broken into a thousand rocky valleys, form a barrier between the Tigris and the plains of Mesopotamia. (Page 60) We now found ourselves in the desert, or rather wilderness; for at this time of the year, nature could not disclose a more varied scene, or a more luxuriant vegetation. We trod on an interminable carpet, figured by flowers of every hue. Nor was water wanting; for the abundant rains had given reservoirs to every hollow, and to every ravine. Their contents, owing to the nature of the soil, were brackish, but not unwholesome. Clusters of black tents were scattered, and flocks of sheep and camels wandered, over the plain. Those of our party who were well mounted urged their horses through the meadows, pursuing the herds of gazelles, or the wild boar, skulking in the long grass. Although such scenes as these may be described, the exhilaration caused by the air of the desert in spring, and the feeling of freedom arising from the contemplation of its boundless expanse, must have been experienced before they can be understood. The stranger, as well as the Arab, feels the intoxication of the senses which they produce.

About mid-day we found ourselves in the midst of extensive herds of camels. They belonged to the tribe of Haddedeen. The sonorous whoop of the Arab herdsmen resounded from all sides. A few horsemen were galloping about, driving back the stragglers, and directing the march of the leaders of the herd. Shortly after we came up with some families moving to a new place of encampment, and at their head I recognized my old antiquity-hunter, Mormous. He no sooner perceived us than he gave orders to those who followed him, and of whom he was the chief, to pitch their tents. We were now in the Wadi Ghusub, formed by a small salt stream, forcing its sluggish way through a dense mass of reeds and water shrubs, from which the valley has taken its name. About fifteen tents having been raised, a sheep was slaughtered in front of the one in which we sat; large wooden bowls of sour milk, and platters of fresh butter were placed before us; fires of camel's dung were lighted; decrepit old women blew up the flames; the men cut the carcass into small pieces, and capacious caldrons soon sent forth volumes of steam.

(Page 61) The sheep having been boiled, the Arabs pulled the fragments out of the caldron and laid them on the wooden platters with their fingers. We helped ourselves after the same fashion. The servants succeeded to the dishes, which afterward passed through the hands of the camel-drivers and tent-pitchers; and at last, denuded of all apparently edible portions, reached a strong party of expectant Arabs. The condition of the bones by the time they were delivered to a crowd of hungry dogs, assembled on the occasion, may easily be imagined.

We resumed our journey in the afternoon, preceded by Mormous, who volunteered to accompany us. As we rode over the plain, we fell in with the sheikh of the Haddedeen mounted on a fine mare, and followed by a large concourse of Arabs, driving their beasts of burden loaded with tents and furniture. He offered to conduct us to a branch of the Shammar, whose encampment we could reach before evening. We gladly accepted his offer, and he left his people to ride with us.

We had been wandering to and fro in the desert, uncertain as to the course we should pursue. The sheikh now rode in the direction of the Tigris. Before nightfall we came to a large encampment, and recognized in its chief one Khalaf, an Arab who frequently came to Mosul, and whom Mr. Rassam and myself had met on our previous journey to Al Hather. He received us with hospitality; sheep were immediately slaughtered, and we dismounted at his tent. Even his wives, among whom was a remarkably pretty Arab girl, came to us to gratify their curiosity by a minute examination of the Frank lady. As the intimacy, which began to spring up, was somewhat inconvenient, we directed our tents to be pitched at a distance from the encampment, by the side of a small stream. It was one of those calm and pleasant evenings, which in spring make a paradise of the desert. The breeze, bland and perfumed by the odor of flowers, came calmly over the plain. As the sun went down, countless camels and sheep wandered to the tents, and the melancholy call of the herdsmen rose above the bleating of the flocks. The Arabs led their prancing mares (Page 62) to the water; the colts, as they followed, played and rolled on the grass. I spread my carpet at a distance from the group, to enjoy uninterrupted the varied scene. Rassam, now in his element, collected around him a knot of admiring Arabs, unscrewed telescopes, exhibited various ingenious contrivances, and described the wonders of Europe, interrupted by the exclamations of incredulous surprise, which his marvelous stories elicited from the hearers. Ali Effendi and his Mussulman friends, who preferred other pleasures and more definite excitement, hid themselves in the high rushes, and handed round a small silver bowl containing fragrant ruby colored spirits, which might have rejoiced even the heart of Hafiz. The camel-drivers and servants hurried over the lawn, tending their animals or preparing the evening meal.

We had now reached the pasture-grounds of the Shammar, and Sheikh Khalaf declared that Sofuk's tents could not be far distant. A few days before they had been pitched almost among the ruins of Al Hather; but he had since left them, and it was not known where he had encamped. We started early in the morning, and took the direction pointed out by Khalaf. Our view was bounded to the east by a rising ground. When we reached its summit, we looked down upon a plain, which appeared to swarm with moving objects. We had come upon the main body of the Shammar. The scene caused in me feelings of melancholy, for it recalled many hours, perhaps unprofitably, though certainly happily spent; and many friends, some who now sighed in captivity for the joyous freedom which those wandering hordes enjoyed; others who had perished in its defense. We soon found ourselves in the midst of wide spreading flocks of sheep and camels. As far as the eye could reach, to the right, to the left, and in front, still the same moving crowd. Long lines of asses and bullocks laden with black tents, huge caldrons and variegated carpets; aged women and men, no longer able to walk, tied on the heap of domestic furniture; infants crammed into saddle-bags, their tiny heads thrust through the narrow opening, balanced on the animal's back by (Page 63) kids or lambs tied on the opposite side; young girls clothed only in the close-fitting Arab shirt, which displayed rather than concealed their graceful forms; mothers with their children on their shoulders; boys driving flocks of lambs; horsemen armed (Page 64) with long tufted spears, scouring the plain on their fleet mares; riders urging their dromedaries with short hooked sticks, and leading their high-bred steeds by the halter; colts galloping among the throng; high-born ladies seated in the center of huge wings, which extend like those of a butterfly from each side of the camel's hump, and are no less gaudy and variegated.[4.1] Such was the motley crowd through which we had to wend our way for several hours. Our appearance created a lively sensation; the women checked our horses; the horsemen assembled round us, and rode by our side; the children yelled and ran after the Franks.

It was mid-day before we found a small party that had stopped, and were pitching their tents. A young chestnut mare belonging to the sheikh, was one of the most beautiful creatures I ever beheld. As she struggled to free herself from the spear to which she was tied, she showed the lightness and elegance of the gazelle. Her limbs were in perfect symmetry: her ears erect, slender, and transparent; her nostrils high, dilated, and deep red; her neck gracefully arched, and her mane and tail of the texture of silk. We all involuntarily stopped to gaze at her. "Say Masha-Allah," exclaimed the owner, who, seeing not without pride, that I admired her, feared the effect of an evil eye. "That I will," answered I, "and with pleasure; for, O Arab, you possess the jewel of the tribe." He brought us a bowl of camel's milk, and directed us to the tents of Sofuk.

We had still two hours' ride before us, and when we reached the encampment of the Shammar sheikh, our horses, as well as ourselves, were exhausted by the heat of the sun, and the length of the day's journey. The tents were pitched on a broad lawn (Page 65) in a deep ravine; they were scattered in every direction, and among them rose the white pavilions of the Turkish irregular cavalry. Ferhan, the son of Sofuk, and a party of horsemen, rode out to meet us as we approached, and led us to the tent of the chief, distinguished from the rest by its size, and the spears which were driven into the ground at its entrance. Sofuk advanced to receive us; he was followed by about three hundred Arabs, including many of the principal sheikhs of the tribe. In person he was short and corpulent, more like an Osmanli than an Arab; but his eye was bright and intelligent, his features regular, well formed and expressive. His dress differed but in the quality of the materials from that of his followers. A thick kerchief, striped with red, yellow, and blue, and fringed with long plaited cords, was thrown over his head, and fell down his shoulders. It was held in its place, above the brow, by a band of spun camel's wool, tied at intervals by silken threads of many colors. A long white shirt, descending to the ankles, and a black and white cloak over it, completed his attire.

He led Rassam and myself to the top of the tent, where we seated ourselves on well-worn carpets. When all the party had found places, the words of welcome, which had been exchanged before we dismounted, were repeated. "Peace be with you, O Bey! upon my head you are welcome: my house is your house," exclaimed the sheikh, addressing the stranger nearest to him. "Peace be with you, O Sofuk! may God protect you!" was the answer, and similar compliments were made to every guest, and by every person, present. While this ceremony, which took nearly half an hour, was going on, I had leisure to examine those who had assembled to meet us. Nearest to me was Ferhan, the sheikh's eldest son, a young man of handsome appearance and intelligent countenance, although the expression was neither agreeable nor attractive. His dress resembled that of his father; but from beneath the kerchief thrown over his head hung his long black tresses plaited into many tails. His teeth were white as ivory, like those of most Arabs. Beyond (Page 66) him sat a crowd of men of the most ferocious and forbidding exterior - warriors who had passed their lives in war and rapine, looking upon those who did not belong to their tribe as natural enemies, and preferring their wild freedom to all the riches of the earth.

Mrs. Rassam had been ushered into this crowded assembly. The scrutinizing glance with which she was examined from head to foot, by all present, not being agreeable, we requested that she might be taken to the tent of the women. Sofuk called two black slaves, who led her to the harem, scarcely a stone's throw distant.

The compliments having been at length finished, we conversed upon general topics. Coffee, highly drugged with odoriferous herbs found in the desert, and with spices, a mixture for which Sofuk was celebrated, was handed round before we retired to our own tents.

Sofuk's name was so well known in the desert, and he so long played a conspicuous part in the politics of Mesopotamia, that a few words on his history may not be uninteresting. He was descended from the sheikhs, who brought the tribe from Nedjd in Arabia Proper. At the commencement of his career he had shared the chiefship with his uncle, after whose death he became the great Sheikh of the Shammar. From an early period he had been troublesome to the Turkish governors of the provinces on the Tigris and Euphrates; but gained the confidence of the Porte by a spirited attack upon the camp of Mohammed Ali Mirza, son of Feth Ali Shah, and governor of Kirmanshah, when that prince was marching upon Baghdad and Mosul. After this exploit, to which was mainly attributed the safety of the Turkish cities, Sofuk was invested as Sheikh of the Shammar. At times, however, when he had to complain of ill treatment from the Pashaw of Baghdad, or could not control those under him, his tribes were accustomed to indulge their love of plunder, to sack villages and pillage caravans. He thus became formidable to the Turks, and was known as the King of the Desert. When Mehemet Reshid Pashaw led his successful (Page 67) expedition into Kurdistan and Mesopotamia, Sofuk was among the chiefs whose power he sought to destroy. He knew that it would be useless to attempt it by force, and he consequently invited the sheikh to his camp on the pretense of investing him with the customary robe of honor. He was seized and sent a prisoner to Constantinople. There he remained some months, until deceived by his promises, the Porte permitted him to return to the tribe. From that time his Arabs had been the terror of the pashawlics of Mosul and Baghdad, and had even carried their depredations to the east of the Tigris. However, Nejris, the son of Sofuk's uncle, had appeared as his rival, and many branches of the Shammar had declared for the new sheikh. This led to dissensions in the tribe; and, at the time of our visit, Sofuk, who had forfeited his popularity by many acts of treachery, was almost deserted by the Arabs. In this dilemma he had applied to the pashaw of Mosul, and had promised to serve the Porte, and to control the Bedouins, if he were assisted in re-establishing his authority. This state of things accounted for the presence of the white tents of the hytas in the midst of his encampment.

His intercourse with the Turkish authorities, who must be conciliated by adequate presents before assistance can be expected from them, and the famine, which for the last two years had prevailed in the countries surrounding the desert, were not favorable to the domestic prosperity of Sofuk. The wealth and display, for which he was once renowned among the Arabs, had disappeared. A few months before, he had even sent to Mosul the silver ankle-rings of his favorite wife - the last resource - to be exchanged for corn. The furred cloaks, and embroidered robe, which he once wore, had not been replaced. The only carpet in his tent was the rag on which sat his principal guests; the rest squatted on the grass, or on the bare ground. He led the life of a pure Bedouin, from the commonest of whom he was only distinguished by the extent of his female establishment - always a weak point with the sheikh. But even in his days of greatest prosperity, the meanest Arab (Page 68) looked upon him as his equal, addressed him as "Sofuk," and seated himself unbidden in his presence. The system of patriarchal government, faithfully described by Burckhardt, still exists, as it has done for 4000 years, in the desert.

The usual Arab meal was brought to us soon after our arrival - large wooden bowls and platters filled with boiled fragments of mutton swimming in melted butter, and sour milk; and when we had eaten, Sofuk came to our tents, and remained with us the greater part of the day. He was dejected and sad. He bewailed his poverty, inveighed against the Turks, to whom he attributed his ruin, and confessed, with tears, that his tribe was fast deserting him. While conversing on these subjects, two sheikhs rode into the encampment, and hearing that the chief was with us, they fastened their high-bred mares at the door of our tent, and seated themselves on our carpets. They had been among the tribes to ascertain the feeling of the Shammar toward Sofuk, of whom they were the devoted adherents. One was a man of forty, blackened by long exposure to the desert sun, and of a savage and sanguinary countenance. His companion was a youth, whose features were so delicate and feminine, and eyes so bright, that he might have been taken for a woman; a profusion of black hair which fell, plaited into numerous tresses, on his breast and shoulders, added to his feminine appearance. An animated discussion took place as to the desertion of the Nejm, a large branch of the Shammar tribe. The young man's enthusiasm and devotedness knew no bounds. He threw himself upon Sofuk, and clinging to his neck, covered his cheek and beard with kisses. When the chief had disengaged himself, his follower seized the edge of his garment, and sobbed violently as he held it to his lips. "I entreat thee, O Sofuk!" he exclaimed, "say but the word; by thine eyes, by thy beard, by the Prophet, order it, and this sword shall find the heart of Nejris, whether he escape into the farthest corner of the desert, or be surrounded by all the warriors of the tribe." But it was too late, and Sofuk saw that his influence was fast declining.

(Page 69) I must endeavor to convey to the reader some idea of the domestic establishment of a great Arab sheikh. Sofuk, at the time of our visit, was the husband of three wives, who were considered to have special claims to his affection and his constant protection; for it was one of Sofuk's weaknesses, arising either from a desire to impress the Arabs with a notion of his greatness and power, or from a partiality to the first stage of married life, to take a new partner nearly every month; and at the end of that period to divorce her, and marry her to one of his attendants. The happy man thus lived in a continual honeymoon. Of the three ladies now forming his harem, the chief was Amsha, a lady celebrated in the song of every Arab of the desert for her beauty and noble blood. She was the daughter of Hassan, Sheikh of the Tai, a tribe tracing its origin from the remotest antiquity, and one of whose chiefs, Hatem, her ancestor, is a hero of Eastern romance. Sofuk had carried her away by force from her father; but had always treated her with great respect. From her rank and beauty, she had earned the title of "Queen of the Desert." Her form, traceable through the thin shirt which she wore like other Arab women, was well proportioned and graceful. She was tall in stature, and fair in complexion. Her features were regular, and her eyes large, dark, and brilliant. She had undoubtedly claims to more than ordinary beauty; to the Arabs she was perfection, for all the resources of their art had been exhausted to complete what nature had begun. Her lips were dyed deep blue, her eyebrows were continued in indigo until they united over the nose, her cheeks and forehead were spotted with beauty-marks, her eyelashes darkened by kohl; and on her legs and bosom could be seen the tattooed ends of flowers and fanciful ornaments, which were carried in festoons and network over her whole body. Hanging from each ear, and reaching to her waist, was an enormous ear-ring of gold, terminating in a tablet of the same material, carved and ornamented with four turquoises. Her nose was also adorned with a prodigious gold ring, set with jewels, of (Page 70) such ample dimensions that it covered her mouth, and had to be removed when she ate. Ponderous rows of strung beads, Assyrian cylinders, fragments of coral, agates, and party-colored stones, hung from her neck; silver rings encircled her wrists and ankles, making a loud jingling as she walked. Over her blue shirt was thrown, when she issued from-her tent, a coarse striped cloak, and a common black kerchief was bound loosely round her temples by a rope of twisted camel's hair.

Her menage combined, if the old song be true, the domestic and the queenly, and was carried on with a nice appreciation of economy. The immense sheet of black goat-hair canvas, which formed the tent, was supported by twelve or fourteen stout poles, and was completely open on one side. Being entirely set apart for the women, it had no partitions, like the tent of the common Arab, who is obliged to reserve a corner for the reception of his guests. Between the center poles were placed, upright and close to one another, large goat-hair sacks, filled with rice, corn, barley, coffee, and other household stuff; their mouths being, of course, upward. Upon them were spread carpets and cushions, on which Amsha reclined. Around her, squatted on the ground, were some fifty handmaidens, tending the wide caldrons, baking bread on the iron plates heated over the ashes, or shaking between them the skins suspended from three stakes, and filled with milk to be thus churned into butter. It is the privilege of the head wife to prepare in her tent the dinners of the sheikh's guests. Fires, lighted on all sides, sent forth a cloud of smoke, which hung heavily under the folds of the tent, and would have long before dimmed any eyes less bright than those of Amsha. As supplies were asked for by the women, she lifted the corner of her carpet, untied the mouths of the sacks, and distributed their contents. Every thing passed through her hands. To show her authority and rank, she poured continually upon her attendants a torrent of abuse, and honored them with epithets, of which I may be excused attempting to give a translation; her vocabulary equaling, if not exceeding, in richness, that of the highly-educated lady of the (Page 71) city.[4.2] The combination of the domestic and authoritative was thus complete. Her children, three naked little urchins, black with sun and mud, and adorned with long tails of plaited hair hanging from the crown of their heads, rolled in the ashes, or on the grass.

Amsha, as I have observed, shared the affections, though not the tent of Sofuk - for each establishment had a tent of its own - with two other ladies: Atouia, an Arab not much inferior to her rival in personal appearance; and Ferrah, originally a Yezidi slave, who had no pretensions to beauty. Amsha, however, always maintained her sway, and the others could not sit, without her leave, in her presence. To her alone were confided the keys of the larder - supposing Sofuk to have had either keys or larder - and there was no appeal from her authority on all subjects of domestic economy.

Mrs. Rassam was received with great ceremony by the ladies. To show the rank and luxurious habits of her husband, Amsha offered her guest a glass of "eau sucree," which Mrs. Rassam, who is over-nice, assured me she could not drink, as it was mixed by a particularly dirty negro, in the absence of a spoon, with his fingers, which he sucked continually during the process.

In the evening, Amsha and Ferrah returned Mrs. Rassam's visit; Sofuk having, however, first obtained a distinct promise that they were to be received in a tent from which gentlemen were to be excluded. They were very inquisitive, and their discreet curiosity could with difficulty be satisfied.

Sofuk was the owner of a mare of matchless beauty, called, as if the property of the tribe, the Shammeriyah. Her dam, who died about ten years ago, was the celebrated Kubleh, whose renown extended from the sources of the Khabour to the end of the Arabian promontory, and the day of whose death is an (Page 72) epoch from which the Arabs of Mesopotamia date events concerning their tribe. Mohammed-Emin, sheikh of the Jebours, assured me that he had seen Sofuk ride down the wild ass of the Sinjar on her back, and the most marvelous stories are current in the desert of her fleetness and powers of endurance. Sofuk esteemed her and her daughter above all the riches of the tribe; for her he would have forfeited all his wealth, and even Amsha herself. Owing to the visit of the irregular troops, the best horses of the sheikh and his followers were concealed in a secluded ravine at some distance from the tents.

Al Hather was about eighteen miles from Sofuk's encampment. He gave us two well-known horsemen to accompany us to the ruins. Their names were Dathan and Abiram. The former was a black slave, to whom the sheikh had given his liberty and a wife - two things, it may be observed, which are in the desert perfectly consistent. He was the most faithful and brave of all the adherents of Sofuk, and the fame of his exploits had spread through the tribes of Arabia. As we rode along, I endeavored to obtain from him some information concerning his people, but he would only speak on one subject. "Ya Bej,"[4.3] said he, "the Arab only thinks of two things, war and love: war, Ya Bej, every one understands; let us, therefore, talk of love."

As we rode to Al Hather, we passed large bodies of the Shammar moving with their tents, flocks, and families. On all sides appeared the huge expanding wings of the ladies' camel-saddle, looking, as it rose above the horizon, like some stupendous butterfly skimming slowly over the plain. Dathan was known to all. As the horsemen approached, they dismounted and embraced him, kissing him, as is customary, on both cheeks, and holding him by the hand until many compliments had been exchanged.

(Page 73) A dark thunder-cloud rose behind the time-worn ruins of Al Hather as we approached them. The sun, still throwing its rays upon the walls, lighted up the yellow stones until they shone like gold.[4.4] Mr. Ross and myself, accompanied by an Arab, urged our horses onward, that we might escape the coming storm; but it burst upon us in its fury ere we reached the palace. The lightning played through the vast buildings, the thunder re-echoed through its deserted halls, and the hail compelled us to rein up our horses, and turn our backs to the tempest. It was a fit moment to enter such ruins as these. They rose in solitary grandeur in the midst of a desert, "in media solitudine positae," as they stood fifteen centuries before, when described by the Roman historian.[4.5] On my previous visit, the first view I obtained of Al Hather was perhaps no less striking. We had been wandering for three days in the wilderness without seeing one human habitation. On the fourth morning a thick mist hung over the place. We had given up the search when the vapors were drawn up like a curtain, and we saw the ruins before us. At that time within the walls were the tents of some Shammar Arabs, but now as we crossed the confused heaps of fragments, forming a circle round the city, we saw that the place was tenantless. Flocks on a neighboring rising ground showed, however, that Arabs were not distant.

We pitched our tents in the great court-yard, in front of the palace, and near the entrance to the inner inclosure. During the three days we remained among the ruins I had ample time to take accurate measurements, and to make plans of the various buildings still partly standing within the walls. As Al Hather has already been described by others, and as the information I was able to collect has been placed before the public,[4.6] I need (Page 74) 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 center 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 toward 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 (Page 75) 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, among 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 Pashaw 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 Pashaw, 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 Pashaw 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.

[4.1] These wings are formed by a light frame-work of cane varying from sixteen to twenty feet in length, covered with parchment and ornamented, as is also the body and neck of the camel with tassels and fringes of worsted of every hue, and with strings of glass beads and shells. The lady sits in the center in a kind of pavilion, covered with gay carpets, by which she is shaded from the sun. This singular contrivance sways from side to side, and the motion is very disagreeable to one not accustomed to it.

[4.2] It may not perhaps be known that the fair inmate of the harem whom we picture to ourselves conversing with her lover in language too delicate and refined to be expressed by any thing but flowers, uses ordinarily words which would shock the ears of even the most depraved among us.

[4.3] "O my Lord:" he so prefaced every sentence. The Shammar Arabs pronounce the word Beg, which the Constantinopolitans soften into Bey, Bej.

[4.4] The rich golden tint of the limestone, of which the great monuments of Syria are built, is known to every traveler in that country. The ruins of Al Hather have the same bright color; they look as if they had been steeped in the sunbeams.

[4.5] Ammianus Marcellinus, lib. xxv. cap. 8.

[4.6] See Dr. Ross's Memoir in the Geographical Society's Journal, and Dr. Ainsworth's Travels. A memoir on the place by me, accompanied by plans, &c., was read before the Institute of British Architects.

Chapter 5

(Page 76) 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[5.1] 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.[5.2] Among the remains in copper were the head of a ram or bull,[5.3] 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 among 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 (Page 77) 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 while 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 pashaw, 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 attendants, and for the kitchen. A few Arabs encamped around us to watch the horses, which were picketed on all sides. An open space was left in the center of the group of tents for dancing, (Page 78) 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; while his Arabs picketed 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, while 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 (Page 79) passed on to the women. The dinner having been devoured to the last fragment, dancing succeeded. Some scruples had to be overcome before the women would join, as there were other tribes, besides their own, present; and when, at length, by the exertions of Mr. Hormuzd Rassam, this difficulty was overcome, they made up different sets. Those who did not take an active share in the amusements seated themselves on the grass, and formed a large circle round the dancers. The sheikhs remained on the sofas and divans. The dance of the Arabs, the Debke, as it is called, resembles in some respects that of the Albanians, and those who perform in it are scarcely less vehement in their gestures, or less extravagant in their excitement, than those wild mountaineers. They form a circle, holding one another by the hand, and, moving slowly round at first, go through a shuffling step with their feet, twisting their bodies into various attitudes. As the music quickens, their movements are more active; they stamp with their feet, yell their war cry, and jump as they hurry round the musicians. The motions of the women are not without grace; but as they insist on wrapping themselves in their coarse cloaks before they join in the dance, their forms, which the simple Arab shirt so well displays, are entirely concealed.

When those who formed the debke were completely exhausted by their exertions, they joined the lookers-on, and seated themselves on the ground. Two warriors of different tribes, furnished with shields and naked cimiters, then entered the circle, and went through the sword-dance. As the music quickened the excitement of the performers increased. The bystanders at length were obliged to interfere and to-deprive the combatants of their weapons, which were replaced by stout staves. With these they belabored one another unmercifully, to the great enjoyment of the crowd. On every successful hit, the tribe, to which the one who dealt it belonged, set up their war-cry and shouts of applause, while the women deafened us with the shrill tahlehl, a noise made by a combined motion of the tongue, throat, and hand vibrated rapidly over the (Page 80) mouth. When an Arab or a Kurd hears this tahlehl he almost loses his senses through excitement, and is ready to commit any desperate act.

A party of Kurdish jesters from the mountains entertained the Arabs with performances and imitations, more amusing than refined. They were received with shouts of laughter. The dances were kept up by the light of the moon, the greater part of the night.

On the following morning Abd-ur-rahman invited us to his tents, and we were entertained with renewed debkes and sword-dances. The women, undisturbed by the presence of another tribe, entered more fully into the amusement, and danced with greater animation. The sheikh insisted upon my joining with him in leading off a dance, in which we were followed by some five hundred warriors, and Arab women.

The festivities lasted three days, and made the impression I had anticipated. They earned me a great reputation and no small respect, the Arabs long afterward talking of their reception and entertainment. When there was occasion for their services, I found the value of the feeling toward me, which a little show of kindness to these ill-used people had served to produce.

Hafiz Pashaw, who had been appointed to succeed the last governor, having received a more lucrative post, the province was sold to Tahyar Pashaw, who made his public entry into Mosul early in May, followed by a large body of troops, and by the cadi, mufti, ulema, and principal inhabitants of the town. The Mosuleeans had not been deceived by the good report of his benevolence and justice which had preceded him. He was a perfect specimen of the Turkish gentleman of the old school. Of whom few are now left in Turkey: venerable in his appearance, bland and polished in his manners, courteous to Europeans, and well informed on subjects connected with the literature and history of his country. I had been furnished with serviceable letters of introduction to him; he received me with every mark of attention, and at once permitted me to (Page 81) continue the excavations. As a matter of form, he named a cawass, to superintend the work on his part. I willingly concurred in this arrangement, as it saved me from any further inconvenience on the score of treasure; for which, it was still believed, I was successfully searching. This officer's name was Ibrahim Agha. He had been many years with Tahyar Pashaw, and was a kind of favorite. He served me during my residence in Assyria, and on my subsequent journey to Constantinople, with great fidelity; and as is very rarely the case with his fraternity with great honesty.

The support of Tahyar Pashaw relieved me from some of my difficulties; for there was no longer cause to fear any interruption on the part of the authorities. But my means were very limited, and my own resources did not enable me to carry on the excavations as I wished. I returned, however, to Nimroud, and formed a small but effective body of workmen, choosing those who had already proved themselves equal to the work.

The heats of summer had now commenced, and it was no longer possible to live under a white tent. The huts were equally uninhabitable, and still swarmed with vermin. In this dilemma I ordered a recess to be cut into the bank of the river where it rose perpendicularly from the water's edge. By screening the front with reeds and boughs of trees, and covering the whole with similar materials, a small room was formed. I was much troubled, however, with scorpions and other reptiles, which issued from the earth forming the walls of my apartment; and later in the summer by the gnats and sandflies, which hovered on a calm night over the river. Similar rooms were made for my servants. They were the safest that could be invented, should the Arabs take to stealing after dark. My horses were picketed on the edge of the bank above, and the tents of my workmen were pitched in a semicircle behind them.

The change to summer had been as rapid as that which ushered in the spring. The verdure of the plain had perished almost in a day. Hot winds, coming from the desert, had (Page 82) burnt up and carried away the shrubs; flights of locusts, darkening the air, had destroyed the few patches of cultivation, and had completed the havoc commenced by the heat of the sun. The Abou-Salman Arabs, having struck their black tents, were now living in ozailis, or sheds constructed of reeds and grass, along the banks of the river. The Shemutti and Jehesh had returned to their villages, and the plain presented the same naked and desolate aspect that it wore in the month of November. The heat, however, was now almost intolerable. Violent whirlwinds occasionally swept over the face of the country. They could be seen as they advanced from the desert, carrying along with them clouds of sand and dust. Almost utter darkness prevailed during their passage, which lasted generally about an hour, and nothing could resist their fury. On returning home one afternoon after a tempest of this kind, I found no traces of my dwellings; they had been completely carried away. Ponderous wooden frame-works had been borne over the bank, and hurled some hundred yards distant; the tents had disappeared, and my furniture was scattered over the plain. When on the mound, my only secure place of refuge was beneath the fallen lion, where I could defy the fury of the whirlwind: the Arabs ceased from their work, and crouched in the trenches, almost suffocated and blinded by the dense cloud of fine dust and sand which nothing could exclude.[5.4]

Although the number of my workmen was small, the excavations were carried on as actively as possible. The two human-headed lions, at the small entrance to the great hall, already described, led into another chamber, or to sculptured walls, forming an outward facing to the building.[5.5] (Page 83) The slabs to the right and left, had fallen from their original position, and, with the exception of one, were broken. I had some difficulty in raising the pieces from the ground. As the face of the slabs was downward, the sculpture had been well preserved.

To the right was represented the king holding a bow in one hand and two arrows in the other. He was followed by his attendant eunuch, who bore a second bow and a quiver for his use, and a mace, with a head in the form of a rosette, which may have been one of the wooden clubs, topped with iron, mentioned by Herodotus as a weapon used by the Assyrians, or one of those staffs adorned with an apple, a rose, a lily, or an eagle, described by the same historian as carried by the Babylonians.[5.6] Standing before him were his vizier and an eunuch, their hands crossed before them, a posture still assumed in the East as one of respect and submission by inferiors in the presence of persons of rank. It is interesting thus to trace the observance of the same customs in the same countries, after the lapse of so many centuries. In the bas-relief representing a similar subject discovered in the S. W. ruins, the vizier raises his right hand before the king - an attitude, apparently denoting an oath or homage, in which dependents are seen on the later monuments of the Achaemenian and Sassanian dynasties. Dejoces, who was the successor of the Assyrian monarchs, permitted no one to see him, except certain privileged individuals; and the person of the Persian king, as we learn from the story of Esther, was considered so sacred, that even the queen, who ventured before him without being bidden, was punished with death, "except the king might hold out the golden scepter that she might live."[5.7] It might be expected, therefore, that in the Assyrian sculptures those who stand in the royal presence would be portrayed in the humblest posture of submission. These figures were about (Page 84) eight feet high; the relief very low, and the ornaments rich and elaborate. The bracelets, armlets, and weapons were all adorned with the heads of horses, bulls, and rams, the style of which would not have been unworthy of the exquisite chasing of the middle ages; color still remained on the hair, beard, and sandals.

The adjoining slab, forming a wall at right angles with these bas-reliefs, was of enormous dimensions, but had been broken in two: the upper part had fallen, the lower was still standing in its place. It was only after many ineffectual attempts that I succeeded in raising the fallen half sufficiently to see the sculpture upon it. It was a winged giant about sixteen and a half feet high in low relief, carrying the fir-cone and square utensil; in other respects similar to those already described, except that it had four wings, two rising from each shoulder, and almost completely encircling the figure.

On the opposite side of the entrance, were also a vizier and his attendant; but they were followed by figures, differing altogether in dress from those previously discovered, and apparently resembling people of another race; some carrying presents or offerings, consisting of armlets, bracelets and earrings on trays; others elevating their clenched hands, probably in token of submission. They were evidently captives and tribute-bearers from a conquered nation ushered into the presence of the monarch by his minister. Among the objects of tribute were two monkeys, held by ropes; one raising itself on its hind legs, the other sitting on the shoulders of its keeper.[5.8] The costume of these figures consisted of high boots (Page 85) turned up at the toes, resembling those still in use in Turkey and Persia; conical caps, apparently formed by bands, or folds of felt or linen; and loose shirts descending to the ankles, ornamented down the center and at the bottom with fringes. The figure with the monkey was clothed in a short tunic, scarcely reaching to the calf of the leg, and his hair was simply bound up by a fillet. There were traces of black paint on the face, but it is probable that it had been washed down from the hair, as no remains of color have been found on the face of any other figure, although it is possible that the Assyrians, like the Egyptians, may have denoted races, sexes, and the orders of the priesthood by various tints.

To the south of the colossal lions forming the principal entrance[5.9] to the great hall, the wall was continued by an eagle-headed figure resembling that on the opposite side. Adjoining it was a corner-stone bearing the sacred tree - beyond, the slabs ceased altogether; but I soon found that they had only fallen from their places, and that although broken, the sculptures upon them representing battles, sieges, and other historical subjects, were, as far as it could be ascertained by the examination of one or two, in admirable preservation. The wall of sun-dried bricks, against which they had stood, was still distinctly visible to the height of twelve or fourteen feet. This wall served as my guide in digging onward, to the distance of about one hundred feet.

The first sculpture discovered still standing in its original position, was a winged human-headed bull of yellow limestone. On the previous day we had found the detached human head now in the British Museum. The bull, to which it belonged, and which had formed one side of an entrance, had been broken into several pieces by falling against the opposite sculpture. I lifted the body with difficulty; and discovered under it sixteen copper lions, of admirable execution, forming a regular series, diminishing in size from the largest, which was above one foot (Page 86) in length, to the smallest, which scarcely exceeded an inch. A ring attached to the back of each, gave them the appearance of weights. In the same place were the fragments of an earthen vase, on which were represented two figures, with the wings and claws of a bird, the breasts of a woman, and the tail of a scorpion.[5.10]

(Page 87) Beyond the winged bulls the slabs were still upright and entire. On the first was sculptured a winged human figure carrying a branch with five flowers in the raised right hand, and the usual square vessel in the left. Around his temples was a fillet adorned with three rosettes. On each of the four following slabs were two bas-reliefs, divided by the usual inscription. The upper, on the first slab, represented a castle apparently built on an island in a river. One tower was defended by an armed man, on two others were females. Three warriors, probably escaping from the enemy, were swimming across the stream; two of them supporting themselves on inflated skins, in the mode practiced to this day by the Arabs inhabiting the banks of the rivers of Assyria and Mesopotamia; except that, in the bas relief, the swimmers were (Page 88) pictured as retaining in their mouths the aperture through which the skin is filled with air. The third, pierced by the arrows of two warriors kneeling on the shore, was struggling without any support against the current. Three rudely designed trees completed the background.

The upper compartment of the next slab represented the siege of a city, in which the king, followed by his shield bearer and attendants, was seen discharging an arrow against the enemy. A battering-ram of wicker work, on wheels, and attached to a movable tower, occupied by two warriors, had been drawn up to the walls, from which several stones had already been dislodged. The besieged, apparently anticipating the fall of their city, were asking for quarter.

Beneath the two bas-reliefs just described was one subject. The king, followed by his eunuchs and by his chariot, from which he had dismounted, was receiving a line of prisoners brought before him by his vizier. Some bore objects of spoil or tribute, such as vases, shawls, and elephants' tusks; others were bound together by ropes, and were driven forward by Assyrian warriors with drawn swords.

The upper compartments of the third and fourth slabs contained hunting scenes. The king was represented as discharging an arrow against a lion springing upon his chariot, while a second, already pierced by many shafts, had fallen beneath the feet of the horses. Two warriors with drawn swords appeared to be running to the assistance of the monarch. This bas-relief, from the knowledge of art displayed in the treatment and composition, the correct and effective delineation of the men and animals, and the spirit of the grouping, is one of the finest specimens yet discovered of Assyrian sculpture. The rage of the fallen animal, who is struggling to extricate the arrow from his neck, is admirably portrayed; while the majesty and power conveyed in the form of the springing lion is worthy of a very high order of art. In the other bas-relief the king in his chariot was seen piercing a wild bull with a short sword; a second bull wounded by arrows being beneath the (Page 89) horses. A horseman following the chariot led a second horse, apparently for the use of the king. The animal represented in this sculpture was probably a wild ox, once inhabiting the Assyrian plains, and long since extinct, as neither tradition nor history records its existence in this part of Asia. It may have roved through Assyria at a very early period, and may have been exterminated when an increasing population covered the face of the country with cities and villages.[5.11] It is distinguished from the domestic ox by a number of small marks covering the body, and apparently intended to denote long and shaggy hair, and is represented with one horn, as horses are frequently with only two legs or one ear, because the Assyrian sculptor did not attempt to give both in a side view of the animal. Beneath these bas-reliefs was represented the king on his return from the chase, pouring a libation or drinking out of the sacred cup above the fallen lion and bull. His attendants stood around him, and musicians celebrated, on stringed instruments, his victories over the wild beasts of the desert. [5.12]

The frequent representations of hunting scenes, in which the king is the principal actor, is a proof of the high estimation in which the chase was held by the primitive inhabitants of Assyria. A conqueror and the founder of an empire was, at the same time, a great hunter. His courage, wisdom, and dexterity were as much shown in encounters with wild animals as in martial exploits; he rendered equal services to his subjects, whether he cleared the country of beasts of prey, or repulsed an enemy. The scriptural Nimrod, who laid the foundation of the Assyrian (Page 90) monarchy was "a mighty hunter before the Lord ;" and the Ninus of history and tradition, the builder of Nineveh, and the greatest of the Assyrian kings, was as renowned for his encounters with the lion and the leopard, as for his triumphs over warlike nations. The Babylonians, as well as the Assyrians, ornamented the walls of their temples and palaces with pictures and sculptures representing the chase; and similar subjects were introduced even in the embroidery of garments. The Assyrians were probably also the inventors of the parks, or paradises, which were afterward maintained at so vast a cost by the Persian kings of the Achaemenian and Sassanian dynasties. In these spacious preserves wild animals of various kinds were continually kept for the diversion of the king and of those who were privileged to join with him in the chase. They contained lions, tigers, wild boars, antelopes, and many varieties of birds. The sculptures just described may represent the king hunting in one of those royal paradises.

The Assyrian, like the Persian youths, were probably trained to the chase at an early age. Xenophon gives an interesting account of the hunting expeditions of the Persians in the time of Cyrus. The king was accompanied by half his guard, each man being armed as if he were going to battle, with a bow, quiver, sword, shield, and two javelins, - hunting being, as Xenophon declares, the truest method of practicing all such things as relate to war.[5.13] Such it would appear from the bas-reliefs was also the practice among the Assyrians, for the king is represented as accompanied by warriors fully equipped for the fight.

On the flooring, below the sculptures, were discovered remains of painted plaster still adhering to the sun-dried bricks, which had formed the upper part of the wall above the sculptured slabs. The colors, particularly the blues and reds, were as brilliant and vivid when the earth was removed from them, as they could have originally been; but on exposure to the air (Page 91) they faded rapidly. The designs were elegant and elaborate. It was found almost impossible to preserve any portion of these ornaments, the earth crumbling to pieces when an attempt was made to raise them.

About this time I received from Sir Stratford Canning, the vizirial letter authorizing the continuation of the excavations and the removal of such objects as might be discovered. I was sleeping in the tent of Sheikh Abd-ur-rahman, who had invited me to hunt gazelles with him before dawn on the following morning, when an Arab awoke me. He was the bearer of letters from Mosul; and I read by the light of a small camel-dung fire, the document which secured to the British nation the records of Nineveh, and a collection of the earliest monuments of Assyrian art.

The vizirial order was as comprehensive as could be desired; and having been granted on the departure of the British embassador, was the highest testimony the Turkish government could give of their respect for the character of Sir Stratford Canning, and of their appreciation of the eminent services he had rendered them.

One of the difficulties, and not one of the least which had to be encountered, was now completely removed. Still, however, pecuniary resources were wanting, and in the absence of the necessary means, extensive excavations could not be carried on. I hastened, nevertheless, to communicate the letter of the Grand Vizier to the pashaw, and to make arrangements for pursuing the researches as effectually as possible.

Not having yet examined the great mound of Kouyunjik, believed by travelers to mark the true site of Nineveh, I determined to open trenches in it. I had not previously done so, as from the vicinity of the ruins to Mosul, the inhabitants of the town would have been able to watch my movements, and to cause me continual interruptions before the sanction of the authorities could be obtained to my proceedings. A small party of workmen having been organized, excavations were commenced on the southern face, where the mound was highest; (Page 92) as sculptures, if any still existed, would probably be found in the best state of preservation under the largest accumulation of rubbish. My researches, however, were not attended with much success. A few fragments of sculpture and inscriptions were discovered, which enabled me to assert with some confidence that the remains were those of a building contemporary or nearly so, with Khorsabad, and consequently of a more recent epoch than the most ancient palace of Nimroud. All the bricks dug out bore the name of the same king, but I could not find any traces of his geneaology. After excavating for about a month, I discontinued my researches until a better opportunity might offer.

On my return to Nimroud, about thirty men, chiefly Arabs, were employed to dig in the N. W. palace.

On excavating beyond the five sculptured slabs last described, a corner-stone with the sacred tree was discovered, which formed the eastern end of a great hall, 154 feet in length, and only 33 feet in breadth. These proportions, the length so far exceeding the width, are peculiar to Assyrian interior architecture, and may probably be attributed to the difficulty experienced in roofing over a larger span. Adjoining this corner-stone was a winged figure; beyond it a slab 14 feet in length cut into a recess, in which were four figures. Two kings stood face to face, their right hands raised in prayer or adoration. Between them was the oft-recurring sacred tree, above which hovered that emblem of the supreme deity - a human figure, with the wings and tail of a bird, inclosed in a circle, - which was adopted by the Persians, and is the type of Ormuzd, or the great God of the Zoroastian system, on the monuments of Persepolis. In the right hand of this figure was a ring. The kings, who were either different monarchs, or were but a double representation of the same person, appeared to be attired for the performance of some religious ceremony. Their waists were encircled by knotted zones, the ends of which fell almost to their feet. Around their necks were suspended certain mystic emblems, and in their hands they (Page 93) carried a kind of mace, terminating in a disk or globe. Each king was followed by a winged figure with the fir cone and basket.[5.14]

To the left of this slab was a winged figure similar to that on the right, and a second corner-stone, with the sacred tree, completed the eastern end of the hall. Part of both the winged figures adjoining the center slab, as well as the lower part of that slab, which advanced beyond the sculpture, had been purposely destroyed, and still bore the marks of the chisel.

Subsequent excavations disclosed in front of the large bas-relief of the two kings, a slab of alabaster, 10 feet by 8, and about 2 feet thick, cut into steps or gradines on the side facing the grand entrance, and covered on both sides with inscriptions. On raising it, a process of considerable difficulty from its great weight and size, I found beneath a few pieces of gold leaf and some fragments of bone, which crumbled into dust as soon as exposed to the air. In a corner of the same part of the chamber, were two square stones, slightly hollowed in the center, and round the large slab was a conduit in alabaster, apparently intended to carry off some fluid, perhaps the blood of the sacrifice.

On the first slab of the northern wall, adjoining the corner-stone, was a human figure with four wings; the right hand raised, and the left holding a mace. Beyond were two lions,[5.15] corresponding with those forming the other entrance on this side of the hall, from which, however, they differed somewhat in form, the hands being joined in front instead of bearing an animal. They, also, led to an outer wall, on which was sculptured a procession of figures, similarly clothed to those already described, bearing tribute or spoil. The corner was likewise formed by a colossal winged figure, which was connected with the corresponding sculpture by four or more winged bulls and lions, of enormous proportions. Two of these gigantic sculptures had fallen on their faces and were broken in several (Page 94) pieces. This assemblage of winged human-headed lions and bulls appears to have formed the grand entrance into the palace, and must have been truly magnificent.

As the edge of a ravine had now been reached, the workmen were directed to return to the yellow bulls, which formed the entrance into a further chamber,[5.16] paneled with bas-reliefs representing eagle-headed deities facing one another, and separated by the sacred tree, except on the east side, where a king stood between the same mythic figures. Around the monarch's neck were suspended the five sacred emblems. They consist of the sun, a star, a half moon, a bident, and a horned cap similar to that worn by the human-headed bulls.[5.17]

An entrance, formed by four slabs, two with bas-reliefs of human figures carrying a mystic flower,[5.18] led me into a new chamber, remarkable for the elaborate and careful finish of its sculptures. I uncovered the northern wall, and the eastern as far as a second entrance.[5.19]

The northern end of the chamber was occupied by one group, the principal figure in which was that of the king, seated on a throne or stool, holding in his right hand a cup, and resting his left upon his knee. In front of the monarch stood an eunuch, raising with one hand a fan, and holding in the other the cover or stand of the cup from which the king was drinking or pouring a libation. Over the; shoulder of this attendant was thrown an embroidered towel, resembling that still presented by servants in the East to one who has drunk, or performed his ablutions. He was followed by a winged figure with the fir cone and basket. Behind the king (Page 95) were two eunuchs bearing his arms, and a second winged figure similar to that in front of the throne. The whole group probably represented the celebration, after a great victory, of some religious ceremony, in which the presiding divinities of Assyria, or priests assuming their form, ministered to the king. This very fine bas-relief was remarkable for the extreme delicacy and beauty of the details. The robes of the monarch together with those of his attendants, were covered with the most elaborate designs. In the center of his breast were represented two kings in act of adoration before the emblem of the supreme God. Around were engraved figures of winged (Page 96) deities, and the king performing different religious ceremonies. Borders of similar groups, including various forms of animals and monsters, winged horses, gryphons and sphinxes, adorned the front, and were carried round the skirts of the dress. The embroideries on the garments of the priests and eunuchs were of the same nature and equally beautiful. They consisted chiefly of men struggling with winged monsters, ostriches, standing before the sacred tree, and numerous elegant devices, in which the seven-petaled flower was always the most conspicuous ornament.

These elaborate designs were probably intended to represent embroideries on silk, linen, or woolen stuffs, in the manufacture and dyeing of which the Assyrians had obtained so great a perfection that their garments were still a proverb many centuries after the fall of the empire. Among those who traded "in blue clothes and embroidered work" with Tyre were the merchants of Ashur, or Assyria; and Achan confessed to Joshua that "when he saw among the spoils a goodly Babylonish garment and two hundred shekels of silver, and a wedge of gold of fifty shekels weight," he coveted and took them.[5.20] Robes such as are seen in these sculptures may have been "the dyed attire and embroidered work" so frequently mentioned in the Bible as the garments of princes and the most costly gifts of kings. The ornaments and figures upon them may either have been dyed, wove in the loom, or embroidered with the needle like "the prey of divers colors of needlework, of divers colors of needlework on both sides."[5.21]

(Page 97) 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 miter, or tiara, which distinguishes the monarch in Assyrian bas-reliefs, and appears to have been reserved for him alone. It is impossible to determine 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.[5.22] Around the neck of the king was a necklace. He wore ear-rings, 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 center by stars and rosettes, probably inlaid with precious stones.[5.23] 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,[5.24] wore a wig. Both the hair and beard were probably dyed, and the eyes (Page 98) blackened with some preparation, resembling the kohl or surma still used by persons of both sexes in the East. His sandals covered 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 (Page 99) 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.[5.25] 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 marveled 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 ardor 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 paneled by slabs, on which was (Page 100) sculptured the king, raising a richly ornamented cup and standing between two divinities wearing fillets adorned with rosettes round their temples.[5.26]

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 human-headed 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. (Page 101) 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 center 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 pashaw, 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 .

While I was moving these bas-reliefs, Tahyar Pashaw 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 pashaw'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 (Page 102) rest. "I saw many such when I was in Italia with Reshid Pashaw, the embassador. 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; 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 bazars of Constantinople. "Istafer Allah" (God forbid), piously ejaculated the pashaw; "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 any thing 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 pashaw; "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. (Page 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[5.27] 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 paneled 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 (Page 104) 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.[5.28] The sculptures were similar to those already described; the king standing between two winged figures, and hold 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 center, 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[5.29] 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 Chaldean Christians, and to return to Mosul in September, when the violence of the heat had abated.

[5.1] Entrance d, plan 3.

[5.2] All these objects are now in the British Museum.

[5.3] This head probably belonged to a throne or seat

[5.4] Storms of this nature are frequent during the early part of summer throughout Mesopotamia, Babylonia, and Susiana. It is difficult to convey an idea of their violence. They appear suddenly, and without any previous sign, and seldom last above an hour. It was during one of them that "the Tigris" steamer, under the command of Colonel Chesney, was wrecked in the Euphrates, and so darkened was the atmosphere that, although the vessel was within a short distance of the bank of the river, several persons who were in her are supposed to have lost their lives from not knowing in what direction to swim.

[5.5] Wall D, plan 3.

[5.6] Herod. lib. vii. c. 68, and lib. i. c. 195.

[5.7] Herod. lib. i. c. 99; Esther 4:11.

[5.8] This bas-relief is in the British Museum.

[5.9] Entrance a, chamber B, plan 3.

[5.10] All these remains are now in the British Museum.

[5.11] I have found no representation of this animal in any sculptures of a later date than those of the N. W. palace of Nimroud, the earliest Assyrian edifice with which we are acquainted. Had it inhabited the plains of Mesopotamia in the time of Xenophon, he would probably have described it when speaking of the wild animals of that province. The wild ox is mentioned in Deut. 14:5 among the animals whose flesh may be eaten by the Jews. The "wild bull in a net" is also alluded to in Isaiah 51:20. The Hebrew word is rendered "wild bull" in the Targums and "oryx" in the Vulgate; some, however, believe the animal meant to be a kind of antelope. (Gesenius, Lex. in voce.)

[5.12] All the bas-reliefs here described are now in the British Museum.

[5.13] Cyrop. lib. i. c. 2.

[5.14] This bas-relief is in the British Museum.

[5.15] Entrance c, chamber B, plan 3.

[5.16] Ch. F, plan 3.

[5.17] It is worthy of remark that, with the exception of the horned cap, these symbols are found on the sacred monuments of India, which, accompanied as they are by the sacred bull, bear a striking resemblance to the Assyrian.

[5.18] Entrance a, ch F. pl. 3.

[5.19] Entrance e, ch. G.

[5.20] Ezekiel 27:24; Joshua 7:21.

[5.21] Judges 5:30. We learn from Pliny (lib. viii. c. 48), that gold threads were introduced into the Assyrian woof of many hues.

[5.22] 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. iii. and lib. vi. ch. 6.)

[5.23] 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.)

[5.24] Cyrop. lib. i. c. 3.

[5.25] 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.

[5.26] Ch. H. plan 3.

[5.27] Residence in Kurdistan and Nineveh, vol. ii. p. 39.

[5.28] Chambers I and R, plan 3.

[5.29] Entrance b, Ch. H.

Chapter 6

(Page 105) 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 Rassam, 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 pashaw to the authorities as far as Amadiyah, and with a letter to Abd-ul-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 Mohammedans 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.

(Page 106) The mound is about fourteen miles N. N. E. of Mosul. A small village[6.1] 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 inward, 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 (Page 107) which still remain. At the foot of the mound lies an altar or tripod, similar to that now in the Louvre.

Khorsabad, or Khishtabad, is mentioned by the early Arab geographers. It is described as a village occupying the site of an ancient Assyrian city called "Saraoun," or "Saraghoun;" and Yakuti declares, that soon after the Arab conquest considerable treasures were found among the ruins. It was generally believed at Mosul, where a copy of Yakuti's very rare work exists, that it was in consequence of this notice, and in the hopes of finding further riches, M. Botta excavated in the mound - hence much of the opposition encountered from the authorities.

I had finished my examination of the ruins by the time the baggage reached the village. The sun had set, but being unwilling to expose my party to fever by passing the night on this unhealthy spot, I rode on to a small hamlet about two miles distant. It was dark when we reached it, and we found ourselves in the midst of a marsh, even more extensive than that of Khorsabad. As there was no village beyond, I was (Page 108) obliged to stop here, and clambering up to a platform of branches of trees elevated upon poles, I passed the night free from the attacks of the swarms of gnats which infested the stagnant water below.

We left the hamlet long before sunrise, and soon reached some of the springs of the Khausser, a small stream which rises at the northern extremity of the Jebel Maklub, irrigates the lands of numerous villages on its course toward Mosul, and falls into the Tigris, near Kouyunjik, after traversing the large quadrangle, of which that mound forms a part.

Our road crossed the northern spur of Jebel Maklub, and then stretched over an extensive plain to the first range of the Kurdish hills. The heat soon became intense, the soil was parched and barren; a few mud walls marked here and there the ruins of a village, and the silence and solitude were only broken by parties of Kurds, lazily driving before them, toward Mosul, donkeys laden with rich clusters of grapes from the mountains.

A weary ride brought us to the Yezidi village of Ain Sifni. Its white houses and conical tombs had long been visible on the declivity of a low hill; its cleanliness was a relief after the filth of Mussulman and Christian habitations. I had expected to find Sheikh Naser, the religious chief of the Yezidis. As he was absent, I partook of the hospitality of the head of the village, and continued my journey to the tomb of Sheikh Adi. After a further ride of two hours through a pleasant ravine watered by a mountain torrent, whose banks were concealed by flowering oleanders, we reached a well wooded valley, in the center of which rose the white spire of the tomb of the great Yezidi saint.

Stretching myself by a fountain in the cool shade, flung over the tomb by a cluster of lofty trees, I gave myself up to a full flow of gratitude, at this sudden change from the sultry heat and salt streams of the plains, to the verdure and sweet springs of the Kurdish Hills. There were "pleasure-places" enough for all my party, and each eagerly seized his tree, and (Page 109) his fountain. The guardians of the tomb, and a few wanderers from a neighboring village, gathered round me, and satisfied my curiosity as far as their caution and prejudices would allow.

We passed the night on the roof of one of the buildings within the precincts of the sacred edifice, and continued our journey at dawn on the following morning.

Quitting the Yezidi district, we entered the mountains inhabited by the large Kurdish tribe of Missouri. The valleys were well wooded; many-shaped rocks towered above our leads or rose in the streams of the Gomel,[6.2] which almost cut off our passage through the narrow defiles. A few villages were scattered on the declivities, but their inhabitants had deserted them for rude huts, built of branches of trees, - their summer habitations.

In four hours we reached the large village of Kaloni, or Kalah-oni, rising among vineyards, and hanging over the bed of the Gomel. The houses, well constructed of stone, were empty. Huge horns of the ibex ornamented the lintels of the gateways, and the corners of the buildings. The inhabitants were at some distance, on the banks of the stream, living under the trees in their temporary sheds.

These Kurds were of the Badinan branch of the Missouri tribe. Their chief, whose hut was in the midst of this group of simple dwellings, was absent; but his wife received me with hospitality. Carpets, the work of her own women, were spread under a mulberry-tree; and large bowls of milk and cream, wooden platters filled with boiled rice, slices of honey comb, and baskets of new-gathered fruit, were speedily placed before us. The men sat at a respectful distance, and readily gave me such information as I asked for. The women, unembarrassed by the vail, brought straw to our horses, or ran to and fro with their pitchers. Their hair fell in long tresses down their backs, and their foreheads were adorned with rows of coins and beads; (Page 110) many were not unworthy of the reputation for beauty which the women of Missouri enjoy.

The spot was rich in natural beauties. The valley, shut in by lofty rocks, was well wooded with fruit trees - the mulberry, the peach; the fig, the walnut, the olive, and the pomegranate; beneath them sprang the vine, or were laid out plots of Indian corn, sesame, and cotton. The sheds were built of boughs; and the property of the owners, - carpets, horse-cloths, and domestic utensils, - were spread out before them. From almost every door, mingling with the grass and flowers, stretched the many-colored threads of the loom, at which usually sat one female of the family. There was a cleanliness, and even richness, in the dresses of both women and men, an appearance of comfort and industry, which contrasted strikingly with the miserable state of the people of the plain; and proved that these Kurds had been sufficiently fortunate to escape the notice of the last governor of Mosul, and were reserved for some scrutinizing pashaw.

I acknowledged the hospitality of the Kurdish lady by a present to her son, and rode up to the small Chaldean village of Bebozi, standing on the summit of a high mountain. The ascent was most precipitous, and the horses could with difficulty reach the place. We found a group of ten houses, built on the edge of a cliff overhanging the valley, at so great a height, that the stream below was scarcely visible. The inhabitants were poor, but received us with unaffected hospitality. I had left the usual road to Amadiyah for the purpose of visiting an inscription, said to exist near this village. A guide was soon found to conduct me to the spot of which I had heard; but after toiling up a very difficult pathway, I was shown a rock on which were only a few rude marks, bearing no resemblance to any writing that had ever been invented. I was accustomed to such disappointments, and always prepared for them. I returned to the village and visited the small church. The people of Bebozi are among those Chaldeans who have been recently brought over to the Roman Catholic faith. They furnish but a too common instance of the mode in which such proselytes (Page 111) are made. In the church I saw a few miserable Italian prints, dressed up in all the horrors of red, yellow, and blue, miracles of saints, and of the blessed Virgin.

Having rested in the village, we resumed our journey, and crossed a range of hills, covered by a forest of dwarf oak. We descended into the valley of Cheloki, reaching, about sunset, the large Kurdish village of Spandareh, so called from its poplar-trees.

We were now separated from the valley of Amadiyah by a range of high and well-wooded mountains called Ghara. This we crossed by a road little frequented, and of so precipitous a nature, that our horses could scarcely keep their footing - one, indeed, carrying part of our baggage, suddenly disappeared over the edge of a rock, and was found some hundred feet below, on his back, firmly wedged between two rocks; how he got there with nothing but the bone of his tail broken, was a mystery beyond the comprehension of our party. The valley of Amadiyah is cut up into innumerable ravines by the torrents, which rush down the mountains, and force their way to the river Zab. It is, however, well wooded with oaks, producing in abundance the galls for which this district is celebrated. The peasants were now picking this valuable article of export.

The town and fort of Amadiyah had been visible from the crest of the Ghara range; but we had a long ride before us, and it was nearly mid-day ere we reached the foot of the lofty isolated rock on which they are built. We rested in the small Chaldean village of Bebadi, one of the few in the district which still retain the Nestorian faith. The inhabitants were miserably poor, and I had to listen to a long tale of wretchedness and oppression. The church was hung with a few tattered cotton handkerchiefs, and the priest's garments were to match. I gave him two or three pieces of common print, out of which he made a turban for himself, and beautified the altar.

Some half-clothed, fever-stricken Albanians were slumbering on the stone benches as we entered the gates of the fort, which, certainly, during the season of Ramazan, if not at all others, (Page 112) might be taken by surprise by a few resolute Kurds. We found ourselves in the midst of a heap of ruins - porches, bazars, baths, habitations, all laid open to their inmost recesses. Falling walls would have threatened passers-by, had there been any; but the place was a desert. We had some difficulty in finding our way to a crumbling ruin, honored with the name of Serai - the Palace. Here the same general sleep prevailed. Neither guards nor servants were visible, and we wandered through the building until we reached the room of the governor. His hangers on were indulging in comfort and sleep upon the divans, and we had some trouble in rousing them. We were at length taken to a large, gaudily-painted room, in a tower, built on the very edge of the rock, and overlooking the whole valley - the only remnant of the state of the old hereditary pashaws of Amadiyah. A refreshing breeze came down from the mountain, the view was extensive and beautiful, and I forgot the desolation and misery which reigned around.

A few miserable Nestorian Chaldeans, and one or two half-starved Jews came to me with the usual melancholy tale of distress; and, shortly after, Kasha Mendi, a worthy ecclesiastic, who ministered to the spiritual wants of half the villages in the valley, hearing of my arrival, joined the party. The priest was, of course, better informed than the rest; and from him I obtained the information I required as to the state of the Chaldeans in the district, and as to the means of reaching Tiyari. The Albanian irregulars were to leave me here, the authority of the Pashaw of Mosul not extending beyond Amadiyah. We were now to enter the territories of Kurdish chiefs, who scarcely admitted any dependence upon the Porte. I determined upon hiring mules for the rest of my journey, and sending all my horses, except one, with the Albanians to Dohuk, there to await my return.

It was the hour of afternoon prayer before Selim Agha, the mutesellim, or governor, emerged from his harem; which, however, as far as the fair sex were concerned, was empty. The old gentleman, who was hungry, half asleep, and in the third (Page 113) stage of the ague, hurried through the ordinary salutations, and asked at once for quinine. His attendants exhibited illustrations of every variety of the fever; some shivered, others glowed, and the rest sweated. He entreated me to go with him into the harem; his two sons were buried beneath piles of cloaks, carpets, and grain-sacks, but the whole mass trembled with the violence of their shaking. I dealt out emetics and quinine with a liberal hand, and returned to the Salamlik, to hear from Selim Agha a most doleful history of fever, diminished revenues, arrears of pay, and rebellious Kurds. The tears ran down his cheeks as he recapitulated his manifold misfortunes, and entreated me to intercede with the governor of Mosul for his advancement or recall. I left him with his watch in his hand, anxiously looking for sunset, that he might console himself with a dose of tartar-emetic.

Amadiyah was formerly a place of considerable importance and strength, containing a very large and flourishing population. It was governed by hereditary pashaws - feudal chiefs, who traced their descent from the Abbaside caliphs, and were always looked up to, on that account, with religious respect by the Kurds. The ladies of this family were no less venerated, and enjoyed the very peculiar title, for a woman, of "Khan." The last of these hereditary chiefs was Ismail Pashaw; who long defied, in his almost inaccessible castle, the attempts of Injeh Bairakdar Mohammed Pashaw to reduce him. A mine was at length sprung under a part of the wall, which, from its position, the Kurds had believed safe from attack, and the place was taken by assault. Ismail Pashaw was sent a prisoner to Baghdad, where he still remains; and his family, among whom was his beautiful wife, Esma Khan, not unknown to the Europeans of Mosul, together with Mohammed Seyyid Pashaw of Akra,[6.3] a member of the same race, long lived upon the bounty of Mr. Rassam. Amadiyah is frequently mentioned by the early Arab geographers and historians, and its foundation dates, most (Page 114) probably, from a very early epoch. Kasha Mendi casually confirmed the assertion of Rich, that the town was once called Ecbatana, by saying, that he had seen it so designated in a very early Chaldean MS. The only ancient remains that I could discover, were a defaced bas-relief on the rock near the northern gate, of which sufficient alone was distinguishable to enable me to assign to it an approximate date - the time of the Arsacian kings; and some excavations in the rock within the walls, which appear to have been used at an early period as a Christian church. Amadiyah is proverbially unhealthy, notwithstanding its lofty and exposed position. At this time of the year, the inhabitants leave the town for the neighboring mountains, in the valleys of which they construct "ozailis," or sheds, with boughs.

I made my way through the deserted street to a small inclosure, in which were the quarters of the Albanians. The disposable force may have consisted of three men; the rest were stretched out on all sides, suffering under every stage of fever, amid heaps of filth, and skins of water-melons, showing the nature and extent of their commissariat. One of their chiefs boasted that he had braved the fever, and insisted upon my drinking coffee, and smoking a narguileh of no very prepossessing appearance, with him. He even indulged so far in mirth and revelry, that he disturbed a shivering youth basking in the last rays of the sun, and brought him to play upon a santour, which had lost the greater number of its strings. An air of his native mountains brought on a fit of melancholy, and he dwelt upon the miseries of an irregular's life, when there was neither war nor plunder. The evening gun announced sunset while I was sitting with the chief; and I left the garrison as they were breaking their fast on donkey-loads of unripe water-melons.

On my return to the serai, I found the governor recovering from the effects of his emetic, and anxious for his dinner. As the month of Ramazan is, during the nights, one of festivity and open house, Ismail Agha of Tepelin (the Albanian chief in command of the garrison), the cadi, the collector of the revenue, (Page 115) a Kurdish chief, and one or two others came as guests. Our meal gave undoubted proofs either of the smallness of the means of Selim Agha, or of the limited resources of the country. When the dinner was over, I introduced a theological subject as becoming the season, and the cadi entered deeply into the subject of predestination and free will. The reckless way in which the Albanian threw himself into the argument, astonished the company, and shocked the feelings of the expounder of the law. His views of the destinies of man were bold and original; he appealed to me for a confirmation of his opinions, and assuming that I fully concurred with him, and that he had silenced the cadi, who was ejaculating a pious "Istaffer Allah" (may God forgive him), he finished by asking me to breakfast.

Next morning, I left my guards and the attendants of the governor to collect mules for my journey from the peasants who had brought provisions to the town, and after some difficulty found my way to the quarters of Ismail Agha. They were in a small house, the only habitable spot in the midst of a heap of ruins. His room was hung round with guns, swords, and yataghans, and a few dirty Albanians, armed to the teeth, were lounging at the door. The chief had adorned himself most elaborately. His velvet jacket was covered with a maze of gold embroidery, his arms were of the most costly description and ample fur cloaks were spread over the dingy divans. It was a strange display of finery in the midst of misery. He received me with great cordiality; and when he found that I had been to his old haunts in his native land, and had known his friends and kindred, his friendship exceeded all reasonable bounds. "We are all brothers, the English and the Tosques" (an Albanian tribe), exclaimed he, endeavoring to embrace me; "we are all Framasouns;[6.4] I know nothing of these Turks and their Ramazan, thank God! Our stomachs were given us to be (Page 116) filled, and our mouths to take in good things." He accompanied these words with a very significant signal to one of his followers, who, at no loss to understand his meaning, set about forming a pyramid of cushions, to the top of which he mounted at the imminent risk of his neck, and reached down from a shelf a huge bottle of wine, with a corresponding pitcher of raki. Ismail Agha then dived into the recesses of a very capacious but ill looking purse, out of which he pulled twenty paras,[6.5] its sole contents, and dispatched without delay one of his attendants to the stall of a solitary grocer, who was apparently the only commercial survivor in the wreck around him. The boy soon returned with a small parcel of parched peas, a few dates, and three lumps of sugar, which were duly spread on a tray, and placed before us as zests to the wine and brandy. It was evident that Ismail Agha had fully made up his mind to a morning's debauch, and my position was an uncomfortable one. After drinking a few glasses of raki in solitary dignity, he invited his followers to join him. Messengers were dispatched in all directions for music; a Jew with the ague, the band of the regiment, consisting of two cracked dwarf kettle-drums and a fife, and two Kurds with a fiddle and a santour, were collected together. I took an opportunity of slipping out of the room unseen, amid the din of Albanian songs, and the dust of Palicari dances.

On my return to the serai, I found the mules ready, the owners having been, after much discussion, brought to understand that it was my intention to pay for their hire. Every thing being settled, and the animals loaded, I wished the mutesellim good day, and promised to bring his miserable condition to the notice of the pashaw.

Accompanied by a Kurdish chief, we left Amadiyah by the gate opposite to that by which we had entered. We were obliged to descend on foot the steep pathway leading to the valley below. Crossing some well-cultivated gardens, we (Page 117) commenced the ascent of the mountains through a wooded ravine, and came suddenly upon the Yilaks, or summer quarters of the population of Amadiyah. The spot was well chosen. The torrent was divided into a thousand streams, which broke over the rocks, falling in cascades into the valley below. Fruit trees and oaks concealed the huts and tents, and creepers of many hues almost covered the sides of the ravine. All our party enjoyed the delicious coolness and fragrance of the place; and we did not wonder that the people of Amadiyah had left the baneful air of the town for these pleasant haunts. An hour's ride brought us to the summit of the pass, from which a magnificent view of the Tiyari mountains opened before us. Ionunco became eloquent when he beheld his native Alps, and named one by one the lofty peaks which sprang out of the confused heaps of hills; that of Asheetha and several others were covered with snow. Below us was the long valley of Berwari, which separates the range of Amadiyah from the Nestorian country. At a short distance from the crest of the pass we found a small barren plain, called Nevdasht, in which stands the Kurdish village of Maglana. We reached Hayis, a Nestorian hamlet, about sunset. There were but four families in the place, so destitute, that we could only procure a little boiled meal, and some dried mulberries for our supper. The poor creatures, however, did all they could to make us comfortable, and gave us what they had.

The valley of Berwari is well wooded with the gall-bearing oak; and the villages are surrounded by gardens and orchards. The present chief of the district, Abd-ul-Summit Bey, is a fanatic, and has almost ruined the Christian population. In all the villages through which we passed, we saw the same scene, and heard the same tale of wretchedness. Yet the land is rich, water plentiful, and the means of cultivation easy. Fruit trees of many descriptions abound; and tobacco, rice, and grain of various kinds could be extensively cultivated. Even the galls afford but a scanty gain to the villagers, as those who collect them are obliged to sell them to the chief at a (Page 118) very small price. The villages are partly inhabited by Kurds and partly by Nestorian Chaldeans; there are no Catholics among them. Many of the Christian villages have been reduced to five or six houses, and some even to two or three. We stopped at several during our day's journey. The men, with the priests, were generally absent picking galls; the women were seated in circles under the trees, clipping the grapes, and immersing them in boiling water, previous to drying them for raisins. We were everywhere received with the same hospitality, and everywhere found the same poverty. Even Ibrahim Agha, who had been inured to the miseries of misgovernment, grew violent in his expressions of indignation against Abd-ul-Summit Bey, and indulged in a variety of threats against all the male and female members of his family.

The castle of Kumri or Gumri, the residence of Abd-ul-Summit Bey, stands on the pinnacle of a lofty isolated rock, and may be seen from most parts of the valley of Berwari. It is a small mud fort, but it is looked upon as an impregnable place by the Kurds. The chief had evidently received notice of my approach, and probably suspected that the object of my visit was an inspection, for no friendly purposes, of his stronghold; for as we came near to the foot of the hill, we saw him hastening down a precipitous pathway on the opposite side, as fast as his horse could carry him. A mullah, one of his hangers-on, having been sent to meet us on the road, informed me that his master had left the castle early in the morning, for a distant village, whither we could follow him. Not having any particular wish to make a closer inspection of Kalah Kumri, I struck into the hills, and took the pathway pointed out by the mullah.

We rode through several Kurdish villages, surrounded by gardens, and well watered by mountain streams. A pass of some elevation had to be crossed before we could reach the village of Mia, our quarters for the night. Near its summit we found a barren plain on which several Kurdish horsemen, who had joined us, engaged with my own party in the Jerid. The mimic fight soon caused general excitement, and old habits (Page 119) getting the better of my dignity, I joined the melee. A severe kick in the leg from a horse soon put an end to my manoeuvers, and the party was detained until I was sufficiently recovered from the effects of the blow to continue our journey. It was consequently sunset before we reached Mia. There are two villages of this name; the upper, inhabited by Mohammedans, the lower by Nestorian Chaldeans. A Kurd met us as we were entering the former, with a message from Abd-ul-Summit Bey, to the effect that, having guests, he could not receive me there, but had provided a house in the Christian village, where he would join us after his dinner. I rode on to the lower Mia, and found a party of Kurds belaboring the inhabitants, and collecting old carpets and household furniture. Understanding that these proceedings were partly meant as preparations for my reception, though the greater share of the objects collected was intended for the comfort of the Bey's Mussulman guests, I at once put a stop to the pillaging, and released the sufferers. We ascended a spacious and cleanly roof; and with the assistance of the people of the house, who were ready enough to assist when they learned we were Christians, established ourselves there for the night.

Soon after dark another messenger came from Abd-ul-Summit Bey, to say that as the cadi and other illustrious guests were with him, he could not visit me before the morning. I had from the first suspected that these delays and excuses had an object, and that the chief wished to give a proof of his dignity to the Kurds, by treating me in as unceremonious a manner as possible; so, calling the Kurd, and addressing him in a loud voice, that the people who had gathered round the house might hear, I requested him to be the bearer of a somewhat uncivil answer to his master, and took good care that he should fully understand its terms. Ionunco's hair stood on end at the audacity of this speech, and the Nestorians trembled at the results. Ibrahim Agha tittered with delight; and pushing the Kurd away by the shoulders, told him to be particular in delivering his answer. The message had the effect I had anticipated; an hour afterward, shuffling over the (Page 120) housetops at the great risk of his shins, and with a good chance of disappearing down a chimney, came the bey. He was enveloped in a variety of cloaks; and wore, after the manner of the Bohtan chiefs, a turban of huge dimensions - about four feet in diameter - made up of numberless kerchiefs and rags of every hue of red, yellow, and black, and a jacket and wide trowsers, richly embroidered; in his girdle were all manner of weapons. In person he was tall and handsome; his eyes were dark, his nose aquiline, and his beard black; but the expression of his face was far from prepossessing. I left him to open the conversation, which he did by a multiplicity of excuses and apologies for what had passed, not having, by the Prophet, been aware, he said, of the rank of the guest by whose presence he had been honored. I pointed out to him one or two fallacies in his assertions; and we came to a distinct understanding on the subject, before we proceeded to general topics. He sat with me till midnight, and entered, among other things, into a long justification of his conduct toward Christians, which proved that his authority was not established as well as he could desire.

In the morning the bey sent me a breakfast, and gave me a party of Kurdish horsemen as an escort as far as the Tiyari frontier, which was not far distant. Beyond Mia we passed through Bedou, the largest and most populous Kurdish village I had seen.

Our guards would not venture into the territories of the Tiyari, between whom and the Kurds there are continual hostilities, but quitted us in a narrow desolate valley, up which our road to Asheetha now led. I lectured my party on the necessity of caution during our future wanderings; and reminded my cawass and Mohammedan servants that they had no longer the quiet Christians of the plains to deal with. Resigning ourselves to the guidance of Ionunco, who now felt that he was on his own soil, we made our way with difficulty over the socks and stones with which the valley is blocked up, and struck into what our guide represented to be a short cut to (Page 121) Asheetha. The pathway might certainly, on some occasions, have been used by the mountain goats; but the passage of horses and mules was a miracle. After a most tedious walk, we reached the top of the pass and looked down on the village. From this spot the eye rested upon a scene of great beauty. In front rose the lofty peak, with its snows and glaciers, visible even from Mosul. At our feet the village spread over the whole valley; and detached houses, surrounded by gardens and orchards, were scattered over the sides of the mountains. To the right ran the valley which leads to the Zab. We had little difficulty in descending through the loose stones and detritus which cover the face of the mountain, although both our mules and ourselves had frequent falls. On reaching the entrance of the valley, we rode at once to the house of Yakoub, the rais or chief of Asheetha, who received us with grateful hospitality.

[6.1] In the drawing of this village 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.

[6.2] Or Gomer; this stream forms the principal branch of the Ghazir or Bumadas.

[6.3] A district to the east of Amadiyah.

[6.4] The term Framasoun (or Freemason) as well as Protestant, are in the East, I am sorry to say, equivalent to infidel. The Roman Catholic missionaries have very industriously spread the calumny.

[6.5] About one penny.

Chapter 7

(Page 122) We had no sooner reached the house of Yakoub Rais, than a cry of "The bey is come," spread rapidly through the village, and I was surrounded by a crowd of men, women, and boys. My hand was kissed by all, and I had to submit for some time to this tedious process. As for my companion he was almost smothered in the embraces of the girls, nearly all of whom had been liberated from slavery after the great massacre, and had been supported in their distress by his brother for some months in Mosul.[7.1] Among the men were many of my old workmen, who were distinguished from the rest of the inhabitants of Asheetha by their gay dresses and arms, the fruits of their (Page 123) industry during the winter. They were anxious to show their gratitude, and their zeal in my service. The priests came too; Kasha Ghioorghis, Kasha Hormuzd, and others. As they entered the room, the hole assembly rose; and lifting their turbans and caps reverentially from their heads, kissed the hand extended to them. In the meanwhile the girls had disappeared; but soon returned, each bearing a platter of fruit which they placed before me. My workmen also brought large dishes of boiled garas swimming in butter. There were provisions enough for the whole company.

The first inquiries were after Mar Shamoun, the patriarch. I produced his letter, which the priests first kissed and placed to their foreheads. They afterward passed it to the principal men, who went through the same ceremony. Kasha Ghioorghis then read the letter aloud, and at its close, those present uttered a pious ejaculation for the welfare of their patriarch, and renewed their expressions of welcome to us.

These preliminaries having been concluded, we had to satisfy all present as to the object, extent, and probable duration of our journey. The village was in the greatest alarm at a threatened invasion from Beder Khan Bey. The district of Tkhoma, which had escaped the former massacre, was now the object of his fanatical vengeance. He was to march through Asheetha, and orders had already been sent to the inhabitants to collect provisions for his men. As his expedition was not to be undertaken before the close of Ramazan, there was full time to see the proscribed districts before the Kurds entered them. I determined, however, to remain a day in Asheetha, to rest our mules.

On the morning following our arrival, I went with Yakoub Rais to visit the village. The trees and luxuriant crops had concealed the desolation of the place, and had given to Asheetha, from without, a flourishing appearance. As I wandered, however, through the lanes, I found little but ruins. A few houses were rising from the charred heaps; still the greater part of the sites were without owners, the whole family having perished. (Page 124) Yakoub pointed out, as we went along, the former dwellings of wealthy inhabitants, and told me how and where they had been murdered. A solitary church had been built since the massacre; the foundations of others was seen among the ruins. The pathways were still blocked up by the trunks of trees cut down by the Kurds. Water-courses, once carrying fertility to many gardens, were now empty and dry; and the lands which they had irrigated were left naked and unsown. I was surprised at the proofs of the industry and activity of the few surviving families, who had returned to the village, and had already brought a large portion of the land into cultivation.

The houses of Asheetha are not built in a group, but are scattered over the valley like those of the Tiyari districts.[7.2] Each dwelling stands in the center of the land belonging to its owner; consequently, the village occupies a much larger space than would otherwise be required, but has a cheerful and pleasing appearance. The houses are simple, and constructed so as to afford protection and comfort, during winter and summer. The lower part is of stone, and contains two or three rooms inhabited by the family and their cattle during the cold months. Light is admitted by the door, and by small holes in the wall. There are no windows, as in the absence of glass, a luxury as yet unknown in Kurdistan, the cold would be very great during the winter, when the inhabitants are frequently snowed up for many days together. The upper floor is constructed partly of stone and partly of wood, the whole side facing the south being open. Enormous beams, resting on wooden pillars and on the walls, support the roof. This is the summer habitation, and here all the members of the family reside. During July and August they usually sleep on the roof, upon which they erect stages of boughs and grass resting on high poles. By thus raising themselves as much as possible, they avoid the vermin which swarm in the rooms, and (Page 125) catch the night winds which carry away the gnats. Sometimes they build these stages in the branches of high trees around the houses. The winter provision of dried grass and straw for the cattle is stacked near the dwelling, or is heaped on the roof.

As this was the first year that the surviving inhabitants of Asheetha, about 200 families, had returned to the village and had cultivated the soil, they were almost without provisions of any kind. We were obliged to send to Zaweetha for meat and ice; and even milk was scarce, the flocks having been carried away by the Kurds. Garas was all we could find to eat. They had no corn and very little barley. Their bread was made of this garas, and upon it alone they lived, except when on holy-days they boiled the grain, and soaked it in melted butter.

The men were now busy in irrigating the land; and seemed to be rewarded by the promise of ample crops of their favorite garas, and of wheat, barley, rice, and tobacco. The boys kept (Page 126) up a continued shrill shriek or whistle to frighten away the small birds, which had been attracted in shoals by the ripe corn. When tired of this exercise, they busied themselves with their partridges. Almost every youth in the country carries one of these birds at his back, in a round wicker cage. Indeed, while the mountains and the valleys swarm with wild partridges, the houses are as much infested by the tame. The women, too, were not idle. The greater part of them, even the girls, were beating out the corn, or employed in the fields. A few were at the doors of the houses working at the loom, or spinning wool for the clothes of the men. I never saw more general or cheerful industry; even the priests took part in the labors of their congregation.

I walked to the ruins of the school and dwelling house, built by the American missionaries during their short sojourn in the mountains. These buildings had been the cause of much jealousy and suspicion to the Kurds. They stand upon the summit of an isolated hill, commanding the whole valley. A position less ostentatious and proportions more modest might certainly have been chosen; and it is surprising that persons, so well acquainted with the characters of the tribes among whom they had come to reside, should have been thus indiscreet. They were, however, most zealous and worthy men; and had their plans succeeded, I have little doubt that they would have conferred signal benefits on the Nestorian Chaldeans. I never heard their names mentioned by the Tiyari, and most particularly that of Dr. Grant, without expressions of profound respect, amounting almost to veneration.[7.3]

During the occupation of Asheetha by the Kurds, Zeinel (Page 127) Bey fortified himself with a few men in the house constructed by the Americans; and the position was so strong, that, holding it against all the attempts of the Tiyari to dislodge him, he kept the whole of the valley in subjection.

Yakoub Rais, who was naturally of a lively and joyful disposition, could not restrain his tears as he related to me the particulars of the massacre. He had been among the first seized by Beder Khan Bey; and having been kept by that chief as a kind of hostage, he had been continually with him, during the attack on the Tiyari, and had witnessed all the scenes of bloodshed which is so graphically described. The descent upon Asheetha was sudden and unexpected. The greater part of the inhabitants fell victims to the fury of the Kurds, who endeavored to destroy every trace of the village. We walked to the church, which had been newly constructed by the united exertions and labor of the people. The door was so low, that a person, on entering, had to bring his back to the level of his knees. The entrances to Christian churches in the East are generally so constructed, that horses and beasts of burden may not be lodged by Mohammedans within the sacred building. A few rituals, a book of prayer, and the Scriptures, all in manuscript, were lying upon the rude altar; but the greater part of the leaves were wanting, and those which remained were either torn into shreds, or disfigured by damp and water. The manuscripts of the churches were hid in the mountains, or buried in some secure place, at the time of the massacre; and as the priests, who had concealed them, were mostly killed, the books have not been recovered. A few English prints and handkerchiefs from Manchester were hung about the walls; a bottle and a glass, with a tin plate for the sacrament, stood upon the table; a curtain of coarse cloth hung before the inner recess, the Holy of Holies; and these were all the ornaments and furniture of the place.

I visited my former workmen, the priests, and those whom I had seen at Mosul; and as it was expected that I should partake of the hospitality of each, and eat of the dishes they (Page 128) had prepared for me - generally garas floating in melted rancid butter, with a layer of sour milk above - by the time I reached Yakoub's mansion, my appetite was abundantly satisfied. At the door, however, stood Sarah, and a bevy of young damsels with baskets of fruits mingled with ice, fetched from the glacier; nor would they leave me until I had tasted of every thing.

We lived in a patriarchal way with the rais. My bed was made in one corner of the room. The opposite corner was occupied by Yakoub, his wife and unmarried daughters; a third was appropriated to his son and daughter in law, and all the members of his son's family; the fourth was assigned to my companion; and various individuals, whose position in our household could not be very accurately determined, took possession of the center. We slept well nevertheless, and no one troubled himself about his neighbor. Even Ibrahim Agha, whose paradise was Chanak Kalassi, the Dardanelles, to which he always disadvantageously compared every thing, confessed that the Tiyari mountains were not an unpleasant portion of the sultan's dominions.

Yakoub volunteered to accompany me during the rest of my journey through the mountains; and as he was generally known, was well acquainted with the by-ways and passes, and a very merry companion withal, I eagerly accepted his offer. We left part of our baggage at his house, and it was agreed that he should occasionally ride one of the mules. He was a very portly person, gayly dressed in an embroidered jacket and striped trowsers, and carrying a variety of arms in his girdle.

The country through which we passed, after leaving Asheetha, could scarcely be surpassed in the beauty and sublimity of its scenery. The patches of land on the declivities of the mountains were cultivated with extraordinary skill and care. I never saw greater proofs of industry. Our mules, however, were dragged over places almost inaccessible to men on foot, but we forgot the toils and dangers of the way in gazing upon (Page 129) the magnificent prospect before us. Zaweetha is in the same valley as Asheetha. The stream formed by the eternal snows above the latter village, forces its way to the Zab. On the mountain-sides is the most populous and best cultivated district in Tiyari. The ravine below Asheetha is too narrow to admit of the road being carried along the banks of the torrent; and we were compelled to climb over a mass of rocks, rising to a considerable height above it. Frequently the footing was so insecure that it required the united force of several men to carry the mules along by their ears and tails. We, who were unaccustomed to mountain paths, were obliged to have recourse to the aid of our hands and knees.

I had been expected at Zaweetha; and before we entered the first gardens of the village, a party of girls, bearing baskets of fruit, advanced to meet me. Their hair, neatly plaited and adorned with flowers, fell down their backs. On their heads they wore colored kerchiefs loosely tied, or an embroidered cap. Many were pretty, and the prettiest was Aslani, a liberated slave, who had been for some time under the protection of Mrs. Rassam; she led the party, and welcomed me to Zaweetha. My hand having been kissed by all, they simultaneously threw themselves upon my companion, and saluted him vehemently on both cheeks; such a mode of salutation, in the case of a person of my rank and distinction, not being, unfortunately, considered either respectful or decorous. The girls were followed by the rais and the principal inhabitants, and I was led by them into the village.

The Rais of Zaweetha had fortunately rendered some service to Beder Khan Bey, and on the invasion of Tiyari his village was spared. It had not even been deserted by its inhabitants, nor had its trees and gardens been injured. It was, consequently, at the time of my visit, one of the most flourishing villages in the mountains. The houses, neat and clean, were still overshadowed by the wide spreading walnut-tree; every foot of ground which could receive seed, or nourish a plant, was cultivated. Soil had been brought from elsewhere, and (Page 130) built up in the terraces on the precipitous sides of the mountains. A small pathway among the gardens led us to the house of the rais.

We were received by Kasha Kana of Lizan, and Kasha Yusuf of Siatha; the first, one of the very few learned priests left among the Nestorian Chaldeans. Our welcome was as unaffected and sincere as it had been at Asheetha. Preparations had been made for our reception, and the women of the chief's family were congregated around huge caldrons at the door of the house, cooking an entire sheep, with rice and garas. The liver, heart, and other portions of the entrails, were immediately cut into pieces, roasted on ramrods, and brought on these skewers into the room. The fruit, too, melons, pomegranates, and grapes, all of excellent quality, spread on the floor, before us, served to allay our appetites until the breakfast was ready.

Mar Shamoun's letter was read with the usual solemnities by Kasha Kana, and we had to satisfy the numerous inquiries of the company. Their patriarch was regarded as a prisoner in Mosul, and his return to the mountains was expected with deep anxiety. Everywhere, except in Zaweetha, the churches had been destroyed to their foundations, and the priests put to death. Some of the holy edifices had been rudely rebuilt; but the people were unwilling to use them until they had been consecrated by the patriarch. There were not priests enough indeed to officiate, nor could others be ordained until Mar Shamoun himself performed the ceremony. These wants had been the cause of great irregularities and confusion in Tiyari; and the Nestorian Chaldeans, who are naturally a religious people, and greatly attached to their churches and ministers, were more alive to them than to any of their misfortunes.

Kasha Kana was making his weekly rounds among the villages which had lost their priests. He carried under his arm a bag full of manuscripts, consisting chiefly of rituals and copies of the Scriptures; but he had also one or two volumes on profane (Page 131) subjects, which he prized highly; among them was a grammar by Rabba Iohannan bar Zoabee, to which he was chiefly indebted for his learning.[7.4] He read to us - holding as usual the book upside down - a part of the introduction, treating of the philosophy and nature of languages, and illustrated the text by various attempts at the delineation of most marvelous alphabets. A taste for the fine arts seemed to prevail generally in the village, and the walls of the rais's house were covered with sketches of wild goats and snakes in every variety of posture. The young men were eloquent on the subject of the chase, and related their exploits with the wild animals of the mountains. A cousin of the chief, a handsome youth, very gayly dressed, had shot a bear a few days before, after a hazardous encounter. He brought me the skin, which measured seven feet in length. The two great subjects of complaint I found to be the Kurds and the bears, both equally mischievous; the latter carrying off the fruit both when on the trees and when laid out to dry; and the former the provisions stored for the winter. In some villages in Berwari the inhabitants pretended to be in so much dread of the bears, that they would not venture out alone after dark.

The rais, finding that I would not accept his hospitality for the night, accompanied us, followed by the principal inhabitants, to the outskirts of the village. His frank and manly bearing, and (Page 132) simple kindness, had made a most favorable impression upon me, and I left him with regret. Kasha Kana, too, fully merited the praise which he received from all who knew him. His appearance was mild and venerable; his beard, white as snow, fell low upon his breast; but his garments were in a very advanced stage of rags. I gave him a few handkerchiefs, some of which were at once gratefully applied to the bettering of his raiment; the remainder being reserved for the embellishment of his parish church. The kasha is looked up to as the physician, philosopher, and sage of Tiyari, and is treated with great veneration by the people. As we walked through the village, the women left their thresholds, and the boys their sports, to kiss his hand - a mark of respect, however, which is invariably shown to the priesthood.

We had been joined by Mirza, a confidential servant of Mar Shamoun, and our party was further increased by several men returning to villages on our road. Yakoub Rais kept every one in good humor by his anecdotes, and the absurdity of the gesticulations. Ionunco, too, dragging his mare over the projecting rocks, down which he continually contrived to tumble, added to the general mirth, and we went laughing through the valley.

From Zaweetha to the Zab, there is almost an unbroken line of cultivation on both sides of the valley. The two villages of Miniyanish and Murghi are buried in groves of walnut-trees, and their peaceful and flourishing appearance deceived me until I wandered among their dwellings, and found the same scenes of misery and desolation as at Asheetha. But nature was so beautiful that we almost forgot the havoc of man, and envied the repose of these secluded habitations. In Miniyanish, out of seventy houses, only twelve had risen from their ruins; the families to which the rest belonged having been totally destroyed. Yakoub pointed out a spot where above three hundred persons had been murdered in cold blood; and all our party had some tale of horror to relate. Murghi was not less desolate than Miniyanish, and eight houses alone had been (Page 133) resought by their owners. We found an old priest, blind and gray, bowed down by age and grief, the solitary survivor of six or eight of his order. He was seated under the shade of a walnut-tree, near a small stream. Some children of the village were feeding him with grapes, and on our approach his daughter ran into the half-ruined cottage, and brought out a basket of fruit and a loaf of garas bread. I endeavored to glean some information from the old man as to the state of his flock; but his mind wandered to the cruelties of the Kurds, or dwelt upon the misfortunes of his patriarch, over whose fate he shed many tears. None of our party being able to console the kasha, I gave some handkerchiefs to his daughter, and we resumed our journey .

Our road lay through the gardens of the villages, and through the forest of gall-bearing oaks which clothe the mountains above the line of cultivation. But it was everywhere equally difficult and precipitous, and we tore our way through the matted boughs of overhanging trees, or the thick foliage of creepers which hung from every branch. Innumerable rills, leading the mountain springs into the terraced fields, crossed our path and rendered our progress still more tedious. We reached Lizan, however, early in the afternoon, descending to the village through scenery of extraordinary beauty and grandeur.

Lizan stands on the river Zab, which is crossed near the village by a rude bridge. I need not weary or distress the reader with a description of desolation and misery, hardly concealed by the most luxuriant vegetation. We rode to the grave-yard of a roofless church slowly rising from its ruins - the first edifice in the village to be rebuilt. We spread our carpet among the tombs; for as yet there were no habitable houses. The melek, with a few who had survived the massacre, was living during the day under the trees, and sleeping at night on stages of grass and boughs, raised on high poles, fixed in the very bed of the Zab. By this latter contrivance they succeeded in catching any breeze that might be carried down the narrow ravine of (Page 134) the river, and in freeing themselves from the gnats and sandflies abounding in the valley.

It was near Lizan that occurred one of the most terrible incidents of the massacre; and an active mountaineer offering to lead me to the spot, I followed him up the mountain. Emerging from the gardens we found ourselves at the foot of an almost perpendicular detritus of loose stones, terminated, about one thousand feet above us, by a wall of lofty rocks. Up this ascent we toiled for above an hour, sometimes clinging to small shrubs whose roots scarcely reached the scanty soil below: at others crawling on our hands and knees; crossing the gullies to secure a footing, or carried down by the stones which we put in motion as we advanced. We soon saw evidences of the slaughter. At first a solitary skull rolling down with the rubbish; then heaps of blanched bones; further up fragments of rotten garments. As we advanced, these remains became more frequent - skeletons, almost entire, still hung to the dwarf shrubs. I was soon compelled to renounce an attempt to count them. As we approached the wall of rock, the declivity became covered with bones, mingled with the long plaited tresses of the women, shreds of discolored linen, and well worn shoes. There were skulls of all ages, from the child unborn to the toothless old man. We could not avoid treading on the bones as we advanced, and rolling them with the loose stones into the valley below. "This is nothing," exclaimed my guide, who observed me gazing with wonder on these miserable heaps; "they are but the remains of those who were thrown from above, or sought to escape the sword by jumping from the rock. Follow me!" He sprang upon a ledge projecting from the precipice that rose before us, and clambered along the face of the mountain overhanging the Zab, now scarcely visible at our feet. I followed him as well as I was able to some distance; but when the ledge became scarcely broader than my hand, and frequently disappeared for three or four feet altogether, I could no longer advance. The Tiyari, who had easily surmounted these difficulties, returned to assist me, but in vain. I was still suffering (Page 135) severely from the kick received in my leg four days before; and was compelled to return, after catching a glimpse of an open recess or platform covered with human remains.

When the fugitives who had escaped from Asheetha, spread the news of the massacre through the valley of Lizan, the inhabitants of the villages around collected such part of their property as they could carry, and took refuge on the platform have just described, and on the rock above; hoping thus to escape the notice of the Kurds, or to be able to defend, against any numbers, a place almost inaccessible. Women and young children, as well as men, concealed themselves in a spot which the mountain goat could scarcely reach.[7.5] Beder Khan Bey was not long in discovering their retreat; but being unable to force it, he surrounded the place with his men, and waited until they should be compelled to yield. The weather was hot and sultry, the Christians had brought but small supplies of water and provisions; after three days the first began to fail them, and they offered to capitulate. The terms proposed by Beder Khan Bey, and ratified by an oath on the Koran, were their lives on the surrender of their arms and property. The Kurds were then admitted to the platform. After they had disarmed their prisoners, they commenced an indiscriminate slaughter; until, weary of using their weapons, they hurled the few survivors from the rocks into the Zab below. Out of nearly one thousand souls, who are said to have congregated here, only one escaped.

We had little difficulty in descending to the village; a moving mass of stones, skulls, and rubbish carried us rapidly down the declivity. The melek, who had but recently been raised to (Page 136) that rank, his predecessor having been killed by the Kurds, prepared a simple meal of garas and butter - the only provisions that could be procured. The few stragglers who had returned to their former dwellings collected round us, and made the usual inquiries after their patriarch, or related their misfortunes. As I expressed surprise at the extent of land already cultivated, they told me that the Kurds of some neighboring villages had taken possession of the deserted property, and had sown grain and tobacco in the spring, which the Tiyari were now compelled to irrigate and look after.

The sun had scarcely set, when I was driven by swarms of insects to one of the platforms in the river. A slight breeze came from the ravine, and I was able to sleep undisturbed.

The bridge across the Zab at Lizan is of basket work. Stakes are firmly fastened together with twigs, forming a long hurdle, reaching from one side of the river to the other. The two ends are laid upon beams, resting upon piers on the opposite bank, and kept in their places by heavy stones heaped upon them. (Page 137) Animals, as well as men, are able to cross over this frail structure, which swings to and fro, and seems ready to give way at every step. These bridges are of frequent occurrence in the Tiyari mountains.

As some of the beams had been broken, the bridge of Lizan formed an acute angle with the stream below, and was scarcely to be crossed by a man on foot. We had consequently to swim the mules and horses, a labor of no slight trouble and difficulty, as the current was rapid, and the bed of the river choked with rocks. More than an hour was wasted in finding a spot sufficiently clear of stones, and in devising means to induce the animals to enter the water. We resumed our journey on the opposite side of the valley. But before leaving Lizan I must mention the heroic devotion of ten Tiyari girls from the village of Serspeetho, who, as they were led across the bridge by the Kurds, on their return from the great massacre, - preferring death to captivity and conversion, threw themselves simultaneously into the Zab, and were drowned in its waters.

We now entered a valley formed by a torrent which joins the Zab below Lizan. On the opposite side, but far in the distance, were the Kurdish villages of the district of Chal, surrounded by trees and gardens. We passed through the small Chaldean village of Shoordh, now a heap of ruins, inhabited by a few wretched families, whose priest had been recently put to death by Nur-Ullah Bey, the chief of the Hakkiari tribes. From Shoordh we ascended into a wild and rocky ravine, opening into the once rich and populous valley of Raola. We soon found ourselves on the outskirts of cultivation. A few feet of soil were rescued from the bed of the torrent, and sown with tobacco and garas. These straggling plots led us into a series of orchards and gardens, extending to the district of Tkhoma.

We were nearly two hours in reaching the house of the melek.[7.6] My party having gradually increased as we rode among the scattered cottages, I was followed by a large (Page 138) company. Melek Khoshaba[7.7] had been apprised of my intended visit; for he met us with the priests, and principal inhabitants at some distance from his dwelling. I was much struck by his noble carriage and handsome features. He wore, like the other chiefs, a dress of very gay colors, and a conical cap of felt, slightly embroidered at the edges, and ornamented with an eagle's feather. The men who accompanied him were mostly tall and well made, and were more showily dressed than the inhabitants of other villages through which we had passed. Their heads were shaved, as is customary among the Tiyari tribes, a small knot of hair being left uncut on the crown, and allowed to fall in a plait down the back. This tail, with the conical cap, gives them the appearance of Chinese. The boys, in addition to their inseparable partridges, carried cross-bows, with which they molested every small bird that appeared, and almost every one had an eagle's feather in his cap.

We followed the melek to his house, which stood high above the torrent on the declivity of the mountain. The upper, or summer room, was large enough to contain all the party. The melek and priests sat on my carpets; the rest ranged themselves on the bare floor against the walls. The girls brought me, as usual, baskets of fruit, and then stood at the entrance of the room. Many of them were very pretty; but the daughter of the chief, a girl of fourteen, excelled them all. I have seldom seen a more lovely form. Her complexion was fair; her features regular; her eyes and hair as black as jet; a continual smile played upon her mouth; and an expression of mingled surprise and curiosity stole over her face, as she examined my dress, or followed my movements. Her tresses, unconfined by the colored kerchief bound loosely round her head, fell in disorder down her back, reaching to her waist. Her dress was more gay, and neater, than that of the other women, who evidently confessed her beauty and her rank. I motioned to her to sit down; but that was an honor only (Page 139) reserved for the mother of the melek, who occupied a corner of the room. At length she approached timidly to examine more closely a pocket compass, which had excited the wonder of the men.

The threatened invasion of Tkhoma by Beder Khan Bey, was the chief subject of conversation, and caused great excitement among the inhabitants of Raola. They calculated the means of defense possessed by the villagers of the proscribed district; but while wishing them success against the Kurds, they declared their inability to afford them assistance; for they still trembled at the recollection of the former massacre, and the very name of the Bohtan chief struck terror into the hearts of the Tiyari. They entreated me to devise some mode of delivering them from the danger. "It is true," said the melek, "that when Nur-Ullah Bey joined Beder Khan Bey in the great massacre, the people of Tkhoma marched with the Kurds against us; but could they do otherwise? - for they feared the chief of Hakkiari. They are our brothers, and we should forgive them; for the scriptures tell us to forgive even our enemies." This pious sentiment was re-echoed by all the company.

Several men, whose wives and daughters were still in slavery, came to me, thinking that I could relieve them in their misfortune; and there was scarcely any one present who had not some tale of grief to relate. Several members of the family of Melek Khoshaba, including his cousin, to whom he had succeeded in the chiefship, had been killed in the massacre. The villages in the valley of Raola having, however, suffered less than those we had previously visited, were fast returning to their former prosperity.

The melek insisted upon accompanying us, with the priests and principal inhabitants, to the end of the valley. As we passed through the village we saw the women bathing at almost every door; nor did they appear at all conscious that we were near them. This simple and primitive mode of washing is thus publicly practiced among all the Chaldean tribes, particularly on the Saturday.

(Page 140) Melek Khoshaba accompanied me to a rude monument raised over the bodies of fifty prisoners, who had been murdered at the time of the invasion, and left me at the entrance of the village. We had to pass through a narrow and barren ravine, and a rocky gorge, before entering the district of Tkhoma. Our path was the bed of the torrent; and the mountains, rising precipitously on either side, shut in a scene of extraordinary wildness and solitude. This was the only road by which we could reach Tkhoma, without crossing the lofty ranges of rocks surrounding it on all other sides. A resolute body of men might have held the ravine against any numbers. This was one of the most dangerous tracts we had to traverse during our journey. On the heights above are one or two villages, inhabited by the Apenshai[7.8] Kurds, who are always engaged in hostilities with the Tiyari, and fall upon such as are crossing the frontiers of Tkhoma. My party was numerous and well armed, and keeping close together we traveled on without apprehension.

We emerged suddenly from this wilderness, and saw a richly cultivated valley before us. Flocks of sheep and goats were browsing on the hill-sides, and herds of cattle wandered in the meadows below. These were the first domestic animals we had seen in the Chaldean country, and they showed that hitherto Tkhoma had escaped the hand of the spoiler. Two villages occupied opposite sides of the valley; on the right, Ghissa, on the left, Birijai. We rode to the latter. The houses are built in a cluster, and not scattered among the gardens, as in Tiyari. We were surrounded by the inhabitants as soon as we entered the streets, and they vied with one another in expressions of welcome and offers of hospitality. Kasha Hormuzd, the principal priest, prevailed upon me to accompany him to a house he had provided, and on the roof of which carpets were speedily spread. The people were in great agitation at the report of Beder Khan Bey's projected march (Page 141) upon Tkhoma. They immediately flocked round us, seeking for news. The men were better dressed than any Nestorian Chaldeans I had yet seen. The felt cap was replaced by turbans of red and black linen, and these two favorite colors of the Kurds were conspicuous in their ample trowsers and embroidered jackets. As they carried pistols and daggers in their girdles, and long guns in their hands, they could scarcely be distinguished from the Mussulman inhabitants of the mountains. The women wore small embroidered skull-caps, from beneath which their hair fell loose or in plaits. Their shirts were richly embroidered, and round their necks and bosoms were hung coins and beads. They were happy in having escaped so long the fanaticism and rapacity of the Kurds. But they foresaw their fate. All was bustle and anxiety; the women were burying their ornaments and domestic utensils in secure places; the men preparing their arms, or making gunpowder. I walked to the church, where the priests were collecting their books, and the holy vessels to be hid in the mountains. Among the manuscripts I saw many ancient rituals, forms of prayer, and versions of the Scripture; the Acts of the Apostles, and the Epistles on vellum, the first and last leaves wanting, and without date, but evidently of a very early period, and a fine copy of the Gospels, Acts, and Epistles also on vellum, entire, with numerous illuminations, written in the year of the Seleucidae 1552[7.9], in the time of "Mar Audishio, Patriarch of the East, and of the Chaldeans."

I was much touched by the unaffected hospitality and simple manners of the two priests, Kashas Hormuzd, and Khoshaba, who entertained me; a third was absent. Their dress, torn and soiled, showed that they were poorer than their congregation. They had just returned from the vineyards, where (Page 142) they had been toiling during the day; yet they were treated with reverence and respect; the upper places were given to them, they were consulted on all occasions, and no one drew nigh without kissing the hand, scarred by the plow and the implements of the field.

Almost every house furnished something toward our evening repast; and a long train of girls and young men brought us in masses of meat, fowls, boiled rice, garas and fruit. The priests and the principal inhabitants feasted with us, and there remained enough for my servants, and for the poor who were collected on the roof of a neighboring house. After our meal, many of the women came to me, and joined with the men in debating on their critical position, and in forming schemes for the security of their families, and the defense of their village. It was past midnight before the assembly separated.

The following day being Sunday, we were roused at dawn to attend the service of the church. The two priests officiated in white surplices. The ceremonies were short and simple; a portion of Scripture was read and then interpreted by Kasha Hormuzd in the dialect in use in the mountains - few under standing the Chaldean of the books.[7.10] His companion chanted the prayers - the congregation kneeling or standing, and joining in the responses. There were no idle forms or salutations; the people used the sign of the cross when entering, and bowed when the name of Christ occurred in the prayers. The Sacrament was administered to all present - men, women, and children partaking of the bread and wine, and my companion (Page 143) receiving it among the rest. They were disposed to feel hurt at my declining to join them, until I explained that I did not refuse from any religious prejudice. When the service was ended the congregation embraced one another, as a symbol of brotherly love and concord,[7.11] and left the church. I could not but contrast these simple and primitive rites with the senseless mummery, and degrading forms, adopted by the converted Chaldeans of the plains - the unadorned and imageless walls, with the hideous pictures, and monstrous deformities which encumber the churches of Mosul.

It may not be here out of place to remind the reader of the peculiar doctrine which has earned for the Chaldeans the title of Nestorians, a name probably given to them by the Roman Catholic missionaries. The Mussulmans term them simply Nasara," or "the Christians," while they call themselves "Caldani" and "Souraiyah," or in the mountains by the name of the tribe to which they belong. Although they undoubtedly profess the doctrine taught by Nestorius, who is looked upon as one of the great fathers of their church, they deny having imbibed it from him, asserting that such as it is they received it from the Apostles. It is certain that the opinions preached by Nestorius had already spread widely in the East, and were particularly inculcated in the schools of the Chaldeans. The most important point of difference between the Chaldean and other Christian churches is the assertion on the part of the former of the divisibility and separation of the two persons, as well as of the two natures, in Christ. This of course involves the refusal of the title of "Mother of God" to the Virgin, which renders them particularly odious to the church of Rome, and is probably the cause of their being accused of more heresies than they really admit. The profession of faith adopted by their church, and still repeated twice a day, differs in few respects from the Nicene creed, and it is evident, not only from it, (Page 144) but from the writings of Nestorius himself, and of the earliest fathers of the Eastern church, that there is nothing to authorize the violent charge of heresy made against the Chaldeans by their enemies. It is admitted, on the other hand, that they have retained in all their purity many of the doctrines and forms of primitive Christianity.

Mosheim, whose impartiality can scarcely be doubted, thus speaks of them:- "It is to the lasting honor of the Nestorian sect, that of all the Christian societies established in the East, they have preserved themselves the most free from the numberless superstitions which have found their way into the Greek and Latin churches."[7.12] A Protestant may, therefore, wish to ascertain in what respects they differ, otherwise than in the doctrine already alluded to, from other Christian sects, and what their belief and observances really are. The most important points of difference may be summed up in a few words. They refuse to the Virgin those titles, and that exaggerated veneration, which were the origin of most of the superstitions and corruptions of the Romish and Eastern churches. They deny the doctrine of purgatory, and are most averse, not only to the worship of images, but even to their exhibition. The figure of the cross is found in their churches, and they are accustomed to make the sign in common with other Christians of the East; not, however, considering this ceremony essential, but rather as a badge of Christianity and a sign of brotherhood among themselves, scattered as they are amid men of a hostile faith. They agree with the reformed church in the rejection of the doctrine of transubstantiation, and in the distribution of the bread and wine among the communicants. There appear to be considerable doubts as to the number and nature of their sacraments; they are generally stated to amount to seven, and to include baptism, marriage, and ordination. The five lower grades of the clergy, under the rank of bishop, are allowed to marry. In the early ages of the church the same privilege was extended to the bishop and archbishop, and even (Page 145) to the patriarch. The fasts of the Chaldeans are numerous and very strictly observed, even fish not being eaten. There are 152 days in the year on which abstinence from animal food is enjoined. On the Sabbath no Nestorian performs a journey or does any work.

The vestibule of the church of Birijai was occupied by a misshapen and decrepit nun. Her bed was a mat in the corner of the building, and she was cooking her garas on a small fire near the door. She inquired, with many tears, after Mar Shamoun, and hung round the neck of my companion when she learned that he had been living with him. Vows of chastity are very rarely taken among the Nestorian Chaldeans; and this woman, whose deformity might have precluded the hope of marriage, was the sole instance we met with in the mountains. Convents for either sex are unknown.

Birijai contained, at the time of my visit, nearly one hundred houses, and Ghissa forty. The inhabitants were comparatively rich, possessing numerous flocks, and cultivating a large extent of land. There were priests, schools, and churches in both villages.

One of the meleks of the tribe came early from Tkhoma Gowaia,[7.13] the principal village in the district, to welcome me to his mountains, and to conduct me to his house. He explained that as it was Sunday the Chaldeans did not travel, and consequently the other meleks and the principal inhabitants had not been able to meet me. We took leave of the good people of Birijai, who had treated us with great hospitality, and followed Melek Putros up the valley.

To our left was the small Kurdish hamlet of Hayshat, high up in a sheltered ravine. An uninterrupted line of gardens brought us to the church of Tkhoma Gowaia, standing in the midst of scattered houses, this village being built like those of Tiyari. Here we found almost the whole tribe assembled, and in deep consultation on the state of affairs. We sat in a loft (Page 146) above the church during the greater part of the day, engaged in discussion on the course to be pursued to meet the present difficulties, and to defend the valley against the expected attack of Beder Khan Bey. The men, who were all well armed, declared that they were ready to die in the defense of their villages; and that, unless they were overcome by numbers, they would hold the passes against the forces of the Kurdish chief. The Kurds, who inhabited two or three hamlets in Tkhoma, had also assembled. They expressed sympathy for the Christians, and offered to arm in their behalf. After much debate it was resolved to send at once a deputation to the pashaw of Mosul, to beseech his protection and assistance. Two priests, two persons from the families of the meleks, and two of the principal inhabitants, were chosen; and a letter was written by Kasha Bodaca, one of the most learned and respectable priests in the mountains. It was a touching appeal, setting forth that they were faithful subjects of the sultan, had been guilty of no offense, and were ready to pay any money, or submit to any terms that the pashaw might think fit to exact. The letter, after having been approved by all present, and sealed with the seals of the chiefs, was delivered to the six deputies, who started at once on foot for Mosul. At the same time no precaution was to be omitted to place the valley in a state of defense, and to prepare for the approach of the Kurds.

There were in Tkhoma three meleks, each chosen from a different family by the tribe. The principal was Melek Putros, - a stout, jovial fellow, gayly dressed, and well armed. His colleagues were of a more sober and more warlike appearance. There were no signs of poverty among the people; most of the men had serviceable weapons, and the women wore gold and silver ornaments. All the young men carried cross bows, and were skillful in their use, killing the small birds as they rested on the trees. A well-armed and formidable body of men might have been collected from the villages; which, properly directed, could, I have little doubt, have effectually resisted the invasion of Beder Khan Bey.

(Page 147) We passed the night on the roof of the church, and rose early to continue our journey to Baz. The valley and pass, separating Tkhoma from this district, being at this time of the year uninhabited, is considered insecure, and we were accompanied by a party of armed men, furnished by the meleks. The chiefs themselves walked with us to the village of Mezrai, whose gardens adjoin those of Tkhoma Gowaia. The whole valley, indeed, up to the rocky barrier, closing it toward the east, is an uninterrupted line of cultivation. Above the level of the artificial water-courses, derived from the torrent near its source, and irrigating all the lands of the district, are forests of oaks, clothing the mountains to within a short distance of their summits. Galls are not so plentiful here as in Tiyari; they form, however, an article of commerce with Persia, where they find a better market than in Mosul. Rice and flax are very generally cultivated, and fruit-trees abound.

We stopped for a few minutes at Gunduktha, the last village in Tkhoma, to see Kasha Bodaka, whom we found preparing, at the request of his congregation, to join the deputation to the Pashaw of Mosul. We took leave of him, and he started on his journey. He was an amiable, and, for the mountains, a learned man, greatly esteemed by the Chaldean tribes. Being one of the most skillful penmen of the day, his manuscripts were much sought after for the churches. He was mild and simple in his manners; and his appearance was marked by that gentleness, and unassuming dignity, which I had found in more than one of the Nestorian priests.[7.14]

The torrent enters the valley of Tkhoma by a very narrow gorge, through which a road, partly constructed of rough stones, piled up in the bed of the stream, is with difficulty carried. In the winter, when the rain has swollen the waters, this entrance must be impracticable; and even at this time, we could scarcely drag our mules and horses over the rocks, and through the deep (Page 148) pools in which the torrent abounds. All signs of cultivation now ceased. Mountains rose on all sides, barren and treeless. Huge rocks hung over the road, or towered above us. On their pinnacles, or in their crevices, a few goats sought a scanty herbage. The savage nature of the place was heightened by its solitude.

Soon after entering the ravine, we met a shepherd boy, dragging after him a sheep killed by the bears; and a little beyond we found the reeking carcass of a bullock, which had also fallen a victim to these formidable animals, of whose depredations we heard continual complaints. I observed on the mountain sides several flocks of ibex, and some of our party endeavored to get within gun shot; but after sunrise their watchfulness can not be deceived, and they bounded off to the highest peaks, long before the most wary of our marksmen could approach them.

We were steadily making our way over the loose stones and slippery rocks, when a party of horsemen were seen coming toward us. They were Kurds, and I ordered my party to keep close together, that we might be ready to meet them in case of necessity. As they were picking their way over the rough ground, like ourselves, to the evident risk of their horses' necks as well as of their own, I had time to examine them fully as they drew near. In front, on a small, lean, and jaded horse, rode a tall, gaunt figure, dressed in all the tawdry garments sanctioned by Kurdish taste. A turban of wonderful capacity, and almost taking within its dimensions horse and rider, buried his head, which seemed to escape by a miracle being driven in between his shoulders by the enormous pressure. From the center of this mass of many-colored rags rose a high conical cap of white felt. This load appeared to give an unsteady, rolling gait to the thin carcass below, which could with difficulty support it. A most capacious pair of claret colored trowsers bulged out from the sides of the horse, and well nigh stretched from side to side of the ravine. Every shade of red and yellow was displayed in his embroidered jacket and cloak; (Page 149) and in his girdle were weapons of extraordinary size, and most fanciful workmanship. His eyes were dark and piercing, and overshadowed by shaggy eyebrows; his nose aquiline, his cheeks hollow, his face long, and his beard black and bushy. Notwithstanding the ferocity of his countenance, and its unmistakable expression of villainy, it would have been difficult to repress a smile at the absurdity of the figure, and the disparity between it and the miserable animal concealed beneath. This was a Kurdish dignitary of the first rank; a man well known for deeds of oppression and blood; the mutesellim, or lieutenant-governor under Nur-Ullah Bey, the chief of Hakkiari. He was followed by a small body of well armed men, resembling their master in the motley character of their dress; which, however, was somewhat reduced in the proportions, as became an inferiority of rank. The cavalcade was brought up by an individual, differing considerably from those who had preceded. His smooth and shining chin, and the rich glow of raki[7.15] upon his cheeks, were undoubted evidences of Christianity. He had the accumulated obesity of all his companions; and rode, as became him, upon a diminutive donkey, which he urged over the loose stones with the point of a claspknife. His dress did not differ much from that of the Kurds, except that, instead of warlike weapons, he carried an ink-horn in his girdle. This was Bircham, the "goulama d'Mira,"[7.16] as he was commonly called, - a half-renegade Christian, who was the steward, banker, and secretary of the Hakkiari chief.

I saluted the mutesellim, as we elbowed each other in the narrow pass; but he did not seem inclined to return my salutation, otherwise than by a curl of the lip, and an indistinct grunt, which he left me to interpret in any way I thought proper. It was no use quarreling with him, so I passed on. We had not proceeded far, when one of his horsemen returned to us, and called away Yakoub Rais, Ionunco, and one of the men of Tkhoma. Looking back, I observed them all in deep (Page 150) consultation with the Kurdish chief, who had dismounted to wait for them. I rode on, and it was nearly an hour before the three Chaldeans rejoined us. Ionunco's eyes were starting out of his head with fright, and the expression of his face was one of amusing horror. Even Yakoub's usual grin had given way to a look of alarm. The man of Tkhoma was less disturbed. Yakoub began by entreating me to return at once to Tkhoma and Tiyari. The mutesellim, he said, had used violent threats; declaring that as Nur-Ullah Bey had served one infidel, who had come to spy out the country, and teach the Turks its mines, alluding to Schultz,[7.17] so he would serve me; and had sent off a man to the Hakkiari chief to apprise him of my presence in the mountains. "We must turn back at once," exclaimed Yakoub, seizing the bridle of my horse, "or, Wallah! that Kurdish dog will murder us all." I had formed a different plan; and, calming the fears of my party as well as I was able, I continued my journey toward Baz. Ionunco, however, racked his brain for every murder that had been attributed to Nur-Ullah Bey; and at each new tale of horror Yakoub turned his mule, and vowed he would go back to Asheetha.

We rode for nearly four hours through this wild, solitary valley. My people were almost afraid to speak, and huddled together as if the Kurds were coming down upon us. Two or three of the armed men scaled the rocks, and ran on before us as scouts; but the solitude was only broken by an eagle soaring above our heads, or by a wild goat which occasionally dashed across our path. In the spring, and early summer, these now desolate tracts are covered with the tents of the people of Tkhoma, and of the Kurds, who find on the slopes a rich pasture for their flocks.

It was mid-day before we reached the foot of the mountain dividing us from the district of Baz. The pass we had to cross is one of the highest in the Chaldean country, and at this season there was snow upon it. The ascent was long, steep, (Page 151) and toilsome. We were compelled to walk, and even without our weight, the mules could scarcely climb the acclivity. But we were well rewarded for our labor when we gained the summit. A scene of extraordinary grandeur opened upon us. At our feet stretched the valley of Baz, - its villages and gardens but specks in the distance. Beyond the valley, and on all sides of us, was a sea of mountains-peaks of every form and height, some snow-capped, others bleak and naked; the furthermost rising in the distant regions of Persia. I counted nine distinct mountain ranges. Two vast rocks formed a kind of gateway on the crest of the pass, and I sat between them for some minutes, gazing upon the sublime prospect before us.

The descent was rapid and dangerous, and so precipitous that a stone might almost have been dropped on the church of Ergub, first visible like a white spot beneath us. We passed a rock, called the "Rock of Butter," from a custom, perhaps, of pagan origin, existing among the Chaldean shepherds, of placing upon it, as an offering, a piece of the first butter made in early spring. As we approached the village, we found several of the inhabitants laboring in the fields. They left their work, and followed us. The church stands at some distance from the houses; and when we reached it, the villagers compelled all my servants to dismount, including Ibrahim Agha, who muttered a curse upon the infidels, as he took his foot out of the stirrup. The Christians raised their turbans, - a mark of reverence always shown on these occasions.

The houses of Ergub are built in a group. We stopped in a small open place in the center of them, and I ordered my carpet to be spread near a fountain, shaded by a cluster of trees. We were soon surrounded by the inhabitants of the village. The melek and the priest seated themselves with me; the rest stood round in a circle. The men were well dressed and armed; and, like those of Tkhoma, they could scarcely be distinguished from the Kurds. Many of the women were pretty enough to be entitled to the front places they had taken in the crowd. They wore silver ornaments and beads on their (Page 152) foreheads, and were dressed in jackets and trowsers of gay colors.

After the letter of the patriarch had been read, and the inquiries concerning him fully satisfied, the conversation turned upon the expected expedition of Beder Khan Bey against Tkhoma, and the movements of Nur-Ullah Bey, events causing great anxiety to the people of Baz. Although this district had been long under the chief of Hakkiari, paying an annual tribute to him, and having been even subjected to many vexatious exactions, and to acts of oppression and violence, yet it had never been disarmed, nor exposed to a massacre such as had taken place in Tiyari. There was now cause to fear that the fanatical fury of Beder Khan Bey might be turned upon it as well as upon Tkhoma; and the only hope of the inhabitants was in the friendly interference of Nur-Ullah Bey, whose subjects they now professed themselves to be. They had, however, begun to conceal their church books and property, in anticipation of a disaster.

Both the melek and the priest pressed me to accept their hospitality. I preferred the house of the latter, to which we moved in the afternoon. My host was suffering much from the ague, and was moreover old and infirm. I gave him a few medicines to stop his fever, for which he was very grateful. He accompanied me to the church; but the bare walls alone were standing. The books and furniture had been partly carried away by the Kurds, and partly removed for security by the people of the village.

After the events of the morning, I had made up my mind to proceed at once to Nur-Ullah Bey, whose residence was only a short day's journey distant; but on communicating my intention to Mr. Hormuzd Rassam, he became so alarmed, and so resolutely declared that he would return alone rather than trust himself in the hands of the Mir of Hakkiari, that I was forced to give up my plan. In the present state of the mountains, there were only two courses open to me: either to visit the chief, who would probably, after learning the object of my journey, receive (Page 153) and assist me as he had done Dr. Grant, or to retrace my steps without delay. I decided upon the latter with regret, as I was thus unable to visit Jelu and Diz, the two remaining Christian districts. Without communicating my plans to any one, I sent for two of Nur-Ullah Bey's attendants who happened to be in the village, and induced them, by a small present, to take a note to their master. They were led to believe that it was my intention to visit him on the following day, and I sent a Christian to see that they took the road to Julamerik. The treachery and daring of Nur-Ullah Bey were so well known, that I thought it most prudent to deceive him, in case he might wish to waylay me on my return to Tkhoma. I started therefore before daybreak without any one in the village being aware of my departure, and took the road by which we had reached Baz the day before.

We crossed the pass as quickly as we were able, hurried through the long barren valley, and reached Gunduktha, without meeting any one during our journey: to the no small comfort of my companions, who could not conceal their alarm during the whole of our morning's ride.

We stopped to breakfast at Gunduktha, and saw the meleks at Tkhoma Gowaia. The people of this village had felt much anxiety on our account, as the mutesellim had passed the night there, and had used violent threats against us. I learned that he was going to Chal, to settle some differences which had arisen between the Kurds of that district and of Hakkiari, and that Bircham had been sent to Tkhoma by Nur-Ullah Bey to withdraw his family and friends; "for, this time," said the chief, "Beder Khan Bey intends to finish with the Christians, and will not make slaves for consuls and Turks to liberate."

As I was desirous of leaving Tkhoma as soon as possible, I refused the proffered hospitality of Melek Putros, and rode on to Birijai.

Being unwilling to return to Asheetha by Raola and the villages we had already visited, I determined - notwithstanding the account given by the people of Tkhoma of the great (Page 154) difficulty of the passes between us and the Zab - to cross the mountain of Khouara, which rises at the back of Birijai. Their descriptions had not been exaggerated. After dragging ourselves for two hours over loose stones, and along narrow ledges, we reached the summit, weary and breathless. From the crest we overlooked the whole valley of Tkhoma, with its smiling villages, bounded to the east by the lofty range of Kareetha; to the west I recognized the peaks of Asheetha, the valley of the Zab, Chal, and the heights inhabited by the Apenshai Kurds.

The mountain of Khouara is the Zoma - or summer pasture ground - of the inhabitants of Ghissa and Birijai. As we ascended we passed many rude sheds and caverns, half-blocked up at the entrance with loose stones - places in which the flocks are kept during the night, to preserve them from wild animals. There is a fountain at a short distance from the top of the pass, and a few trees near it; but the mountain is otherwise naked, and, at this time of the year, without verdure of any kind.

An hour's rapid descent brought us to the Tiyari village of Be-Alatha, - a heap of ruins on the two sides of a valley. The few surviving inhabitants were in extreme poverty, and the small-pox was raging among them. The water courses destroyed by the Kurds had not been repaired, and the fields were mostly uncultivated. Even the church had not yet been rebuilt; and as the trees which had been cut down were still lying across the road, and the charred timber still encumbered the gardens, the place had a most desolate appearance. We were hospitably received by a shamasha, or deacon, whose children, suffering from the prevailing disease, and covered with discolored blains, crowded into the wretched cottage. Women and children, disfigured by the malignant fever, came to me for medicines; but it was beyond my power to relieve them. Our host, as well as the rest of the inhabitants, was in extreme poverty. Even a little garas, and rancid butter, could with difficulty be collected by contributions from all the houses, (Page 155) and I was at a loss to discover how the people of Be-Alatha lived. Yet the deacon was cheerful and contented, dwelling with resignation upon the misfortunes that had befallen his village, and the misery of his family.

On leaving the village, now containing only ten families, I was accosted by an old priest, who had been waiting until we passed, and who entreated me to eat bread under his roof. As his cottage was distant, I was compelled to decline his hospitality, though much touched by his simple kindness, and mild and gentle manners. Finding that I would not go with him, he insisted upon accompanying us to the next village, and took with him three or four sturdy mountaineers, to assist us on our journey; for the roads, he said, were nearly impassable.

Without the assistance of the good priest our attempt to reach Marth d'Kasra would certainly have been hopeless. More than once we turned back in despair, before the slippery rocks and precipitous ascents. Ibrahim Agha, embarrassed by his capacious boots, which, made after the fashion of the Turks, could have contained the extremities of a whole family, was more beset with difficulties than all the party. When he attempted to ride a mule, unused to a pack-saddle, he invariably slid over the tail of the animal, and lay sprawling on the ground, to the great amusement of Yakoub Rais, with whom his adventures were a never-failing source of anecdote in the village assemblies. If he walked, either his boots became wedged into the crevices of the rocks, or filled with gravel, to his no small discomfort. At length, in attempting to cross a bed of loose stones, he lost all presence of mind, and remained fixed in the middle, fearful to advance or retreat. The rubbish yielded to his grasp, and he looked down into a black abyss, toward which he found himself gradually sinking with the avalanche he had put in motion. There was certainly enough to frighten any Turk, and Ibrahim Agha clung to the face of the declivity - the picture of despair. "What's the Kurd doing?" cried a Tiyari, with whom all Mussulmans were Kurds, and who was waiting to pass on; "is there any thing here to turn a man's (Page 156) face pale? This is dashta, dashta" (a plain, a plain). Ibrahim Agha, who guessed from the words Kurd and dashta, the meaning of which he had learned, the purport of the Christian's address, almost forgot his danger in his rage and indignation. "Gehannem with your dashta!" cried he, still clinging to the moving stones," and dishonor upon your wife and mother. Oh! that I could only get one way or the other to show this infidel what it is to laugh at the beard of an Osmanli, and to call him a Kurd in the bargain!" With the assistance of the mountaineers he was at length rescued from his perilous position, but not restored to good humor. By main force the mules were dragged over this and similar places; the Tiyaris seizing them, by the halter and tail, and throwing them on their sides.

We were two hours struggling through these difficulties before reaching Marth d' Kasra, formerly a large village, but now containing only forty houses.[7.18] Its appearance, however, was more flourishing than that of Be-Alatha; and the vineyards, and gardens surrounding it, had been carefully trimmed and irrigated. Above Marth d' Kasra, on a lofty overhanging rock, is the village of Lagippa, reduced to ten houses. It is not accessible to beasts of burden. I rode to the house of a priest, and sat there while the mules were resting.

The road between Marth d' Kasra and Chonba was no less difficult and dangerous than that we had taken in the morning. The gardens of the former village extend to the Zab, and we might have followed the valley; but the men who were with us preferred the shorter road over the mountain, that we might reach Chonba before nightfall.

The villages in the valley of the Zab suffered more from the Kurds than any other part of Tiyari. Chonba was almost deserted, its houses and churches a mass of ruins, and its gardens and orchards uncultivated and neglected. There was no roof, under which we could pass the night; and we were obliged to spread our carpets under a cluster of walnut trees, near (Page 157) a clear and most abundant spring. Beneath these trees was pitched the tent of Beder Khan Bey, after the great massacre; and here he received Melek Ismail, when delivered a prisoner into his hands. Yakoub Rais, who had been present at the murder of the unfortunate chief of the Tiyari, thus described the event. After heading his people in their defense of the pass which led into the upper districts, and performing prodigies of valor, Melek Ismail, his thigh broken by a musket-ball, was carried by a few followers to a cavern in a secluded ravine; where he might have escaped the search of his enemies, had not a woman, to save her life, betrayed his retreat. He was dragged down the mountain with savage exultation, and brought before Beder Khan Bey. Here he fell upon the ground. "Wherefore does the infidel sit before me?" exclaimed the ferocious chief, who had seen his broken limb, "and what dog is this that has dared to shed the blood of true believers?" "O Mir," replied Melek Ismail, still undaunted, and partly raising himself, "this arm has taken the lives of twenty Kurds; and, had God spared me, as many more would have fallen by it." Beder Khan Bey rose and walked to the Zab, making a sign to his attendants to bring the melek to him. By his directions they held the Christian chief over the river, and, severing his head from his body with a dagger, cast them into the stream.

All the family of the melek had distinguished themselves, at the time of the invasion, by their courage. His sister, standing by his side, slew four men before she fell mortally wounded.

Over the spring, where we had alighted, formerly grew a cluster of gigantic walnut-trees, celebrated in Tiyari for their size and beauty. They had been cut down by the Kurds, and their massive trunks were still stretched on the ground. A few smaller trees had been left standing, and afforded us shelter. The water, gushing from the foot of an overhanging rock, was pure and refreshing; but the conduits, which had once carried it into the fields, having been destroyed, a small marsh had been formed around the spring. The place (Page 158) consequently abounded in mosquitoes, and we were compelled to keep up large fires during the night, to escape their attacks.

On the following morning we ascended the valley of the Zab, for about three miles, to cross the river. The road-led into the district of upper Tiyari, its villages being visible from the valley, perched on the summits of isolated rocks, or half concealed in sheltered ravines. The scenery is sublime. The river forces itself through a deep and narrow gorge, the mountains rising one above the other in wild confusion, naked and barren - except where the mountaineers have collected the scanty soil, and surrounded their cottages with gardens and vineyards.

A bridge of wicker-work at this part of the river was in better repair than that of Lizan, and we crossed our mules without difficulty. Descending along the banks of the Zab for a short distance, we struck into the mountains; and passing through Kona Zavvi and Bitti, two Kurdish villages buried in orchards, reached Serspeetho about mid-day. We sat for two hours in the house of the priest, who received us very hospitably. Out of eighty families, thirty have alone survived; the rest had been utterly destroyed. The two churches were still in ruins, and but a few cottages had as yet been rebuilt. In the afternoon we resumed our journey, and crossing a high and barren mountain, descended into the valley of Asheetha.

As I was desirous of visiting some copper mines, described to me by the people of the district, I engaged Kasha Hormuzd, and one Daoud, who had been a workman at Nimroud, to accompany me. We left Asheetha, followed by Yakoub Rais, the priests and principal inhabitants who took leave of us at some distance from the village. We chose a different road from that we had followed on entering the mountain, and thus avoided a most precipitous ascent. Descending into the valley, leading from Berwari to Asheetha, we came upon a large party of travelers, whom we at first took for Kurds. As they discharged their guns, and stopped in the middle of a thicket of rushes growing in the bed of the torrent, we approached them. They (Page 159) proved to be Nestorian Chaldeans returning from Mosul to the mountains. Among them, I found Kasha Oraho, [7.19] a learned and worthy priest, who had fled from Asheetha at the time of the massacre. On account of his erudition, intimate knowledge of the political condition of the tribes, and acquaintance with the tenets and ceremonies of the Chaldean church, he had acted as secretary to Mar Shamoun during his exile. Nearly three years had elapsed since he had quitted his mountains, and he pined for his native air. Against the advice of his friends he had determined to leave the plains, and he was now on his return, with his wife and son, to Tiyari. I sat with him for a few minutes, and we parted never to meet again. A few days afterward, Beder Khan Bey and his hordes descended into Asheetha. Fresh deeds of violence recalled the scenes of bloodshed to which the poor priest had formerly been a witness; and he died of grief bewailing the miserable condition of the Christian tribes.

Leaving the valley we had ascended on our approach to Tiyari, we entered the mountains to the right, and, after a rapid ascent, found ourselves in a forest of oaks. Our guides were some time in discovering the mouth of the mine, which was only known to a few of the mountaineers. At a distance from the entrance, copper ores were scattered in abundance among the loose stones. I descended with some difficulty, and saw many passages running in various directions, all more or less blocked up with rubbish and earth, much of which we had to remove before I could explore the interior of the mine.

Leaving the district of Holamoun and Geramoun to our right, we entered a deep valley, and rode for five hours through a thick forest of oak, beech, and other mountain trees. We passed a few encampments of Kurds, who had chosen some lawn in a secluded dell to pitch their black tents; but we saw no villages until we reached Challek. By the roadside, as we descended to this place, I observed an extensive ruin, of (Page 160) substantial masonry of square stones. I was unable to learn that any tradition attached to the remains; nor could I ascertain their name, or determine the nature of the building. It was evidently a very ancient work, and may have been an Assyrian fort to command the entrance into the mountains. The pass is called Kesta, from a Kurdish village of that name.

Challek is a large village, inhabited partly by Chaldeans and partly by Kurds. There are about fifteen families of Christians, who have a church and a priest. The gardens are very extensive, and well irrigated, and the houses are almost concealed in a forest of fruit trees. We passed the night in the residence of the kiayah, and were hospitably entertained.

In the morning we rode for some time along the banks of the Khabour, and about five hours and a half from Challek forded the Supna, one of its confluents. We stopped at the Kurdish village of Ourmeli during the middle of the day, and found there a su-bashi - a kind of superintendent tax-gatherer - from Mosul, who received me in a manner worthy the dignity of both. He was dressed in an extraordinary assortment of Osmanlu and Kurdish garments, the greater part of which had been, of course, robbed from the inhabitants of the district placed under his care. He treated me with sumptuous hospitality, at the expense of the Kurds, to whom he proclaimed me a particular friend of the vizier, and a person of very exalted worth. He brought, himself, the first dish of pillau, which was followed by soups, chicken-kibaubs, honey, yaghort, cream, fruit, and a variety of Kurdish luxuries. He refused to be seated, and waited upon me during the repast. As it was evident that all this respectful attention, on the part of so great a personage, was not intended to be thrown away, when he retired I collected a few of the Kurds, and, obtaining their confidence by paying for my breakfast, soon learned from them that the host had dealt so hardly with the villages in his jurisdiction, that the inhabitants, driven to despair, had sent a deputation to lay their grievances before the pashaw. This explained the fashion of my reception, which I could scarcely (Page 161) attribute to my own merits. As I anticipated, my host came to me before I left, and commenced a discourse on the character of Kurds in general, and on the way of governing them. "Wallah, Billah, O Bey!" said he, "these Kurds are no Mussulmans; they are worse than unbelievers; they are nothing but thieves and murderers; they will cut a man's throat for a para. You will know what to tell his highness when he asks you about them. They are beasts that must be driven by the bit and the spur; give them too much barley," continuing the simile, "and they will get fat and vicious, and dangerous. No, no, you must take away the barley, and leave them only the straw." "You have, no doubt," I observed, eying his many-colored Kurdish cloak, "taken care that as little be left them to fatten upon as possible." "I am the lowest of his highness's servants," he replied, scarcely suppressing a broad grin; "but nevertheless, God knows that I am not the least zealous in his service." It was at any rate satisfactory to find that, in the su-bashi's system of government, the Kurds and Christians were placed on an equal footing, and that the Mussulmans themselves now tasted of the miseries they had so long inflicted with impunity upon others.

We soon crossed the valley of Amadiyah, and meeting the high road between Daoudiyah and Mosul, entered some low hills thickly set with Kurdish villages. In Kuremi, through which we passed, there dwells a very holy sheikh, who enjoys a great reputation for sanctity and miracles throughout Kurdistan. He was seated in the iwan, or open chamber, of a very neat house, built, kept in repair, and continually whitewashed by the inhabitants of the place. A beard, white as snow, fell almost to his waist; and he wore a turban and long gown of spotless white linen. He is almost blind, and sat rocking himself to and fro, fingering his rosary. He keeps a perpetual Ramazan, never eating between dawn and sunset. On a slab, near him, was a row of water-jugs of every form, ready for use when the sun went down. Ibrahim Agha, who was not more friendly to the Kurds than the su-bashi, treated the sheikh to (Page 162) a most undignified epithet as he passed; which, had it been overheard by the people of the village, might have led to hostilities. Although I might not have expressed myself so forcibly as the cawass, I could not but concur generally in his opinion when reflecting that this man, and some others of the same class, had been the chief cause of the massacres of the unfortunate Christians; and that, at that moment, his son, Sheikh Tahar,[7.20] was urging Beder Khan Bey to prove his religious zeal by shedding anew the blood of the Nestorians. We stopped for the night in the large Catholic Chaldean village of Mungayshi, containing above forty Christian houses, a new church, and two priests.

A pass, over a richly wooded range of hills, leads from Mungayshi into a fertile plain, watered by several streams, and occupied by many Kurdish villages. Beyond, the mountains are naked and most barren. We wandered for some hours among pinnacles, through narrow ravines, and over broken rocks of sandstone, all scattered about in the wildest confusion. Not a blade of vegetation was to be seen, the ground was parched by the sun, and was here and there blackened by volcanic action. We came to several hot sulphurous springs, bubbling up in the valley, and forming large pools. In the spring the Kurds and the inhabitants of the surrounding villages congregate near these reservoirs, and pitch their tents for nearly a month to bathe in the waters, which have a great reputation for medicinal qualities.

A long defile brought us to the town of Dohuk, formerly a place of some importance, but now nearly in ruins. It is built on an island formed by a small stream, and probably occupies an ancient site. Its castle, a mud building with turrets, was held for some time by the hereditary Kurdish chief of the place, against Injeh Bairakdar Mohammed Pashaw; but was (Page 163) reduced, and has since been inhabited by a Turkish governor. Ismail Bey, the mutesellim, received me very civilly, and I breakfasted with him. The son of a neighboring Kurdish chief was visiting the bey. He was dressed in most elaborately embroidered garments, had ponderous jeweled rings in his ears, carried enormous weapons in his girdle, and had stuck in his turban a profusion of marigolds and other flowers. He was a handsome, intelligent boy; but, young as he might be, he was already a precocious pupil of Sheikh Tahar; and when I put him upon a religious topic, he entered most gravely into an argument to prove the obligation imposed upon Mussulmans to exterminate the unbelievers, supporting his theological views by very apt quotations from the Koran.

My horses, which had been sent from Amadiyah, were waiting for me here; and leaving our jaded mules, we proceeded to the Christian village of Malthaiyah, about one hour beyond, and in the same valley as Dohuk. Being anxious to visit the rock sculptures near this place, I took a peasant with me and rode to the foot of a neighboring hill. A short walk up a very difficult ascent brought me to the monuments.

Four tablets have been cut in the rock; each occupied by nine figures. The subjects represented in the four bas-reliefs are similar, and appear to be an adoration of the gods by two kings. The first god wears the square horned cap, surmounted by a point, or fleur-de-lys; holds a ring in one hand, and a thong or snake in the other, and stands on two animals, a bull and a kind of gryphon, or lion with the head of an eagle, but without wings. The second divinity is beardless; also carries a ring, and is seated on a chair, the arms and lower parts of which are supported by human figures with tails, and by birds with human heads. The whole rests on two animals, a lion and a bull. The third divinity resembles the first, and stands on a winged bull. The four following have stars with six rays on the horned cap. The first of them has a ring in one hand, and stands on a gryphon without wings; the second also (Page 164) holds a ring, and is raised on a horse caparisoned as in the sculptures of Khorsabad; the third wields an object precisely similar to the conventional thunderbolt of the Greek Jove, and is supported by a winged lion; the fourth is beardless, carries a ring, and stands on a lion without wings.

The two kings who are facing the divinities, have one hand elevated, and bear an object resembling a mace, always represented as carried by the monarch when engaged in religious ceremonies.

All the tablets have suffered much from exposure to the atmosphere, and one has been almost destroyed by the entrance into a tomb, which was probably cut in the rock at a long period subsequent to the Assyrian empire.

The details in the bas-reliefs are similar in character to those on the later Assyrian monuments, and are interesting in many respects. The thrones or arm-chairs, supported by animals and human figures, resemble those of the ancient Egyptians, and of the monuments of Kouyunjik, Khorsabad, and Persepolis. They also remind us of the throne of Solomon, which had "stays (or arms) on either side on the place of the seat, and two lions stood beside the stays. And twelve lions stood there, on the one side and on the other upon the six steps."[7.21]

I returned to the village after sunset. My cawass and servants had established themselves for the night on the roof of the church; and the kiayah had prepared a very substantial repast. The inhabitants of Malthaiyah are Catholic Chaldeans; their conversion not dating many years. The greater part joined us in the evening.

(Page 165) Next morning we rode over a dreary plain to Alkosh. In a defile, through the hills behind the village, I observed several rock tombs, - excavations similar to those of Malthaiyah; some having rude ornaments above the entrance, the door-ways of others being simply square holes in the rock.

Alkosh is a large Christian village. The inhabitants, who were formerly pure Chaldeans, have been converted to Roman Catholicism. It contains, according to a very general tradition, the tomb of Nahum, the prophet - the Alkoshite, as he is called in the introduction to his prophecies. It is a place held in great reverence by Mohammedans and Christians, but especially by Jews, who keep the building in repair, and flock here in great numbers at certain seasons of the year. The tomb is a simple plaster box, covered with green cloth, and standing at the upper end of a large chamber. On the walls of the room are pasted slips of paper, upon which are written, in distorted Hebrew characters, religious exhortations, and the dates and particulars of the visits of various Jewish families. The house (Page 166) containing the tomb is a modern building. There are no inscriptions, nor fragments of any antiquity about the place; and I am not aware in what the tradition originated, or how long it has attached to the village of Alkosh. [7.22]

After visiting the tomb, I rode to the convent of Rabban Hormuzd, built on the almost perpendicular sides of lofty rocks, inclosing a small recess or basin, out of which there is only one outlet, - a narrow and precipitous ravine, leading abruptly into the plains. The spot is well suited to solitude and devotion. Half buried in barren crags, the building can scarcely be distinguished from the natural pinnacles by which it is surrounded. There is scarcely a blade of vegetation to be seen, except a few olive trees, encouraged, by the tender solicitude of the monks, to struggle with the barren soil. Around the convent, in almost every accessible part of the mountain, are a multitude of artificial chambers in the rock, said to have once served as a retreat for a legion of hermits, and from which most probably were ejected the dead, to make room for the living; for they appear to have been, at a very remote period, places of burial. The number of these recesses must at one time have been very considerable. They are now rapidly disappearing, and have been so doing for centuries. Still the sides of the ravine are in some places honey-combed by them.

The hermits, who may once have inhabited the place, have left no successors. A lonely monk from the convent may occasionally be seen clambering over the rocks; but otherwise the solitude is seldom disturbed by the presence of a human being.

The ascent to the convent, from the entrance of the ravine, is partly up a flight of steps rudely constructed of loose stones, and partly by a narrow pathway cut in the rock. We were, therefore, obliged to dismount, and to leave our horses in a cavern at the foot of the mountain.

(Page 167) Rabban Hormuzd was formerly in the possession of the Nestorian Chaldeans; but has been appropriated by the Catholics since the conversion of the inhabitants of Alkosh, Tel Kef, and other large villages of the plain. It is said to have been founded by one of the early Chaldean patriarchs, in the latter part of the fourth century. The saint, after whom the convent is called, is much venerated by the Nestorians, and was, according to some traditions, a Christian martyr, and the son of a king of Persia. The convent is partly excavated in the rocks, and partly constructed of well cut stone. Since it was plundered by the Kurds, under the Bey of Rowandiz, no attempt has been made to restore the rich ornaments which once decorated the chapel, and principal halls. The walls are now naked and bare, except where hung with a few hideous pictures of saints and holy families, presented or stuck up by the Italian monks who occasionally visit the place. In the chapel are the tombs of several patriarchs of the Chaldean church, buried here long before its division, and whose titles, carved upon the monuments, are always "Patriarch of the Chaldeans of the East"[7.23] Six or eight half-famished monks reside in the building. They depend for supplies, which are scanty enough, upon the faithful of the surrounding country.

It was night before we reached the large Catholic village of Tel Kef. I had sent a horseman in the morning, to apprise the people of my intended visit; and Gouriel, the kiayah, with several of the principal inhabitants, had assembled to receive me. As we approached they emerged from a dark recess, where they had probably been waiting for some time. They carried a few wax lights, which served as an illumination, and whose motion, as the bearers advanced, was so unsteady, that there could be no doubt of the condition of the bearers.

Gouriel and his friends reeled forward toward my cawass, (Page 168) who chanced to be the first of the party; and believing him to be me, they fell upon him, kissing his hands and feet, and clinging to his dress. Ibrahim Agha struggled hard to extricate himself, but in vain. "The Bey is behind," roared he. "Allah! Allah! will no one deliver me from these drunken infidels?" Rejoicing in the mistake, I concealed myself among the horsemen. Gouriel, seizing the bridle of Ibrahim Agha's horse, and unmindful of the blows which the cawass dealt about him, led him in triumph to his residence. It was not before the wife of the kiayah and some women, who had assembled to cook our dinner, brought torches, that the deputation discovered their error. I had alighted in the meanwhile unseen, and had found my way to the roof of the house, where all the cushions that could be found in the village were piled up in front of a small table covered with bottles of raki and an assortment of raisins and parched peas, prepared in my honor. I hid myself among the pillows, and it was some time before the kiayah discovered my retreat. He hiccuped out excuses till he was breathless, and endeavoring to kiss my feet, asked forgiveness for the unfortunate blunder. "Wallah! O Bey," exclaimed Ibrahim Agha, who had been searching for a stable, "the whole village is drunk. It is always thus with these unbelievers. They have now a good pashaw, who neither takes jerums nor extra salian,[7.24] nor quarters hytas upon them. What dirt do they then eat? Instead of repairing their houses, and sowing their fields, they spend every para in raki, and sit eating and drinking, like hogs, night and day." I was forced to agree with Ibrahim Agha in his conclusions, and would have remonstrated with my hosts; but there was no one in a fit state to hear advice; and I was not sorry to see them at midnight scattered over the roof, buried in profound sleep. I ordered the horses to be loaded, and reached Mosul as the gates opened at daybreak.

The reader may desire to learn the fate of Tkhoma. A few (Page 169) days after my return to Mosul, notwithstanding the attempts of Tahyar Pashaw to avert the calamity, Beder Khan Bey marched through the Tiyari mountains, levying contributions on the tribes and plundering the villages, on his way to the devoted district. The inhabitants, headed by their meleks, made some resistance, but were soon overpowered by numbers. An indiscriminate massacre took place. The women were brought before the chief, and murdered in cold blood. Those who attempted to escape were cut off. Three hundred women and children, who were flying into Baz, were killed in the pass I have described. The principal villages with their gardens were destroyed, and the churches pulled down. Nearly half the population fell victims to the fanatical fury of the Kurdish chief; among them were one of the meleks, and Kasha Bodaca. With this good priest, and Kasha Auraham, perished the most learned of the Nestorian clergy; and Kasha Kana is the last who has inherited any part of the knowledge, and zeal, which once so eminently distinguished the Chaldean priesthood.

The Porte was prevailed upon to punish this atrocious massacre, and to crush a rebellious subject who had long resisted its authority. An expedition was fitted out under Osman Pashaw; and after two engagements, in which the Kurds were signally defeated by the Turkish troops headed by Omar Pashaw, Beder Khan Bey took refuge in a mountain-castle. The position had been nearly carried, when the chief, finding defense hopeless, succeeded in obtaining from the Turkish commander the same terms which had been offered to him before the commencement of hostilities. He was to be banished from Kurdistan; but his family and attendants were to accompany him, and he was guaranteed the enjoyment of his property. Although the Turkish ministers more than suspected that Osman Pashaw had reasons of his own for granting these terms, they honorably fulfilled the conditions upon which the chief, although a rebel, had surrendered. He was brought to Constantinople, and subsequently sent to the Island of Candia - a punishment totally inadequate to his numerous crimes.

(Page 170) After Beder Khan Bey had retired from Tkhoma, a few of the surviving inhabitants returned to their ruined villages; but Nur-Ullah Bey, suspecting that they knew of concealed property, fell suddenly upon them. Many died under the tortures to which they were exposed; and the rest, as soon as they were released, fled into Persia. This flourishing district was thus destroyed; and it will be long ere its cottages again rise from their ruins, and the fruits of patient toil again clothe the sides of its valleys.

[7.1] It may be remembered that Beder Khan Bey, in 1843, invaded the Tiyari districts, massacred in cold blood nearly 10,000 of their inhabitants, and carried away as slaves a large number of women and children. But it is, perhaps, not generally known, that the release of the greater part of the captives was obtained through the humane interference and generosity of Sir Stratford Canning, who prevailed upon the Porte to send a commissioner into Kurdistan, for the purpose of inducing Beder Khan Bey and other Kurdish chiefs to give up the slaves they had taken, and who advanced himself a considerable sum towards their liberation. Mr. Rassam also obtained the release of many slaves, and maintained and clothed, at his own expense and for many months, not only the Nestorian Patriarch, who had taken refuge in Mosul, but many hundred Chaldeans who had escaped from the mountains.

[7.2] Asheetha and Zaweetha were formerly looked upon as half-independent districts, each having its own rais or head. They were neither within the territories, nor under the authority of the Meleks of Tiyari.

[7.3] Dr. Grant, who published an account of his visit to the mountains, fell a victim to his humane zeal for the Chaldeans in 1844. After the massacre, his house in Mosul was filled with fugitives, whom he supported and clothed. Their sufferings, and the want of common necessaries before they reached the town, had brought on a malignant typhus fever, of which many died, and which Dr. Grant caught while attending the sick in his house. Mosul holds the remains of most of those who were engaged in the American missions to the Chaldeans.

[7.4] Although few works on other subjects than those connected with theology and the church services now exist among the Nestorians, it must be remembered that, at the time of the Arab invasion, the learning of the East was still chiefly to be found with the Chaldeans. We are indebted to them for the preservation of numerous precious fragments of Greek learning, as the Greeks were, many centuries before, to their ancestors, the Chaldees of Babylon, for the records of astronomy and the elements of Eastern science. They had translated at an early period the works of Greek physicians and philosophers, and, at the request of the caliphs, who were the encouragers and patrons of learning, had re-translated them into the Arabic language. The Caliph A1 Mamoun sent learned Nestorians into Syria, Armenia and Egypt to collect manuscripts, and confided for translation to his Chaldean subjects, among other treatises, those of Aristotle and Galen. Alexander Von Humboldt (Cosmos, vol. ii. ch. 5) admits and commends the influence of the Nestorian Chaldeans in the civilization of the East.

[7.5] When among the Bakhtiyari, I saw a curious instance of the agility of the women of the mountains. I occupied an upper room in a tower, forming one of the corners in the yard of the chief's harem. I was accustomed to lock my door on the outside with a padlock. The wife of the chief advised me to secure the window also. As I laughed at the idea of any one being able to enter by it, she ordered one of her handmaidens to convince me, which she did at once, dragging herself up in the most marvelous way by the mere irregularities of the bricks. After witnessing this feat, I could believe any thing of the activity of the Kurdish women.

[7.6] Literally, King, the title given to the chiefs of Tiyari.

[7.7] A corruption of Khath Shaba, Sunday.

[7.8] By the Kurds they are called Pinianish.

[7.9] The era of the Seleucidae (the Greek or Alexandrian year, or the era of contracts, as it is sometimes called) was once in general use among the Christians, Jews and Mussulmans of the East, and is to this day always employed by the Chaldeans. It commences in October, B. C. 312; according to the Chaldeans one year later.

[7.10] The language of the Chaldeans is a Semitic dialect allied to the Hebrew, Arabic, and Syriac, and still called the Chaldani or Chaldee. In its written form, it bears a close resemblance to the Chaldee of the book of Daniel. The dialect spoken by the mountain tribes varies slightly from that used in the villages of the plains, and the differences arise chiefly from local circumstances. It is an interesting fact that the Chaldean spoken in Assyria is almost identical with the language of the Sabaeans, or Christians of St. John, as they are vulgarly called, - a remarkable tribe who reside in the province of Khuzistan or Suisana and in the districts near the mouth of the Euphrates, and who are probably the descendants of the ancient inhabitants of Babylonia and Chaldea.

[7.11] This custom, it will be remembered, prevailed generally among the primitive Christians. The Roman Catholic church has retained the remembrance of it in the "Pax".

[7.12] Mosheim, Cent. XVI. Sect. iii. Part i.

[7.13] i. e. Middle or Center Tkhoma.

[7.14] Mr. Ainsworth, writing of Kasha Kana of Lizan, observes that he resembled in his manners and appearance an English clergyman. Kasha Bodaka was murdered by the chief of Chal shortly after our visit.

[7.15] Ardent spirits, extracted from raisins or dates.

[7.16] The servant of the Mir or Prince.

[7.17] It will be remembered that this traveler was murdered by Nur-Ullah Bey.

[7.18] In the village are two churches and two priests.

[7.19] A corruption of Auraham, Abraham.

[7.20] This fanatic, who was one of Beder Khan Bey's principal advisers, when entering Mosul, was accustomed to throw a vail over his face, that his sight might not be polluted by Christians and other impurities in the place. He exercises an immense influence over the Kurdish population, who look upon him as a saint and worker of miracles.

[7.21] 1 Kings 10:19, 20.

[7.22] According to St. Jerome, El Kosh or El Kosha, the birth-place of the prophet, was a village in Galilee, and his tomb was shown at Bethogabra near Emmaus. As his prophecies were written after the captivity of the ten tribes, and apply exclusively to Nineveh, the tradition which points to the village in Assyria as the place of his death, is not without weight.

[7.23] The seal used by Mar Shamoun bears the same title, and the patriarch so styles himself in all public documents. It is only lately that he has been induced, on some occasions, when addressing Europeans, to call himself "Patriarch of the Nestorians," the name never having been used by the Chaldeans themselves.

[7.24] At Mosul jerums mean fines, salian, the property tax, or taxes levied on corporations under the old system.

Chapter 8

(Page 171) A few days after my return to Mosul from the Tiyari mountains, a priest of the Yezidis, or, as they are commonly called, "Worshipers of the Devil," was sent by Sheikh Nasr, the religious chief of that remarkable sect, to invite Mr. Rassam and myself to their great periodical feast. The vice-consul was unable to accept the invitation; but I seized with eagerness the opportunity of being present at ceremonies not before witnessed by an European.

The origin of my invitation proves that the Yezidis may lay claim to a virtue which is, unfortunately, not of frequent occurrence in the East, - I mean gratitude. When Keritli Oglu, Mohammed Pashaw, first came to Mosul, this sect was among the objects of his cupidity and tyranny. He seized by treachery, as he supposed, their high-priest; but Sheikh Nasr had time to escape the plot against him, and to substitute in his place the second in authority, who was carried a prisoner to the town. Such is the attachment shown by the Yezidis to their chief, that the deceit was not revealed, and the substitute bore with resignation the tortures and imprisonment inflicted upon him. Mr. Rassam having been applied to, obtained his release (Page 172) from the pashaw, on the advance of a considerable sum of money, which the inhabitants of the district of Sheikhan undertook to repay, in course of time, out of the produce of their fields. They punctually fulfilled the engagement thus entered into, and looked to the British vice-consul as their protector.

Owing to the disturbed state of the country, and the misconduct of the late pashaws, some years had elapsed since the Yezidis had assembled at Sheikh Adi. The short rule of Ismail Pashaw, and the conciliatory measures of the new governor, had so far restored confidence among persons of all sects, that the Worshipers of the Devil had determined to celebrate their great festival with more than ordinary solemnity and rejoicings.

I quitted Mosul, accompanied by Hodja Toma (the dragoman of the vice-consulate), and the cawal, or priest, sent by Sheikh Nasr. We were joined on the road by several Yezidis, who were, like ourselves, on their way to the place of meeting. We passed the night in a small hamlet near Khorsabad, and reached Baadri early next day. This village, the residence of Hussein Bey, the political chief of the Yezidis, is built at the foot of the line of hills crossed in my previous journey to the Chaldean Mountains, and about five miles to the north of Ain Sifni. We traveled over the same dreary plain, leaving the mound of Jerrahiyah to our right.

On approaching the village I was met by Hussein Bey, followed by the priests and principal inhabitants on foot. The chief was about eighteen years of age, and one of the handsomest young men I ever saw. His features were regular and delicate, his eye lustrous, and the long curls, which fell from under his variegated turban, of the deepest black. An ample white cloak of fine texture was thrown over his rich jacket and robes. I dismounted as he drew near, and he endeavored to kiss my hand; but to this ceremony I decidedly objected; and we compromised matters by embracing each other after the fashion of the country. He then insisted upon leading my horse, which he wished me to remount, and it was with difficulty that I at length prevailed (Page 173) upon him to walk with me into the village. He led me to his salamlik, or reception room, in which carpets and cushions had been spread. Through the center ran a stream of fresh water, derived from a neighboring spring. The people of the place stood at the lower end of the room, and listened in respectful silence to the conversation between their chief and myself.

Breakfast was brought to us from the harem of Hussein Bey; and the crowd having retired after we had eaten, I was left during the heat of the day to enjoy the cool temperature of the salamlik.

I was awakened in the afternoon by that shrill cry of the women, which generally announces some happy event. The youthful chief entered soon afterward, followed by a long retinue. It was evident, from the smile upon his features, that, he had joyful news to communicate. He seated himself on my carpet, and thus addressed me:- "O Bey, your presence has brought happiness on our house. At your hands we receive nothing but good. We are all your servants; and, praise be to the Highest, in this house another servant has been born to you. The child is yours: he is our first-born, and he will grow up under your shadow. Let him receive his name from you, and be hereafter under your protection." The assembly joined in the request, and protested that this event, so interesting to all the tribe, was solely to be attributed to my fortunate visit. I was not quite aware of the nature of the ceremony, if any, in which I might be expected to join on naming the new-born chief. Notwithstanding my respect and esteem for the Yezidis, I could not but admit that there were some doubts as to the propriety of their tenets and form of worship; and I was naturally anxious to ascertain the amount of responsibility which I might incur, in standing godfather to a devil-worshiping baby. However, as I was assured that no other form was necessary than the mere selection of a name (the rite of baptism being reserved for a future day, when the child could be carried to the tomb of Sheikh Adi, and could bear immersion in its sacred waters), I thus answered Hussein Bey:- "O Bey, I rejoice in (Page 174) this happy event, for which we must return thanks to God. May this son be but the first of many who will preserve, as their forefathers have done, the fame and honor of your house. As you ask of me a name for this child, I could give you many, which, in my language and country, are well sounding and honorable; but your tongue could not utter them, and they would moreover be without meaning. Were it usual I would call him after his father, whose virtues he will no doubt imitate; but such is not the custom. I have not forgotten the name of his grandfather, - a name which is dear to the Yezidis, and still brings to their memory the days of their prosperity and happiness. Let him therefore be known as Ali Bey; and may he live to see the Yezidis as they were in the time of him after whom he is called." This oration, which was accompanied by a few gold coins to be sewn to the cap of the infant, was received with great applause; and the name of Ali Bey was unanimously adopted; one of the chief's relations hastening to the harem, to communicate it to the ladies. He returned with a carpet and some embroidery, as presents from the mother, and with an invitation to the harem to see the females of the family. I found there the chief's mother and his second wife; for he had already taken two. They assured me that the lady, who had just brought joy to the house, was even more thankful than her husband; and that her gratitude to me, as the author of her happiness, was unbounded. They brought me honey and strings of dried figs from the Sinjar, and entertained me with domestic histories until I thought it time to return to the salamlik.

The Yezidis were some years ago a very powerful tribe. Their principal strongholds were in the district which I was now visiting, and in the Jebel Sinjar, a solitary mountain rising in the center of the Mesopotamian desert to the west of Mosul. The last independent chief of the Yezidis of Sheikhan was Ali Bey, the father of Hussein Bey. He was beloved by his tribe, and sufficiently brave and skillful in war to defend them, for many years, against the attacks of the Kurds and Mussulmans (Page 175) of the plain. The powerful Bey of Rowandiz, who had united most of the Kurdish tribes of the surrounding mountains under his banner, and long defied both Turks and Persians, resolved to crush the hateful sect of the Yezidis. Ali Bey's forces were greatly inferior in numbers to those of his persecutor. He was defeated, and fell into the hands of the Rowandiz chief, who put him to death. The inhabitants of Sheikan fled to Mosul. It was spring; the river had overflowed its banks, and the bridge of boats had been removed. A few succeeded in crossing the stream; but a vast crowd of men, women, and children were left upon the opposite side, and congregated on the great mound of Kouyunjik. The Bey of Rowandiz followed them. An indiscriminate slaughter ensued; and the people of Mosul beheld, from their terraces, the murder of these unfortunate fugitives, who cried to them in vain for help - for both Christians and Mussulmans rejoiced in the extermination of an odious and infidel sect, and no arm was lifted in their defense. Hussein Bey, having been carried by his mother to the mountains, escaped the general slaughter. He was carefully brought up by the Yezidis, and from his infancy had been regarded as their chief.

The inhabitants of the Sinjar were soon after subdued by Mehemet Reshid Pashaw, and a second time by Hafiz Pashaw. On both occasions there was a massacre, and the population was reduced by three fourths. The Yezidis took refuge in caves, where they were either suffocated by fires lighted at the mouth, or destroyed by discharges of cannon.

It will be remembered that Mohammedans, in their dealings with men of other creeds, make a distinction between such as are believers in the sacred books, and such as have no recognized inspired works. To the first category belong Christians of all denominations, as receiving the two testaments; and the Jews, as followers of the old. With Christians and Jews, therefore, they may treat, make peace, and live; but with such as are included in the second class, the good Mussulman can have no intercourse. No treaty nor oath, when they are (Page 176) concerned, is binding. They have the choice between conversion and the sword, and it is unlawful even to take tribute from them. The Yezidis, not being looked upon as "Masters of a Book," have been exposed for centuries to the persecution of the Mohammedans. The harems of the south of Turkey have been recruited from them. Yearly expeditions have been made by the governors of provinces into their districts; and while the men and women were slaughtered without mercy, the children of both sexes were carried off, and exposed for sale in the principal towns. These annual hunts were one of the sources of revenue of Beder Khan Bey; and it was the custom of the Pashaws of Baghdad and Mosul to let loose the irregular troops upon the ill fated Yezidis, as an easy method of satisfying their demands for arrears of pay. This system was still practiced to a certain extent within a very few months of my visit; and gave rise to atrocities scarcely equaled in the better known slave-trade.

It was not unnatural that the Yezidis should revenge themselves, whenever an opportunity might offer, upon their oppressors. They formed themselves into bands, and were long the terror of the country. No Mussulman that fell into their hands was spared. Caravans were plundered, and merchants murdered without mercy. Christians, however, were not molested; for the Yezidis looked upon them as fellow-sufferers for religion's sake.

These acts of retaliation furnished an excuse for the invasion of the Sinjar by Mehemet Reshid and Hafiz Pashaws. Since the great massacres which then took place, the Yezidis have been completely subdued, and have patiently suffered under their misfortunes. Their devotion to their religion is no less remark able than that of the Jews; and I remember no instance of a person of full age renouncing his faith. They invariably prefer death, and submit with resignation to the tortures inflicted upon them.

Sheikh Nasr, the chief priest of the sect, had already left Baadri, and was preparing for the religious ceremonies at the (Page 177) tomb of Sheikh Adi. I visited his wife, and was gratified by the unaffected hospitality of my reception, and by the cleanliness of the house and its scanty furniture. All the dwellings which I entered appeared equally neat, and well built. Some stood in small gardens filled with flowers, and near them were streams of running water, brought from the abundant springs which issue from the hill above the village.

Next morning at dawn, Hussein Bey issued from his harem, armed and dressed in his gayest robes, ready to proceed to the tomb of the saint. The principal people of the village were soon collected, and we all started together, forming a long procession, preceded by musicians with the tamborine and pipe. The women were busily employed in loading their donkeys with carpets and domestic utensils. They were to follow leisurely. Hussein Bey and I rode together, and as long as the ground permitted, the horsemen and footmen who accompanied us, engaged in mimic fight, discharging their fire-arms into the air, and singing their war-cry. We soon reached the foot of a very precipitous ascent, up which ran a steep and difficult pathway. The horsemen now rode on in single file, and we were frequently compelled to dismount and drag our horses over the rocks. We gained the summit of the pass in about an hour, and looked down into the richly wooded valley of Sheikh Adi. As soon as the white spire of the tomb appeared above the trees, all our party discharged their guns. The echoes had scarcely died away, when our signal was answered by similar discharges from below. As we descended through the thick wood of oaks, we passed many pilgrims on their way, like ourselves. to the tomb; the women seated under the trees, relieving themselves awhile from their infant burdens; the men readjusting the loads which the rapid descent had displaced. As each new body of travelers caught sight of the object of their journey, they fired their guns, and shouted the cry of the tribe to those below.

At some distance from the tomb we were met by Sheikh Nasr and a crowd of priests and armed men. The sheikh was dressed in the purest white linen, as were the principal members (Page 178) of the priesthood. His age could scarcely have exceeded forty; his manners were most mild and pleasing; he welcomed me with warmth; and it was evident that my visit had made a very favorable impression upon all present. After I had embraced the chief, and exchanged salutations with his followers, we walked together toward the sacred precincts. The outer court, as well as the avenue which led to it, was filled with people; but they made way for us as we approached, and every one eagerly endeavored to kiss my hand.

The Yezidis always enter the inner court of the tomb bare-footed. I followed the custom, and leaving my shoes at the entrance, seated myself, with Sheikh Nasr and Hussein Bey, upon carpets spread under an arbor, formed by a wide spreading vine. The sheikhs and cawals, two of the principal orders of the priesthood, alone entered with us, and squatted around the yard against the walls. The trees, which grew among and around the buildings, threw an agreeable shade over the whole assembly.

The tomb of Sheikh Adi is in a narrow valley, or rather ravine, which has only one outlet, as the rocks rise precipitously on all sides, except where a small stream forces its way into a larger valley beyond. It stands in a court-yard, and is surrounded by a few buildings, inhabited by the guardians and servants of the sanctuary. The interior is divided into a large hall partitioned in the center by a row of columns and arches, and having at the upper end a reservoir filled by an abundant spring issuing from the rock; and two smaller apartments, in which are the tombs of the saint, and of some inferior personage. The water of the reservoir is regarded with peculiar veneration, and is believed to be derived from the holy well of Zemzem. In it children are baptized, and it is used for other sacred purposes. The tomb is covered by a large square case, made of clay and plastered, over which is thrown an embroidered green cloth. It is in the inner room, which is dimly lighted by a small lamp. On it is written the chapter of the Koran, called the Ayat el Courci. It is thus made to resemble (Page 179) as nearly as possible the tomb of a Mussulman saint, to preserve it from profanation by the Kurds.

In the principal hall a few lamps are generally burning, and at sunset lights are placed in niches scattered over the walls.

Two white spires, rising above the building, form a pleasing contrast with the rich foliage by which they are surrounded. They are topped by gilt ornaments, and their sides are fashioned into many angles, causing an agreeable variety of light and shade. On the wall near the doorway are rudely carved a lion, a snake, a hatchet, a man, and a comb. The snake, painted black, is particularly conspicuous. Although it might be suspected that these figures were emblematical, I could obtain no other explanation from Sheikh Nasr, than that they had been cut by the Christian mason who repaired the tomb some years ago, as ornaments suggested by his mere fancy. I observed the hatchet, comb, and a hooked stick, such as is generally carried in the country, carved on many stones in the building, but was assured that they were only marks placed upon them at the request of those who had furnished money toward the restoration of the building, or had assisted in the work.

In the center of the inner court, and under the vine, is a square plaster case, in which is a small recess filled with balls of clay taken from the tomb of the saint. These are sold or distributed to pilgrims, and regarded as very sacred relics - useful against diseases and evil spirits, and to be buried with the dead. Certain members of the priesthood and their families alone inhabit the surrounding buildings. They are chosen to watch over the sacred precincts, and are supported and supplied with provisions by the tribe.

The outer court is inclosed by low buildings, with recesses similar to those in an Eastern bazar. They are intended for the accommodation of pilgrims, and for the stalls of pedlers, during the celebration of the festival. Several gigantic trees throw their shade over the open space, and streams of fresh water are led round the buildings.

Around the tomb, and beneath the trees which grow on the (Page 180) sides of the mountain, are numerous rudely constructed edifices, each belonging to a Yezidi district or tribe. The pilgrims, according to the place from which they come, reside in them during the time of the feast; so that each portion of the valley is known by the name of the country, or tribe, of those who resort there.

I sat till nearly mid-day with the assembly, at the door of the tomb. Sheikh Nasr then rose, and I followed him into the outer court, which was filled by a busy crowd of pilgrims. In the recesses and on the ground were spread the stores of the pedlers, who, on such occasions, repair to the valley. Many-colored handkerchiefs, and cotton stuffs, hung from the branches of the trees; dried figs from the Sinjar, raisins from Amadiyah, dates from Busrah, and walnuts from the mountains, were displayed in heaps upon the pavement. Around these tempting treasures were gathered groups of boys and young girls. Men and women were engaged on all sides in animated conversation, and the hum of human voices was heard through the valley. All respectfully saluted the sheikh, and made way for us as we approached. We issued from the precincts of the principal building, and seated ourselves on the edge of a fountain built by the road side, and at the end of the avenue of trees leading to the tombs. The slabs surrounding the basin are to some extent looked upon as sacred; and at this time only Hussein Bey, Sheikh Nasr, and myself were permitted to place ourselves upon them. Even on other occasions the Yezidis are unwilling to see them polluted by Mussulmans, who usually choose this spot, well adapted for repose, to spread their carpets. The water of the fountain is carefully preserved from impurities, and is drank by those who congregate in the valley. Women were now hastening to and fro with their pitchers, and making merry as they waited their turn to dip them into the reservoir. The principal sheikhs and cawals sat in a circle round the spring, and listened to the music of pipes and tamborines.

I never beheld a more picturesque or animated scene. Long (Page 181) lines of pilgrims toiled up the avenue. There was the swarthy inhabitant of the Sinjar, with his long black locks, his piercing eye and regular features - his white robe floating in the wind, and his unwieldy matchlock thrown over his shoulder. Then followed the more wealthy families of the Kochers, - the wandering tribes who live in tents in the plains, and among the hills of ancient Adiabene; the men in gay jackets and variegated turbans, with fantastic arms in their girdles; the women richly clad in silk antaris; their hair, braided in many tresses, falling down their backs, and adorned with wild flowers; their foreheads almost concealed by gold and silver coins; and huge strings of glass beads, coins, and engraved stones hanging round their necks. Next would appear a poverty-stricken family from a village of the Mosul district; the women clad in white, pale and care-worn, bending under the weight of their children; the men urging on the heavily-laden donkey. Similar groups descended from the hills. Repeated discharges of fire arms, and a well known signal, announced to those below the arrival of every new party.

All turned to the fountain before proceeding to their allotted stations, and laying their arms on the ground, kissed the hands of Hussein Bey, Sheikh Nasr, and myself. After saluting the assembled priests they continued their way up the sides of the mountains, and chose a wide spreading oak, or the roof of a building, for a resting-place during their sojourn in the valley. They then spread their carpets, and, lighting fires with dry branches and twigs, busied themselves in preparing their food. Such groups were scattered in every direction. There was scarcely a tree without its colony.

All, before entering the sacred valley, washed themselves and their clothes in the stream issuing from it. They came thus purified to the feast. I never before saw so much assembled cleanliness in the East. Their garments, generally white, were spotless.

During the afternoon, dances were performed before the bey and myself. They resembled the Arab Debke, and the Kurdish (Page 182) Tchopee. As many young men as could crowd into the small open space in front of the fountain joined in them. Others sang in chorus with the music. Every place, from which a sight could be obtained of the dancers, was occupied by curious spectators. Even the branches above our heads were bending under the clusters of boys who had discovered that, from them, they could get a full view of what was going on below. The manoeuvers of one of these urchins gave rise to a somewhat amusing incident, which illustrates the singular superstitions of this sect. He had forced himself to the very end of a weak bough, which was immediately above me, and threatened every moment to break under the weight. As I looked up I saw the impending danger, and made an effort, by an appeal to the chief, to avert it. "If that young Sheit - "I exclaimed, about to use an epithet generally given in the East to such adventurous youths:[8.1] I checked myself immediately; but it was already too late; half the dreaded word had escaped. The effect was instantaneous: a look of horror seized those who were near enough to overhear me; it was quickly communicated to those beyond. The pleasant smile, which usually played upon the fine features of the young bey, gave way to a serious and angry expression. I lamented that I had thus unwillingly wounded the feelings of my hosts, and was at a loss to know how I could make atonement for my indiscretion - doubting whether an apology to the Evil principle or to the chief was expected. I endeavored, however, to make them understand, without venturing upon any observations which might have brought me into greater difficulties, that I regretted what had passed; but it was some time ere the group resumed their composure, and indulged in their previous merriment.

My carpets had been spread on the roof of a building of some size, belonging to the people of Semil. Around me, but at a convenient distance, were scattered groups of pilgrims from that district. Men, women, and children were (Page 183) congregated round their caldrons, preparing their evening meal; or were stretched upon their coarse carpets, resting after the long march of the day. Near me was the chief, whose mud castle crowns the mound of the village of Semil. He was a stern-looking man, gayly dressed, and well armed. He received me with every demonstration of civility, and I sat for some time with him and his wives; one of whom was young and pretty, and had been recently selected from the Kochers, or wanderers. Her hair was profusely adorned with flowers and gold coins. They had sacrificed a sheep, and all (including the chief, whose arms, bare to the shoulder, were reeking with blood) gathered round the carcass; and, tearing the limbs, distributed morsels to the poor who had been collected to receive them.

At some distance from the people of Semil were the wife and family of Sheikh Nasr, who had also slain a sheep. The sheikh himself resided in the sacred building, and was occupied during the day in receiving the pilgrims, and performing various duties imposed upon him on the occasion. I visited his harem; his wife spread fruit and honey before me, and entertained me with a long account of her domestic employments.

Below the cluster of buildings assigned to the people of Semil is a small white spire, springing from a low edifice, neatly constructed, and, like all the sacred places of the Yezidis, kept as pure as repeated coats of whitewash can make it. It is called the sanctuary of Sheikh Shems, or the Sun; and is so placed, that the first rays of that luminary should as frequently as possible fall upon it. Near the door an invocation to Sheikh Shems is carved on a slab; and one or two votive tablets, raised by the father of Hussein Bey, and other chiefs of the Yezidis, are built into the walls. The interior, which is a very holy place, is lighted by a few small lamps. At sunset, as I sat in the alcove in front of the entrance, a herdsman led into a pen, attached to the building, a drove of white oxen. I asked a cawal, who was near me, to whom the beasts belonged. (Page 184) "They are dedicated," he said, "to Sheikh Shems, and are never slain except on great festivals, when their flesh is distributed among the poor."[8.2] This unexpected answer gave rise to an agreeable musing, and I sat, almost unconscious of the scene around me, until darkness stole over the valley.

As the twilight faded, the fakirs, or lower order of priests, dressed in brown garments of coarse cloth, closely fitting to their bodies, and wearing black turbans on their heads, issued from the tomb, each bearing a light in one hand, and a pot of oil, with a bundle of cotton wicks, in the other. They filled and trimmed lamps placed in niches in the walls of the courtyard, and scattered over the buildings on the sides of the valley, and even on isolated rocks and in the hollow trunks of trees. Innumerable stars appeared to glitter on the black sides of the mountain, and in the dark recesses of the forest. As the priests made their way through the crowd, to perform their task, men and women passed their right hands through the flame, and then devoutly carried them to their lips, after rubbing the right eyebrow with the part which had been purified by the sacred element. Some, who bore children in their arms, anointed them in like manner, while others held out their hands to be touched by those who, less fortunate than themselves, could not reach the flame.

The lamps are votive offerings from pilgrims, or from those who have appealed to Sheikh Adi in times of danger or disease, and a yearly sum is given to the guardians of the tomb for oil, and for the support of the priests. They are lighted every evening as long as the supplies last. In the daytime the smoked walls mark where they are placed; and I have observed the Yezidis devoutly kissing the blackened stones.

About an hour after sunset the fakirs, who are the servants of the tomb, appeared with platters of boiled rice, roast meat, and fruit. They had been sent to me from the kitchen of the (Page 185) holy edifice. The wife of Sheikh Nasr also contributed some dishes toward the repast.

As night advanced, those who had assembled - they must now have amounted to nearly five thousand person - lighted torches, which they carried with them as they wandered through the forest. The effect was magical; the varied groups could be faintly distinguished through the darkness; men hurrying to and fro; women, with their children, seated on the house-tops; and crowds gathering round the pedlers who exposed their wares for sale in the court-yard. Thousands of lights were reflected in the fountains and streams, glimmered among the foliage of the trees, and danced in the distance. As I was gazing on this extraordinary scene, the hum of human voices was suddenly hushed, and a strain, solemn and melancholy, arose from the valley. It resembled some majestic chant which years before I had listened to in the cathedral of a distant land. Music so pathetic and so sweet I had never before heard in the East. The voices of men and women were blended in harmony with the soft notes of many flutes. At measured intervals the song was broken by the loud clash of cymbals and tamborines; and those who were without the precincts of the tomb then joined in the melody.

I hastened to the sanctuary, and found Sheikh Nasr, surrounded by the priests, seated in the inner court. The place was illuminated by torches and lamps, which threw a soft light over the white-walls of the tomb and green foliage of the arbor. The sheikhs, in their white turbans and robes, all venerable men with long gray beards, were ranged on one side; on the opposite, seated on the stones, were about thirty cawals in their motley dresses of black and white - each performing on a tamborine or a flute. Around stood the fakirs in their dark garments, and the women of the orders of the priesthood arrayed in pure white. No others were admitted within the walls of the court.

The same slow and solemn strain, occasionally varied in the melody, lasted for nearly an hour; a part of it was called (Page 186) "Makam Azerat Esau," or the song of the Lord Jesus. It was sung by the sheikhs, the cawals, and the women; and occasionally by those without. I could not catch the words; nor could I prevail upon any of those present to repeat them to me. They were in Arabic; and as few of the Yezidis can speak or pronounce that language, they were not intelligible, even to the experienced ear of Hodja Toma, who accompanied me: The tamborines only interrupted at intervals the song of the priests. As the time quickened they broke in more frequently. The chant gradually gave way to a lively melody, which, increasing in measure, was finally lost in a confusion of sounds. The tamborines were beaten with extraordinary energy; the flutes poured forth a rapid flood of notes; the voices were raised to their highest pitch; the men outside joined in the cry; while the women made the rocks resound with the shrill tahlehl. The musicians, giving way to the excitement, threw their instruments into the air, and strained their limbs into every contortion, until they fell exhausted to the ground. I never heard a more frightful yell than that which rose in the valley. It was midnight. The time and place were well suited to the occasion; and I gazed with wonder upon the extraordinary scene around me. I did not marvel that such wild ceremonies had given rise to those stories of unhallowed rites, and obscene mysteries, which have rendered the name of Yezidi an abomination in the East. Notwithstanding the uncontrollable excitement which appeared to prevail among all present, there were no indecent gestures nor unseemly ceremonies. When the musicians and singers were exhausted, the noise suddenly died away; the various groups resumed their previous cheerfulness, and again wandered through the valley, or seated themselves under the trees.

Some ceremony took place before I joined the assembly at the tomb, at which no stranger can be present, nor could I learn its nature from the cawals. Sheikh Nasr gave me to understand that their holy symbol, the Melek Taous, was then exhibited to the priests, and he declared that, as far as he was (Page 187) concerned, he had no objection to my witnessing the whole of their rites; but that many of the sheikhs were averse to it, and he did not wish to create any ill-feeling in the tribe. Indeed, I found him frank and communicative on all subjects.

After the ceremonies in the inner yard had ceased, I returned with the sheikh and Hussein Bey to the fountain in the avenue. Around it were grouped men and women with torches, which flung their red gleams upon the water. Several of the cawals accompanied us to the spot, and sang and played on their flutes and tamborines until nearly dawn.

Daylight had begun to appear before the pilgrims sought repose. Silence reigned through the valley until mid-day, when new parties of travelers reached the tomb and again awakened the echoes by their cries and the discharge of fire arms. Toward the evening about seven thousand persons must have assembled. The festival was more numerously attended than it had been for many years, and Sheikh Nasr rejoiced in the prospect of times of prosperity for his people. At night the ceremonies of the previous evening were repeated. New melodies were introduced; but the singing ended in the same rapid measure and violent excitement that I have described. During the three days I remained at Sheikh Adi, I wandered over the valley and surrounding mountains; visiting the various groups of pilgrims, talking with them of their dwelling-place, and listening to their tales of oppression and bloodshed. From all I received the same simple courtesy and kindness; nor had I any cause to change the good opinion I had already formed of the Yezidis. There were no Mohammedans present, not any Christians, except those who were with me, and a poor woman who had lived long with the sect, and was a privileged guest at their festivals. Unrestrained by the presence of strangers, the women forgot their usual timidity, and roved unvailed over the mountains. As I sat beneath the trees, laughing girls gathered round me, examined my dress, or asked me questions. Some, more bold than the rest, would bring me the strings of beads and engraved stones hanging round their necks, and permit (Page 188) me to examine the Assyrian relics thus collected together; while others, more fearful, though not ignorant of the impression which their charms would create, stood at a distance, and weaved wild flowers into their hair.

The men assembled in groups round the fountains and about the tomb. They talked and made merry; but no dissension or angry words disturbed the general good-humor. The sound of music and of song rose from all sides above the hum of voices. The priests and sheikhs walked among the people, or sat with the families assembled under nearly every tree.

The Yezidis recognize one Supreme Being; but, as far as I could learn, they do not offer up any direct prayer or sacrifice to him. Sheikh Nasr endeavored to evade my questions on this subject; and appeared to shun, with superstitious awe, every topic connected with the existence and attributes of the Deity. The common Mohammedan forms of expression - half oath, half ejaculation - are nevertheless frequently in the mouths of the people, but probably from mere habit. The name of the Evil spirit is, however, never mentioned; and any allusion to it by others so vexes and irritates them, that it is said they have put to death persons who have wantonly outraged their feelings by its use. So far is their dread of offending the Evil principle carried, that they carefully avoid every expression which may resemble in sound the name of Satan, or the Arabic word for "accursed."

When they speak of the Devil, they do so with reverence, as Melek el Kout, the mighty angel. Sheikh Nasr distinct]y admitted that they possessed a bronze or copper figure of a bird, which, however, he was careful in explaining was only looked upon as a symbol, and not as an idol. There are several of these figures - one always remains with the great sheikh, and is carried with him wherever he may journey. When deputies are sent to any distance to collect money for the support of the tomb and the priests, they are furnished with one of these images, which is shown to those among whom they go, as an authority for their mission. This (Page 189) symbol is called the Melek Taous, and is held in great reverence. Much doubt has prevailed among travelers as to its existence; but Sheikh Nasr, when I had an opportunity of speaking to him in private, so frankly admitted it, that I consider the question as completely set at rest. The admission of the sheikh is moreover confirmed, by the answer of the guardian of the tomb, to a question which I put to him on my first visit, when he was completely off his guard.[8.3]

They believe Satan to be the chief of the Angelic host, now suffering punishment for his rebellion against the divine will; but still all-powerful, and to be restored hereafter to his high estate in the celestial hierarchy. He must be conciliated and reverenced, they say; for as he now has the means of doing evil to mankind, so will he hereafter have the power of rewarding them. Next to Satan, but inferior to him in might and wisdom, are seven archangels[8.4] who exercise a great influence over the world; - they are Gabrail, Michail, Raphail, Azrail, Dedrail, Azrapheel, and Shemkeel. Christ, according to them, was also a great angel, who had taken the form of man. He did not die on the cross, but ascended to heaven.

They hold the Old Testament in great reverence, and believe in the cosmogony of Genesis, the Deluge, and other events recorded in the Bible. They do not reject the New Testament, nor the Koran; but consider them less entitled to their veneration. Still they always select passages from the latter for their tombs, and holy places. Mohammed they look upon as a prophet; as they do Abraham, and the patriarchs.

They expect the second coming of Christ, as well as the (Page 190) reappearance of Imaum Mehdi, giving credence to the Mussulman fables relating to him.

Sheikh Adi is their great saint; but I could not learn any particulars relating to him; indeed the epoch of his existence seemed doubtful; and on one occasion Sheikh Nasr asserted that he lived before Mohammed.

As to the origin of their name, it is well known that the Mussulmans trace it to the celebrated Ommiade caliph, Yezid, who figures as the persecutor of the family of Ali in their own religious history; but there is reason to believe that it must be sought for elsewhere, as it was used long before the introduction of Mohammedanism, and is not without connection with the early Persian appellation of the Supreme Being.[8.5] It is difficult to trace their ceremonies to any particular source. They baptize in water, like the Christians; if possible, within seven days after birth. They circumcise at the same age, and in the same manner as the Mohammedans; and reverence the sun, and have many customs in common with the Sabaeans. All these ceremonies and observances may indeed have had a common origin, or may have been grafted at different times on their original creed. They may have adopted circumcision to avoid detection by their Mussulman oppressors; and may have selected passages from the Koran, to carve upon their tombs and sacred places, because, as suggested to me by Sheikh Nasr, they corresponded with their opinions, and were best suited to a country in which Arabic was the spoken language. They have more in common with the Sabaeans than with any other sect. I have already alluded to their reverence for the sun, and have described the temple and the oxen dedicated to that luminary.[8.6] They are accustomed to kiss the object on (Page 191) which its first beams fall; and I have frequently when traveling in their company at sunrise, observed them perform this ceremony. For fire, as symbolical, they have nearly the same reverence; they never spit into it, but frequently pass their hands through the flame, kiss them, and rub them over their right eyebrow, or sometimes over the whole face.[8.7] The color blue, to them, as to the Sabaeans, is an abomination; and never to be worn in dress, or to be used in their houses. Their Kubleh, or the place to which they look while performing their holy ceremonies, is that part of the heavens in which the sun rises, and toward it they turn the faces of their dead.[8.8] In their fondness for white linen, in their cleanliness of habits, and in their frequent ablutions, they also resemble the Sabaeans.

The lettuce, the bamiyah,[8.9] and some other vegetables, are never eaten by them. Pork is unlawful; but not wine, which is drunk by all. Although they assert that meat should not be eaten, unless the animal has been slain according to the Mosaic and Mohammedan law, they do not object to partake of the food of Christians.

I could not learn that there were any religious observances on marriage. I was informed by the cawals that the men and women merely presented themselves to a sheikh, who ascertains that there is mutual consent. A ring is then given to the bride, or sometimes money instead. A day is fixed for rejoicings, on which they drink sherbet, and dance, but have no (Page 192) religious ceremonies. The number of wives is limited to one, but the chief has the power to transgress the law.

Their year begins with that of the Eastern Christians, whom they follow also in the order and names of their months. Some fast three days at the commencement of the year; but this is not considered necessary. They do not observe the Mohammedan Ramazan. Wednesday is their holyday, and although some always fast on that day, yet they do not abstain from work on it, as the Christians do on the Sabbath.

Sheikh Nasr informed me that they had a date of their own, and that he believed we were then, according to their account, in the year 1550. This suggested some connection with Manes; but neither by direct nor indirect questions could I ascertain that they were acquainted with his name, or recognized him in anywise as the originator of their peculiar doctrines with regard to the Evil principle.

Their names, both male and female, are generally those used by Mohammedans and Christians or such as are common among the Kurds, and not strictly of Mussulman origin. The name of Goorgis (George) is, however, objectionable; and is never, I believe, given to a Yezidi.

They have four orders of priesthood, the Pirs, the Sheikhs, the Cawals, and the Fakirs; and, what is very remarkable, and, I believe, unexampled in the East, these offices are hereditary, and descend to females, who, when enjoying them, are treated with the same respect and consideration as the men.

The Pirs, [8.10] or saints, are most reverenced after the great sheikh, or religious head of the sect. They are believed to have the power, not only of interceding for the people, but of curing disease and insanity. They are expected to lead a life of great sanctity and honesty; and are looked up to with great reverence. They are not confined, I believe, to any particular fashion of dress. The only pir I knew was one Sino, who was recognized as the deputy of Sheikh Nasr, and had suffered imprisonment in his stead.

(Page 193) The Sheikhs are next in rank. They are acquainted with the hymns, and are expected to know something of Arabic, the language in which the hymns are written. Their dress should be entirely white, except the skull-cap beneath the turban, which is black. As servants of Sheikh Adi, they are the guardians of his tomb, keep up the holy fires, and bring provisions and fuel to those who dwell within its precincts, and to pilgrims of distinction. They always wear round their bodies a band of red and black, or red and orange plaid, as the mark of their office; with it they bind together the wood, and other supplies which they bring to the sacred edifice. The women carry the same badge, and are employed in the same services. There are always several sheikhs residing in the valley of Sheikh Adi. They watch over the tomb, and receive pilgrims; taking charge in rotation of the offerings that may be brought, or selling the clay balls and other relics.

The Cawals, or preachers, appear to be the most active members of the priesthood. They are sent by Hussein Bey and Sheikh Nasr on missions, going from village to village with the symbol of the bird as teachers of the doctrines of the sect. They alone are the performers on the flute and tamborine; both instruments being looked upon, to a certain extent, as sacred. I observed that before, and after, using the tamborine they frequently kissed it, and then held it to those near them, to be similarly saluted. They are taught singing at a very early age, are skillful musicians, and dance occasionally at festivals. They usually know a little Arabic, but barely more than necessary to get through their chants and hymns. Their robes are generally white, although colored stuffs are not forbidden; but their turbans, unlike those of the sheikhs, are black, as are also their skull-caps.

The Fakirs are the lowest in the priesthood. They wear coarse dresses of black, or dark brown cloth, or canvas, descending to the knee and fitting tightly to the person; and a black turban, across which is generally tied a red kerchief. (Page 194) They perform all menial offices connected with the tomb, trim and light the votive lamps, and keep clean the sacred buildings.

While each tribe and district of Yezidis has its own chief, and Hussein Bey is really both political and religious head of the whole sect, Sheikh Nasr is looked up to as the high-priest, and is treated with great reverence and respect. His office is hereditary; but the Yezidis frequently chose, without reference to priority of claim, the one among the descendants of the last sheikh most qualified, by his knowledge and character, to succeed him. The father of Sheikh Nasr held the office for some years; and no one better suited to it than the son could have been chosen to fill his place.

The language in general use among all the Yezidis is a Kurdish dialect, and very few, except the sheikhs and cawals, are acquainted with Arabic. The chants and hymns, - the only form of prayer, which, as far as I could ascertain, they possess, - are, as I have already stated, in Arabic. They have, I believe, a sacred volume, containing their traditions, their hymns, directions for the performance of their rites, and other matters connected with their religion. It is preserved either at Baazini or Baasheikha, and is regarded with so much superstitious reverence that I failed in every endeavor to obtain a copy, or even to see it. This I much regretted, as its contents would probably throw new light upon the origin and history of this remarkable sect, and would clear up many doubts which still hang over their tenets. It is considered unlawful to know how to read and write. There are only one or two persons among the Yezidis who can do either: even Sheikh Nasr is unacquainted with the alphabet. Those who know how to read have only been taught in order that they may preserve the sacred book, and may refer to it for the doctrines and ceremonies of the sect.

The Yezidis have a tradition that they originally came from Busrah, and from the country watered by the lower part of the Euphrates; and that, after their emigration, they first settled in Syria, and subsequently took possession of the Sinjar hill, and (Page 195) the districts they now inhabit in Kurdistan. This tradition, with the peculiar nature of their tenets and ceremonies, points to a Sabaean or Chaldean origin. With the scanty materials which we possess regarding their history, and owing to the ignorance prevailing among the people themselves, - for I believe that even the priests, including Sheikh Nasr, have but a very vague idea of what they profess, and of the meaning of their religious forms, - it is difficult to come to any conclusion as to the source of their peculiar opinions and observances. There is in them a strange mixture of Sabaeanism, Christianity, and Mohammedanism, with a tincture of the doctrines of the Gnostics and Manicheans. Sabaeanism, however, appears to be the prevailing feature; and it is not improbable that the sect may be a remnant of the ancient Chaldees, who have, at various times, outwardly adopted the forms and tenets of the ruling people, to save themselves from persecution and oppression: and have gradually, through ignorance, confounded them with their own belief and mode of worship. Such has been the case with a no less remarkable sect than the Sabaeans or Mendai (the Christians of St. John, as they are commonly called), who still inhabit the banks of the Euphrates, and the districts of ancient Susiana.

The Yezidis are known among themselves by the name of the district or tribe to which they respectively belong. Those who inhabit the country near the foot of the Kurdish Hills, are called Dasni or Daseni, most probably from the ancient name of a province.[8.11] Tribes of Yezidis are found in the north of Syria, in Northern Kurdistan, Georgia (where they have migrated), Gebel Tour, Bohtan, Sheikhan, and Missouri. In the plains, their principal settlements are in the villages of Baazani, Baasheikha, and Semil.

Having spent three days at Sheikh Adi, and witnessed all the ceremonies at which a stranger could be present, I prepared to return to Mosul. Hussein Bey, Sheikh Nasr, and the principal (Page 196) sheikhs and cawals, insisted upon accompanying me about three miles down the valley; as I preferred this road to the precipitous pathway over the mountains. After parting with me, the chiefs returned to the tomb to finish their festival. I made my way to the village of Ain Sifni, and reached Mosul early in the afternoon.

Tahyar Pashaw had for some time been planning an expedition to the Sinjar, not with any hostile intention, but for the purpose of examining the state of the country; which had been ruined by the vexatious extortions, and cruelty of the late governor of Mosul. He had previously sent an agent to inquire into the condition of the villages; and a deputation of the inhabitants had returned with him to petition for a diminution of taxes, which, from the destitute state of the district, they were unable to pay.

His excellency had invited me to accompany him on this expedition, the arrangements for which, after numerous delays, were completed on the 8th of October. Three o'clock of that day was declared to be the fortunate hour for leaving the town. The principal inhabitants, with the cadi and mufti at their head, were collected in the large square opposite the palace and without the walls, ready to accompany the pashaw, as a mark of respect, some distance from the gates. It was with difficulty that I made my way to the apartments of the governor, through the crowd of irregular troops, and servants which thronged the court-yard of the serai. The attendants of his Excellency were hurrying to and fro, laden with every variety of utensil and instrument; some carrying gigantic telescopes, or huge bowls in leathern cases; others laboring under bundles of pipe sticks, or bending under the weight of calico bags crammed with state documents. The gray headed kiayah had inserted his boots into a pair of capacious boots, leaving room enough for almost any number of intruders. Round his fez, and the lower part of his face, were wound endless folds of white linen, which gave him the appearance of a patient emerging from a hospital; and he carried furs and cloaks enough to keep out the (Page 197) cold of the frigid zone. The Divan Effendesi, although a man of the pen, strutted about with sword and spurs, followed by clerks and inkstand bearers. At the door of the harem waited a bevy of aghas; among them the lord of the towel, the lord of the washing-basin, the lord of the cloak, the chief of the coffee-makers, and the chief of the pipe-bearers, the treasurer, and the seal bearer.[8.12] At length the pashaw approached; the cawasses forced the crowd out of the way; and his excellency placed his foot in the stirrup, the trumpet sounded as a signal for the procession to move onward. First came a regiment of infantry, followed by a company of artillerymen with their guns. The trumpeters, and the pashaw's own standard, a mass of green silk drapery, embroided with gold, with verses from the Koran, succeeded; behind were six led Arab horses, richly caparisoned in colored saddle-cloths, glittering with gold embroidery. The pashaw himself then appeared, surrounded by the chiefs of the town and the officers of his household. The procession was finished by the irregular cavalry, divided into companies, each headed by its respective commander, and by the wild Suiters, with their small kettle-drums fastened in front of their saddles.

I was accompanied by my cawass and my own servants, and rode as it best suited, and amused me, in different parts of the procession. We reached Hamaydat, a ruined village on the banks of the Tigris, three caravan hours from Mosul, about sunset. Here we had the first proofs of the commissariat arrangements; for there was neither food for ourselves nor the horses, and we all went supperless to bed.

On the following day, after a ride of six hours through a barren and uninhabited plain, bounded to the east and west by ranges of low limestone hills, we reached a ruined village, built on the summit of an ancient artificial mound, called Abou Maria. The Aneyza Arabs were known to be out on this side of the Euphrates, and during our march we observed several (Page 198) of their scouts watching our movements. The irregular cavalry frequently rushed off in pursuit; but the Arabs, turning their fleet mares toward the desert, were soon lost in the distance.

We passed the ruins of three villages. The plain, once thickly inhabited, is now deserted; and the wells, formerly abundant, are filled up. In spring, the Arab tribe of Jehesh frequently encamp near the pools of water supplied by the rains. The remains of buildings, and the traces of former cultivation, prove that at some period, not very remote, others than the roving Bedouins dwelt on these lands; while the artificial mounds, scattered over the face of the country, show that long ere the Mussulman invasion, this was one of the flourishing districts of ancient Assyria.

A most abundant spring issues from the foot of the mound of Abou Maria. The water is collected in large, well-built reservoirs. Near them is a mill, now in ruins, but formerly turned by the stream, within a few yards of its source. Such an ample supply of water, although brackish to the taste, must always have attracted a population in a country where it is scarce. The village, which was deserted during the oppressive government of Mohammed Pashaw, belonged to the Jehesh.

Three hours' ride, still over the desert, brought us to Tel Afer, which we reached suddenly on emerging from a range of low hills. The place had a much more important and flourishing appearance than I could have expected. A very considerable eminence, partly artificial, is crowned by a castle, whose walls are flanked by numerous towers of various shapes. The town, containing some well-built houses, lies at the foot of the mound, and is partly surrounded by gardens wooded with olive, fig, and other fruit trees; beyond this cultivated plot is the broad expanse of the desert. A spring, as abundant as that of Abou Maria, gushes out of a rock beneath the castle, supplies the inhabitants with water, irrigates their gardens, and turns their mills.

Tel Afer was once a town of some importance; it is (Page 199) mentioned by the early Arab geographers, and may perhaps be identified with the Telassar of Isaiah, referred to, as it is, in connection with Gozan and Haran.[8.13] It has been three times besieged, within a few years, by Ali Pashaw of Baghdad, Hafiz Pashaw, and Injeh Bairakdar Mohammed Pashaw. On each occasion the inhabitants offered a vigorous resistance. Mohammed Pashaw took the place by assault. More than two thirds of the inhabitants were put to the sword, and the property of the (Page 200) remainder was confiscated. Great wealth is said to have been discovered in the place, on its pillage by Mohammed Pashaw, who took all the gold and silver, and distributed the remainder of the spoil among his soldiers.

The inhabitants of Tel Afer are of Turcoman origin, and speak the Turkish language. They occasionally intermarry, however, with the Arabs, and generally understand Arabic.

Toward evening I ascended the mound, and visited the castle, in which was quartered a small body of irregular troops. The houses, formerly inhabited by families whose habitations are now built at the foot of the artificial hill, are in ruins, except that occupied by the commander of the garrison. From the walls I had an uninterrupted view over a vast plain, stretching westward toward the Euphrates, and losing itself in the hazy distance. The ruins of ancient towns and villages rose on all sides; and, as the sun went down, I counted above one hundred mounds, throwing their dark and lengthening shadows across the plain. These were the remains of Assyrian civilization and prosperity. Centuries have elapsed since a settled population dwelt in this district of Mesopotamia. Now, not even the tent of the Bedouin could be seen. The whole was a barren, deserted waste.

We remained two days at Tel Afer. The commissariat was replenished, as far as possible, from the scanty stores of the inhabitants. The pashaw recommended forbearance and justice; but his advice was not followed; nor were his orders obeyed. The houses were broken into, and a general pillage ensued. At length, on the 13th, we resumed our march.

The Sinjar is about thirty miles distant from Tel Afer. A very low range of hills diverges from its southern spur, and unites with that behind the town. The pashaw, with his troops, took the road across the plain.

We passed the first night on the banks of a small salt stream, near the ruins of a village, called, by the people of the Sinjar and Tel Afer, Zabardok; and by the Arabs simply Kharba, or the ruins. We had seen, during the day, several other ruins, (Page 201) and water courses. The second day we encamped in the plain, near the southern end of the Sinjar mountain, and under the village of Mirkan, the white houses of which, rising one above the other on the declivity, were visible from below. Here the pashaw was met by all the chiefs of the mountain, except those of the small district in which we had halted.

Mirkan is one of the principal Yezidi settlements in the Sinjar. Its inhabitants had been exposed to great extortions, and many were put to death by Mohammed Pashaw. They expected similar treatment at our hands. No promises could remove their fears, and they declared their intention of resolutely defending their village. The pashaw sent up an officer of his household, with a few irregular troops, to reassure them, and to restore obedience. I accompanied him. As we entered the village we were received by a general discharge of fire arms. Two horsemen, who had accidentally, - and as I thought at the time somewhat disrespectfully, - pushed forward before the officer and myself, fell dead at our feet, and several of our party were wounded. The pashaw, exasperated at this unprovoked and wanton attack, ordered an advance of the hytas and Arab irregulars; who, long thirsting for plunder, hastened toward the village. The Yezidis had already deserted it, and had taken refuge in a narrow gorge; abounding in caverns and isolated rocks, - their usual place of refuge on such occasions.

The village was soon occupied; the houses were entered, and plundered of the little property that had been left behind. A few aged women and decrepit old men, too infirm to leave with the rest, and found hiding in the small dark rooms, were murdered, and their heads severed from their bodies. Blazing fires were made in the neat dwellings, and the whole village was delivered to the flames. Even the old pashaw, with his gray hair and tottering step, hurried to and fro among the smoking ruins, and helped to add the torch where the fire was not doing its work.

The old Turkish spirit of murder and plunder was roused; (Page 202) the houses were soon burnt to the ground; but the inhabitants were still safe. When the irregulars had secured all the property they could discover, they rushed toward the gorge, scarcely believing that the Yezidis would venture to oppose them. But they were received by a steady and well directed fire. The foremost fell, almost to a man. The caverns were high up among the rocks, and all attempts to reach them completely failed. The contest was carried on till night; when the troops, dispirited and beaten, were called back to their tents.

In the evening the heads of the miserable old men and women, taken in the village, were paraded about the camp; and those who were fortunate enough to possess such trophies wandered from tent to tent, claiming a present as a reward for their prowess. I appealed to the pashaw, who had been persuaded that every head brought to him was that of a powerful chief, and after some difficulty prevailed upon him to have them buried; but the troops were not willing to obey his orders, and it was late in the night before they were induced to resign their bloody spoil, which they had arranged in grim array, and lighted up with torches.

On the following morning the contest was renewed; but the Yezidis defended themselves with undiminished courage. The loss of the hytas was very considerable; not a cavern had been carried; nor a Yezidis, as far as the assailants could tell, killed, or even wounded.

The next day the pashaw ordered a fresh attack. To encourage his men he advanced himself into the gorge, and directed his carpet to be spread on a rock. Here he sat, with the greatest apathy, smoking his pipe, and carrying on a frivolous conversation with me, although he was the object of the aim of the Yezidis; several persons within a few feet of us falling dead, and the balls frequently throwing up the dirt into our faces. Coffee was brought to him occasionally as usual, and his pipe was filled when the tobacco was exhausted; yet he was not a soldier, but what is termed "a man of the pen." I have (Page 203) frequently seen similar instances of calm indifference in the midst of danger among Turks, when such displays were scarcely called for, and would be very unwillingly made by an European. Notwithstanding the example set by his excellency, and the encouragement which his presence gave to the troops, they were not more successful in their attempts to dislodge the Yezidis than they had been the day before. One after another, the men were carried out of the ravine, dead or dying. The wounded were brought to the pashaw, who gave them water, money, or words of encouragement. The "Ordou cadesi," or cadi of the camp, reminded them that it was against the infidels they were fighting; that every one who fell by the enemies of the prophet was rewarded with instant translation to Paradise; while those who killed an unbeliever were entitled to the same inestimable privilege. The dying were comforted, and the combatants animated by the promises and exhortations of the cadi; who, however, kept himself well out of the way of danger behind a rock.

Attempts were made during the day to induce the Yezidis to surrender, and there was some chance of success. However, night drew near, and hostilities still continued. The regular and irregular troops were then posted at all the known places of access to the gorge. The morning came, and the attack was recommenced. No signs of defense issued from the valley. The hytas rushed in, but were no longer met by the steady fire of the previous day. They paused, fearing some trick or ambuscade; they advanced cautiously, but still unnoticed. They reached the mouths of the caves; - no one opposed them. It was some time, however, before they ventured to look into them. They were empty. The Yezidis had fled during the night, and had left the ravine by some pathway known only to themselves, and which had escaped the watchfulness of the Turkish soldiery.

While attempts were being made to discover the retreat of the fugitives, the Turkish camp remained near the village of Mirkan. I took this opportunity of visiting other parts of the (Page 204) Sinjar. The residence of the governor of the district is in the village built among the ruins of the old city - the Singara of the Romans, and the "Belled Sinjar" of the Arabs. A small mud fort, raised a few years ago, stands on a hill in the midst of the remains of walls and foundations; but the principal part of the ancient city appears to have occupied the plain below. Around this fort, at the time of my visit, were congregated about two hundred families. The Yezidi inhabitants of the village, unlike those of the other districts, are mixed with Mussulmans. The latter, however, are so lax in their religious observances, and in dress so like the Yezidis, that it is difficult to distinguish them from the unbelievers. I was continually falling into mistakes, and eliciting a very indignant exclamation of "God forbid!"

It would be difficult to point out, with any degree of certainty, ruins at Belled Sinjar more ancient than the Mohammedan conquest. It became a place of some importance in the early ages of Islam, and had its own semi-independent rulers. There are the remains of several fine buildings; and the lower part of a minaret, constructed, like that of the great mosque of Mosul, of colored tiles and bricks, is a conspicuous object from all parts of the plain. There are very abundant springs within the circuit of the old walls; the air is declared to be salubrious, and the soil rich and productive.

All the villages of the Sinjar are built upon one plan. The houses rise on the hill sides, and are surrounded by terraces, formed of rough stones piled one above the other as walls, to confine the scanty earth. These terraces are planted with olive and fig-trees; a few vineyards are found near some villages. The houses, which are flat-roofed, are exceedingly clean and neat, and frequently contain several apartments. The walls of the interior are full of small recesses, like pigeon holes, which are partly ornamental, and partly used to keep the domestic utensils and property of the owner. They give a very singular and original appearance to the rooms; and the (Page 205) oddity of the effect is considerably increased by masses of red and black paint daubed in patches on the white wall.

The principal, and indeed now the only, trade carried on by the inhabitants of the Sinjar, is in dried figs, which are celebrated in this part of Turkey, and supply all the markets in the neighboring provinces. The soil is fertile, and, as the means of irrigation are abundant, corn and various useful articles of produce might be raised in great plenty from the extensive tracts of arable land belonging to the villages. But the people have been almost ruined by misgovernment; they can now scarcely cultivate corn enough for their own immediate wants.

The pashaw still lingered at Mirkan; and as I was anxious to return to Mosul, to renew the excavations, I took my leave of him, and rode through the desert to Tel Afer. I was accompanied by a small body of irregular cavalry, - a necessary escort, as the Aneyza Arabs were hanging about the camp, and plundering stragglers and caravans of supplies. As evening approached, we saw, congregated near a small stream, what appeared to be a large company of dismounted Arabs, their horses standing by them. As we were already near them, and could not have escaped the watchful eye of the Bedouin, we prepared for an encounter. I placed the baggage in the center of my small party, and spread out the horsemen as widely as possible to exaggerate our numbers. We approached cautiously, and were surprised to see that the horses still remained without their riders: we drew still nearer, when they all galloped off toward the desert. They were wild asses. We attempted to follow them. After running a little distance they stopped to gaze at us, and I got sufficiently near to see them well; but as soon as they found that we were in pursuit, they hastened their speed, and were soon lost in the distance.[8.14]

(Page 206) I reached Mosul in two days, taking the road by Kessi Kupri, and avoiding the desert beyond Abou-Maria, which we had crossed on our march to the Sinjar.

[8.1] The term Sheitan (equivalent to Satan) is usually applied in the East to a clever, cunning, or daring fellow.

[8.2] The dedication of the bull to the sun, so generally recognized in the religious systems of the ancients, probably originated in Assyria, and the Yezidis may have unconsciously preserved a myth of their ancestors.

[8.3] I had afterward an opportunity of seeing the Melek Taous. It is the fanciful image of a bird supported by a stand resembling a candlestick, the whole being of bronze

[8.4] It will be remembered that in the book of Tobit (12:15) Raphael is made to say: "I am Raphael, one of the seven holy angels, which present the prayers of the saints, and which go in and out before the glory of the Holy One." "The seven spirits before the throne of God" are mentioned in Revelations 1:4; 4:5. This number seven, in the hierarchy of the Celestial Host, and in many sacred things, appears to have been connected with Chaldean traditions, and celestial observations.

[8.5] Theophanes (Chronographia, p. 492 ed. Bon), mentions a settlement of Iesdem, on the lesser Zab, near which the Emperor Heracleus encamped - (GREEK) kai Hpilkeusen eis tous oikous tou Issdem. They may have been Yezidis, and of the ancestors of the present sect. Major Rawlinson has pointed out the name as occurring in Adiabene.

[8.6] I must observe that although the inscriptions, in the sanctuary described were all addressed to Sheikh Shems, and that both Sheikh Nasr and the cawals assured me that it was dedicated to the sun, it is just possible that under the title of Sheikh Shems, some other object than the sun or some particular person is designated, and that my informants were unwilling to enter into any explanation.

[8.7] Some travelers have asserted that they will not blow out a candle; but such is not the case; nor is it an insult to spit in their presence.

[8.8] All Eastern sects appear to have had some Kubleh, or holy point, to which the face was to be turned during prayer. The Jews, it will be remembered, looked toward Jerusalem. The Sabaeans, according to some, to the north star, or, according to others, toward that part of the heavens in which the sun rises. The early Christians chose the East; Mohammed who recognized the general custom, and found it necessary to adhere to it appointed the holy Kaaba of Mecca to be the Kubleh of his disciples.

[8.9] Hibiscus Esculentus.

[8.10] This is a Kurdish (Persian) title, - it means, literally, an old man.

[8.11] There is a tribe of Kurds of this name, living in the mountains near Suleimaniyah.

[8.12] These are all offices in the household of a Turkish pashaw.

[8.13] Isaiah 37:12. The name does not occur elsewhere in the Bible; and we have consequently no means of determining its locality.

[8.14] The reader will remember that Xenophon mentions these beautiful animals which he must have seen during his march in these very plains. He faithfully describes the country, and the animals and birds which inhabit it, as they are to this day, except that the ostrich is not now to be found so far north. "The country," says he, "was a plain throughout, as even as the sea, and full of wormwood; if any other kinds of shrubs or reeds grew there, they had all an aromatic smell; but no trees appeared. Of wild creatures, the most numerous were wild asses, and not a few ostriches, besides bustards and roe deer (gazelles), which our horsemen sometimes chased. The asses, when they were pursued, having gained ground of the horses, stood still (for they exceeded them much in speed); and when these came up with them, they did the same thing again; so that our horsemen could take them by no other means but by dividing themselves into relays, and succeeding one another in the chase. The flesh of those that were taken was like that of red deer, but more tender." (Anab. lib. i. c. 5.) In fleetness they equal the gazelle: and to overtake them is a feat which only one or two of the most celebrated mares have been known to accomplish. The Arabs sometimes catch the foals during the spring, and bring them up with milk in their tents. I endeavored in vain to rear a pair. They are of a light fawn-color - almost pink. The Arabs still eat their flesh. The "wild asses of the desert" are mentioned in Job 34:5, 39:5.

Chapter 9

(Page 207) On my return to Mosul, I received letters from England, informing me that Sir Stratford Canning had made over his share in the discoveries in Assyria to the British nation; and that the British Museum had received a grant of funds for the continuation of the researches commenced at Nimroud, and elsewhere. The grant was small, and scarcely adequate to the objects in view. There were many difficulties to contend with, and I was doubtful whether, with the means placed at my disposal, I should be able to fulfill the expectations which appeared to have been formed as to the results of the undertaking. The sum given to M. Botta for the excavations at Khorsabad alone, greatly exceeded the whole grant to the Museum, which was to include private expenses, those of carriage, and many extraordinary outlays inevitable in the East, when works of this nature are to be carried on. I determined, however, to accept the charge of superintending the excavations, to make every exertion, and to economize as far as it was in my power - that the nation might possess as extensive and complete a collection of Assyrian antiquities as, considering the smallness of the means, it was possible to collect.

It was, in the first place, necessary to organize a band of work. men best fit to carry on the work. A general scarcity of corn had (Page 208) driven the Arab tribes to the neighborhood of the town, where they sought to gain a livelihood by engaging in labors not very palatable to a Bedouin. I had no difficulty in finding workmen among them. There was, at the same time, this advantage in employing these wandering Arabs - they brought their tents and families with them, and, encamping round the ruins and the village, formed a very efficient guard against their brethren of the Desert, who looked to plunder, rather than to work, to supply their wants. To increase my numbers I chose only one man from each family; and, as his male relations accompanied him, I had the use of their services, as far as regarded the protection of my sculptures. Being well acquainted with the sheikhs of the Jebours, I selected my workmen chiefly from that tribe. The chiefs promised every protection; and I knew enough of the Arab character not to despair of bringing the men under proper control. The Arabs were selected to remove the earth - they were unable to dig; this part of the labor required stronger and more active men; and I chose for it about fifty Nestorian Chaldeans, who had sought work for the winter in Mosul, and many of whom, having already been employed, had acquired some experience in excavating. They went to Nimroud with their wives and families. I engaged at the same time one Bainan, a Jacobite or Syrian Christian, who was a skillful marble-cutter, and a very intelligent man. I also made a valuable addition to my establishment in a standard-bearer of the irregular troops, of whose courage I had seen such convincing proofs during the expedition to the Sinjar, that I induced his commander to place him in my service. His name was Mohammed Agha; but he was generally called, from the office he held in his troop, the "Bairakdar, or standard bearer." He was a native of Scio, and had been carried off at the time of the massacre, when a child, by an irregular, who had brought him up as a Mussulman. In his religious opinions and observances, however, he was as lax, as men of his profession usually are. He served me faithfully and honestly, and was of great use during the excavations. Awad still continued in (Page 209) my employ; my cawass, Ibrahim Agha, returned with me to Nimroud; and I hired a carpenter and two or three men of Mosul as superintendents.

I was again among the ruins by the end of October. The winter season was fast approaching, and it was necessary to build a proper house for the shelter of myself and servants. I marked out a plan on the ground, in the village of Nimroud, and in a few days our habitations were complete. My workmen formed the walls of mud bricks dried in the sun, and roofed the rooms with beams and branches of trees. A thick coat of mud was laid over the whole, to exclude the rain. Two rooms for my own accommodation were divided by an iwan, or open apartment, the whole being surrounded by a wall. In a second court yard were huts for my cawass, Arab guests, and servants, and stables for my horses. Ibrahim Agha displayed his ingenuity by making equidistant loopholes, of a most warlike appearance, in the outer walls; which I immediately ordered to be filled up, to avoid any suspicion of being the constructor of forts and castles, with the intention of making a permanent Frank settlement in the country. We did not neglect precautions, however, in case of an attack from the Bedouins, of whom Ibrahim Agha was in constant dread. Unfortunately the only shower of rain, that I saw during the remainder of my residence in Assyria, fell before my walls were covered in, and so saturated the bricks that they did not dry again before the following spring. The consequence was that the only verdure, on which my eyes were permitted to feast before my return to Europe, was furnished by my own property - the walls in the interior of the rooms being continually clothed with a crop of grass.

On the mound itself, and immediately above the great winged lions first discovered, were built a house for my Nestorian workmen and their families, and a hut to which any small objects discovered among the ruins could at once be removed for safety. I divided my Arabs into three parties, according to the branches of the tribe to which they belonged. About forty tents were pitched on different parts of the mound, at the entrances to the (Page 210) principal trenches. Forty more were placed round my dwelling, and the rest on the bank of the river, where the sculptures were deposited previous to their embarkation on the rafts. The men were all armed. I thus provided for the defense of my establishment.

Mr. Hormuzd Rassam lived with me; and to him I confided the payment of the wages, and the accounts. He soon obtained an extraordinary influence among the Arabs, and his fame spread through the desert.

The workmen were divided into bands. In each set were generally eight or ten Arabs, who carried away the earth in baskets; and two, or four, Nestorian diggers, according to the nature of the soil and rubbish which had to be excavated. They were overlooked by a superintendent, whose duty it was to keep them to their work, and to give me notice when the diggers approached any slab, or exposed any small object to view, that I might myself assist in its uncovering or removal. I scattered a few Arabs of a hostile tribe among the rest, and by that means I was always made acquainted with what was going on, could easily learn if there were plots brewing, and could detect those who might attempt to appropriate any relics discovered during the excavations. The smallness of the sum placed at my disposal, compelled me to follow the same plan in the excavations that I had hitherto adopted, - digging trenches along the walls of the chambers, and exposing the whole of the slabs, without removing the earth from the center. Thus, few chambers were fully explored; and many small objects of great interest may have been left undiscovered. As I was directed to bury the buildings with earth after they had been examined, I filled up the trenches, to avoid unnecessary expense, with the rubbish taken from those subsequently opened, having first copied the inscriptions, and drawn the sculptures.

The excavations were recommenced, on a large scale, by the 1st of November. My working parties were distributed over the mound - in the ruins of the N. W. and S. W. palaces; near the gigantic bulls in the center; and in the (Page 211) southeast corner, where no traces of buildings had as yet been discovered.

It will be remembered that the greater number of slabs forming the southern side of the large hall in the N.W. palace had fallen with their faces to the ground. I was, in the first place, anxious to raise these bas-reliefs, and to pack them for transport to Busrah. To accomplish this, it was necessary to remove a large accumulation of earth and rubbish - to empty, indeed, nearly the whole chamber, for the fallen slabs extended almost half-way across it. The sculptures on nine slabs were found to be in admirable preservation, although broken by the fall. The slabs were divided, as those already described, into two compartments, by inscriptions which were precisely similar.

The sculptures were of the highest interest. They represented the wars of the king, and his victories over foreign nations. The upper bas-reliefs, on the first two slabs, formed one subject - the king, with his warriors, in battle under the walls of a hostile castle. He stood, gorgeously attired, in a chariot drawn by three horses richly caparisoned, and was discharging an arrow either against those who defended the walls; or against a warrior, who, already wounded, was falling from his chariot. An attendant protected the person of the king with a shield, and a charioteer held the reins, and urged on the horses. Above the king was the emblem of the supreme Deity, represented as at Persepolis by a winged figure within a circle, wearing a horned cap resembling that of the human headed lions. Like the king, he was shooting an arrow, the head of which was in the form of a trident.

Behind the king were three chariots; the first drawn by three horses - one of which was rearing and another falling - (Page 212) and occupied by a wounded warrior demanding quarter of his pursuers. In the others were two warriors, one discharging an arrow, the other guiding the horses, which were at full speed. In each Assyrian chariot was a standard - the devices, which were inclosed in a circle ornamented with tassels and streamers, being an archer, with the horned cap but without wings, standing on a bull; and two bulls, back to back. At the bottom of the first bas relief were wavy lines, to indicate water or a river, and trees were scattered over both. Assyrian footmen, fighting or slaying the enemy, were introduced in several places; and three headless bodies above the principal figures in the second bas-relief represented the dead in the background.[9.1]

On the upper part of the two slabs following the battle-scene was the triumphal return after victory. In front of the procession were warriors throwing the heads of the slain at the feet of the conquerors. Two musicians, playing on stringed instruments, preceded the charioteers, who were represented unarmed, and bearing their standards; above them was an eagle with a human head in its talons. The king came next in his chariot, carrying in one hand his bow, and in the other two arrows - the attitude in which he is so frequently represented on Assyrian monuments, and probably denoting triumph over his enemies. Above the horses was the presiding divinity; also holding a bow. The attendant, who in war bore the shield, was now replaced by an eunuch, raising the open parasol - the Eastern emblem of royalty. The horses were led by grooms, although the charioteer still held the reins. Behind the king's chariot was a horseman leading a second horse, gayly caparisoned.

(Page 213) After the procession, was the castle and pavilion of the victorious king - the former represented by a circle, divided into four equal compartments, and surrounded by towers and battlements. In each compartment were figures evidently engaged in preparing the feast: one was slaying a sheep; another appeared to be baking bread; and others stood before bowls and utensils placed on tables. The pavilion was supported by three columns; one surmounted by a fir-cone - the emblem so frequently seen in the Assyrian sculptures; the others by figures of the ibex or mountain goat. It was probably of silk or woolen stuff, richly ornamented and edged with a fringe of fir-cones and tulip shaped ornaments. Beneath the canopy was a groom cleaning one horse; while others, picketed by their halters, were feeding at a trough. An eunuch stood at the entrance of the tent, to receive four prisoners, who, with their hands bound behind, were brought to him by an Assyrian warrior. Above this group were two singular lion-headed figures, one holding a whip or thong in the right hand, and grasping his under jaw with the left, the other raising his hands. They were clothed in tunics descending to the knees, and skins falling from the head, over the shoulders, to the ankles, and were accompanied by a man raising a stick.

The four following bas-reliefs recorded a battle, in which were represented the king, two warriors with their standards, (Page 215) and an eunuch in chariots, and four warriors, among whom was also an eunuch, on horses. The enemy were on foot, and discharged their arrows against the pursuers. Eagles hovered above the victors, and were feeding on the slain. The winged divinity in the circle was again seen above the king.

These bas-reliefs in many respects illustrate the manners and civilization of the Assyrians. We here find the eunuch commanding in war and engaging with the enemy in combat, as we have before seen him ministering to the king during religious ceremonies, or waiting upon him as his arms-bearer during peace. That eunuchs rose to the highest rank among the Assyrians, and were even generals over their armies, we learn from Scripture, where the rabsaris, or chief of the eunuchs, is mentioned as one of the three principal officers of Sennacherib, and as one of the princes of Nebuchadrezzar.[9.2] They appear, indeed, to have held the same important posts, and to have exercised the same influence in the Assyrian court, as they have since enjoyed in Turkey and Persia, where they have frequently attained to the post of vizier or prime minister.

The horses of the archers were led by mounted warriors, wearing circular skull caps, probably of iron. Horsemen are frequently mentioned in the Bible as forming an important part of the Assyrian armies. Ezekiel (23:6) describes "the Assyrians clothed in blue, captains and rulers, all of them desirable young men, horsemen riding upon horses;" and Holofernes had no less than 12,000 archers on horseback. The rider is seated on the naked back of the horse, which is only adorned with a cloth when led behind the chariot of the king, probably for his use in case of accident to the chariot.

The horses represented in the sculptures appear to be of noble breed. Assyria, and particularly that part of the empire which was watered by the Tigris and Euphrates, was celebrated at the earliest period for its horses, as the same plains are to (Page 216) this day for the noblest races of Arabia. The Jews probably obtained horses for their cavalry from this country; and horses were offered to them by the general of the Assyrian king, as an acceptable present.[9.3] On Egyptian monuments horses from Mesopotamia are continually mentioned among the spoil or tribute. The horse of the Assyrian bas-reliefs was evidently drawn from the finest model. The head is small and well shaped, the nostrils large and high, the neck arched, the body long, and the legs slender and sinewy. The prophet exclaims of the horses of the Chaldeans, "They are swifter than the leopards, and more fierce than the evening wolves ;"[9.4] and the (Page 217) magnificent description of the war-horse in the book of Job is familiar to every reader.[9.5] At a later period the plains of Babylonia furnished horses to the Persians, both for the private use of the king and for his troops. The rich pasture-grounds of Mesopotamia must have always afforded them ample sustenance, while those vast plains, exposed to the heats of summer and cold of winter, inured them to hardships and fatigue.

The lower series of bas-reliefs contained three subjects - the siege of a castle, the king receiving prisoners, and the king, with his army, crossing a river. The first occupied the under compartments of three slabs. The castle had three towers, and apparently several walls, one behind the other, all surmounted by angular battlements. The besiegers having brought a battering ram to the outer wall, one of the besieged was endeavoring to catch the engine, and to break the blows, by a chain lowered from the walls; while two warriors of the assailing party were holding the ram in its place by hooks. This part of the bas-relief illustrates the account in Chronicles and Josephus, of the machines for battering walls, instruments to cast stones, and grappling irons made by Uzziah.[9.6] Another warrior was throwing fire (traces of the red paint being still visible in the sculpture) from above upon the battering-ram: while the besiegers endeavored to quench the flames, by pouring water upon them from the movable tower. Two figures, in full armor, were undermining the walls with instruments like blunt spears; while two others appeared to have found a secret passage into the castle. Wounded men were falling from the walls; and upon one of the towers were women tearing their hair and extending their hands to ask for quarter. The enemy were mounting to the assault, by scaling ladders placed against the walls. The king, discharging an arrow, and protected by a shield held by a warrior in complete armor, stood on one side of the castle. He was attended by two eunuchs, one holding the open umbrella, the other his quiver and mace. (Page 218) Behind them was an Assyrian warrior leading three women and a child, and driving three bullocks, as part of the spoil. It was thus that the Assyrians carried away captive the people of Samaria, replacing the population of the conquered country by colonies of their own.[9.7] The women were represented as tearing their hair and throwing dust upon their heads, the usual signs of grief in the East.

On the other side of the castle were two kneeling figures, one discharging an arrow, the other holding a shield for his companion's defense. Behind them was the vizier, also shooting an arrow, and protected by the shield of a second warrior. He was followed by three warriors, the first an archer kneeling, the others an archer and his shield-bearer in complete armor, erect. They had left their chariot, in which the charioteer was still standing, the horses being held by a groom. Behind the chariot were two warriors, each carrying a bow and a mace. The shields represented in this bas-relief were probably of wicker work, and were chiefly used during a siege. They covered the whole person of the archer, who was thus able to discharge his arrows in comparative security. Such were probably the bucklers which Herodotus describes as forming a complete fence before the Persian archers at the battle of Platea.[9.8]

The three following bas-reliefs represented the king receiving captives, apparently of the same nation as those portrayed in the upper part of the hall, and already described. Behind the chariot of the king were two other chariots, each containing a charioteer alone; passing under the wall of a castle, on which were women, apparently viewing the procession, and discussing the results of the expedition.

In these bas-reliefs the harness and trappings of the horses and chariots are remarkable for their richness and elegance. Above the heads of the horses rise gracefully plumed and fanciful crests, ornamented with long ribbons or streamers, which were probably of many colors. Like the Arabs and Persians of the present day, the Assyrians appear to have been lavish of tassels (Page 219) of silk and wool, which were attached to all parts of the harness. The bridle consisted of a headstall, a strap divided into three parts joining the bit, and straps over the forehead, under the cheeks, and behind the ears. We find sacred emblems used as ornaments in the trappings of horses, as on the robes of figures; the winged bull, the sun, moon, stars, and horned cap being frequently introduced.

Three richly embroidered straps, passing round the body of the horse, kept the harness and chariot-pole in their places, and were attached to a highly decorated breast-band. To the yoke was suspended an elegant ornament, formed by the head of an animal and a circle, into which was generally introduced a winged bull, a star, or some other sacred device.

Embroidered trappings, such as are described by Ezekiel[9.9] as the precious clothes for chariots, coming from Dedan, covered the backs of the horses. Their bits, as well as the metal used in the harness, may have been of gold and other precious materials, like those of the ancient Persians.[9.10] Their manes were either allowed to fall loosely on the neck or were plaited, and their tails were bound in the center with ribbons adorned with tassels.

In the Bible frequent mention is made of the use of chariots and horsemen both in sieges and battles. "The choicest valleys shall be full of chariots, and the horsemen shall set themselves in array against the gate."[9.11] Among the tributaries of the Assyrians, the Elamites were celebrated for their chariots carrying archers.[9.12] The Jewish kings appear to have granted certain privileges to cities equipping chariots, hence called "chariot cities," which in the time of Solomon supplied no less than one thousand four hundred chariots and twelve thousand horsemen.[9.13] Chariots of iron were used in Palestine from the earliest period, and appear to have been so formidable in war, that the Israelites were long unable to contend with them.[9.14]

(Page 220) The three remaining bas-reliefs - the passage of the river - were highly interesting and curious. In the first was a boat containing a chariot, in which stood the king. In one hand he held two arrows, in the other a bow. An eunuch, standing in front of the chariot, appeared to point to some object in the distance, perhaps the stronghold of the enemy. Behind the chariot was a second eunuch, holding a bow and mace. The boat was towed by two naked men; four men sat at the oars, and one oar with a broad flat end, attached to a thick wooden pin at the stern, served both for steering and propelling. It is singular that this is precisely the kind of vessel used by the natives of Mosul to this day; and such probably were the Babylonian boats described by Herodotus, constructed of willow boughs and covered with skins. A man, standing in the vessel, held the halters of four horses, swimming over the stream, in which was a naked figure on an inflated skin. This bas relief, with the exception of the king and the chariot, might represent a scene daily witnessed on the banks of the Tigris - probably the river here represented. On the next slab were two smaller boats; one carrying the couch of the king and a jar or large vessel; the other an empty chariot: they were impelled by two rowers, seated face to face. Five men, two leading horses by their halters, were swimming on skins. On the third slab was represented men embarking the chariots and preparing to cross the river. The proceedings were (Page 221) superintended by officers, one of whom, an eunuch, held a whip, which was probably used - as in the army of Xerxes - to keep the soldiers to their duty, and prevent them flying from the enemy.[9.15]

On the opposite side of the hall, between the entrances, only one slab was discovered in its original position. The upper compartment was almost completely defaced; in the lower was represented a battle between Assyrian warriors, in chariots, and (Page 222) the cavalry of the enemy. The conquered people wore high boots, turned up at the toes, and conical caps, probably of felt or linen. One of the horsemen turned back, while his horse was at full speed, to discharge an arrow against his pursuers. This mode of fighting is described by ancient authors as peculiar to the Parthian and Persian tribes, and is still practiced by the irregular cavalry of Persia.[9.16]

The Arabs employed in removing the rubbish from the chamber with the kneeling winged figures,[9.17] discovered a quantity of iron, in which I soon recognized the scales of the armor represented on the sculptures. These scales were from two to three inches in length, rounded at one end, and square at the other, with a raised or embossed line in the center, and had probably been fastened to a vest of linen or felt. The iron was so eaten by rust, that I had much difficulty in detaching it from the soil. Two or three baskets were filled with these relics.

As the earth was removed, other portions of armor were found. At length a perfect helmet of iron inlaid with copper bands, resembling in shape and in the ornaments the pointed helmet represented in the bas-reliefs, was discovered.

Several helmets of other shapes, some with the arched crest, were also dug out; but they fell to pieces as soon as exposed to the air; and I was only able to collect a few of the fragments.

Several slabs in this chamber had fallen from their places, and were broken. Beneath them were the fragments of a number of alabaster vases, and of several vessels of baked clay. The name and title of the Khorsabad king, accompanied by the figure of a lion, were still preserved on some of the fragments. Upon the pottery were painted characters (Page 223) resembling the rounded letters of Babylonia and Phoenicia, probably a cursive writing in common use, while the cuneiform was reserved for monuments. The earthen vases were of a light yellow color, ornamented with bars, zigzag lines, and simple designs in black.

While I was collecting and examining these curious relics, a workman found a perfect vase; but unfortunately broke the upper part by striking it with his pick. I took the instrument, and, working cautiously myself, was rewarded by the discovery of two perfect vases, one in alabaster, the other in glass. Each bore the name and title of the Khorsabad king, in cuneiform characters, with the figure of a lion.

A kind of exfoliation had taken place on the surface of the glass vase, which was incrusted with thin, semi-transparent lamina, glowing with the brilliant colors of the opal. This beautiful appearance is a well known result of age, and is found on glass from Egyptian, Greek, and other early tombs. It is remarkable that this vase has been turned from a block and not blown, the marks left by the instrument being perfectly preserved in the interior. Both these interesting relics are now in the British Museum.

In the lower compartment of a slab in the same chamber, were two beardless figures, which from a certain feminine character in the features, and from a cluster of long curls falling down their backs, appeared to be women. They wore the usual horned cap and had wings. They faced one another, and between them was the sacred tree. In one hand they held a garland or chaplet; and wore round their necks a necklace, with seven stars.[9.18]

(Page 224) The adjoining chamber was paneled with unsculptured slabs, and contained no object of particular interest.

One of the most remarkable discoveries was made in the center of the mound, where, as I have already mentioned,(Page 32) a pair of gigantic winged bulls appeared to form the entrance to a building. The inscriptions upon them contained a name, differing from that of the king of the N. W. palace. On digging further I found a brick, on which was a genealogy, the new name occurring first, as that of the son of the founder of the earlier edifice.

I dug round these sculptures, expecting to find the remains of walls, but there were no other traces of building. As the backs of the slabs were completely covered with inscriptions, in large and well formed characters, it was possible that these bulls might originally have stood alone. Suspecting that there must have been other sculptures near them, I directed a deep trench to be opened, at right angles, behind the northern bull. After digging about ten feet, the workmen came upon a colossal winged figure in low relief, lying flat on the brick pavement. Beyond was a similar figure, still more gigantic in its proportions, being about fourteen feet high. The beard and part of the legs of a winged bull, in yellow limestone, were next found. The trench was carried in the same direction to the distance of fifty feet, but without any other result. I had business in Mosul, and was giving directions to the workmen to guide them during my absence. Standing on the edge of the hitherto unprofitable trench, I doubted whether I should carry it any further; but made up my mind at last not to abandon it until my return, which would be on the following day. I mounted my horse; but had scarcely left the mound when the corner of a monument in black marble was uncovered, which proved to be an obelisk, about six feet six inches in height, lying on its side, ten feet below the surface.

An Arab was sent after me without delay, to announce the discovery; and on my return I found, completely exposed to (Page 225) view, an obelisk terminated by three steps or gradines and flat at the top. I descended eagerly into the trench, and was immediately struck by the singular appearance, and evident antiquity, of the remarkable monument before me. We raised it and speedily dragged it out of the ruins. On each side were five small bas-reliefs, and above, below, and between them was carved an inscription 2l0 lines in length. The whole was in the best preservation. The king was twice represented followed (Page 226) by his attendants; a prisoner was at his feet, and his vizier and eunuchs were introducing captives and tributaries carrying vases, shawls, bundles of rare wood, elephant's tusks, and other objects of tribute, and leading various animals, among which were the elephant, the rhinoceros, the Bactrian or two humped camel, the wild bull, and several kinds of monkeys. In one bas-relief were two lions hunting a stag in a wood, probably to denote the nature of one of the countries conquered by the king. From the animals portrayed, particularly the double-humped (Page 227) camel,[9.19] and the elephant, which is of the Indian and not of the African species, it is natural to conjecture that the obelisk was sculptured to commemorate the conquest of nations far to the east of Assyria, on the confines of the Indian peninsula. The name of the king, whose deeds it records, was the same as that on the center bulls.

(Page 228) In the S. W. corner, discoveries of scarcely less interest and importance were made almost at the same time. The southern entrance to the palace was formed by a pair of winged lions, of which the upper part, including the head, had been almost entirely destroyed.[9.20] They differed in many respects from those in the N.W. palace. They had but four legs; the material in which they were sculptured was a coarse limestone, and not alabaster; and behind the body of the lion, and in front above the wings, were several figures, which were unfortunately greatly injured, and could with difficulty be traced. The figures behind were a dragon with the head of an eagle and the claws of a bird, followed by a man carrying the usual square vessel, standing above a priest bearing a pole surmounted by a fir cone, and a human figure, the upper part of which was destroyed in all the sculptures; those in front were (Page 229) a human figure, and a monster with the head of a lion, the body of a man, and the feet of a bird, raising a sword.

Between the two lions, forming this entrance, were a pair of crouching sphinxes, not in relief, but entire. The human head was beardless; and the horned cap square, and highly ornamented at the top, like that of the winged bulls of Khorsabad. The body was that of a winged lion. These sphinxes may have been altars for sacrifice or offerings.

The whole entrance was buried in charcoal, and the sphinxes were almost reduced to lime. One had been nearly destroyed; but the other, although cracked into a thousand pieces, was still standing when uncovered. I endeavored to secure it with rods of iron and wooden planks; but the alabaster was too much calcined to resist exposure to the atmosphere. I had scarcely time to make a careful drawing, before the whole fell into fragments, too small to admit of their being collected with (Page 230) a view to future restoration. The sphinxes, when entire, were about five feet in height, and the same in length.

Buried in the charcoal, was found a small head in alabaster, with the high horned cap, precisely similar to that of the large sphinx; and subsequently the body was dug out, giving thus a complete model of the larger sculptures.[9.21] In the same place I discovered the bodies of two lions, united and forming a platform or pedestal, like the one crouching sphinx; but the human heads were wanting, and the rest of the sculpture had been so much injured by fire, that I was unable to preserve it.

The plan of the edifice in which these discoveries were made could not yet be determined. All the slabs uncovered had evidently been brought from another building; chiefly from the N. W. palace. The entrance I have just described, proved this beyond a doubt; as it enabled me to distinguish between the back and front of the walls. I was now convinced that the sculptures hitherto found, were not meant to be exposed to view; but had been placed against the wall of (Page 231) sun dried bricks; the backs of the slabs, smoothed preparatory to being re-sculptured, having been turned toward the interior of the chambers.

There were no inscriptions between the legs of the lions just described, as in other buildings at Nimroud and Khorsabad. I had not before found sculptures unaccompanied by the name and genealogy of the founder of the edifice in which they had been placed. When no inscription was on the face, it was invariably on the back of the slab. I dug, therefore, at the back of the lions, and was not disappointed in my search; a few lines in the cuneiform character were discovered, containing the names of three kings in genealogical series. The name of the first king nearly resembled that of the builder of the N. W. palace; that of his father was identical with the name on the bricks found in the ruins opposite Mosul; and that of his grandfather with the name of the founder of Khorsabad. This fortunate discovery served to connect the latest palace at Nimroud with two other Assyrian edifices.

While excavations were thus successfully carried on among the center ruins, and those of the two palaces first opened, discoveries of a different nature were made in the S. E. corner, which was much higher than any other part of the mound. I dug to a considerable depth, without meeting with any other remains than fragments of inscribed bricks and pottery, and a few entire earthen vessels. At length an imperfect slab bearing a royal name similar to that on the bull in the center of the mound, was found at some depth beneath the surface. On raising it to copy the inscription, I found to my surprise that it had been used as a lid to an earthen sarcophagus, which, with its contents, was still entire beneath. The sarcophagus was about five feet in length, and very narrow. The skeleton was well preserved, but fell to pieces almost immediately when exposed to the air; by its sides were two jars in baked clay of a red color, and a small alabaster bottle, precisely resembling in shape similar vessels discovered in Egyptian tombs. There was no other clew to the date, or origin of the sepulcher.

(Page 232) The sarcophagus was too small to contain a man of ordinary size if stretched at full length; and it was evident, from the position of the skeleton, that the body had been doubled up. A second earthen case was soon found, resembling a dish cover in shape, and scarcely four feet long. In it were also vases of baked clay, and it was closed by an inscribed slab like the sarcophagus first discovered. Although the skulls were entire when first exposed to view, they crumbled into dust as soon as an attempt was made to move them.

The six weeks following the commencement of excavations upon a large scale were among the most prosperous, and fruitful in events, during my researches in Assyria. Every day produced some new discovery. The Arabs entered with zeal into the work, and felt almost as much interested in its results as I did myself. They were now well organized, and I had no difficulty in managing them. Even their private disputes and domestic quarrels were referred to me. They found this a cheaper fashion of settling their differences than litigation; and I have reason to hope that they received an ampler measure of justice than they could have expected at the hands of his reverence the cadi. The tents had greatly increased in numbers, as the relatives of those who were engaged in the excavations came to Nimroud and swelled the encampment; for although they received no pay, they managed to live upon the gains of their friends. They were, moreover, preparing to glean, - in the event of there being any crops in the spring, - and to take possession of little strips of land along the banks of the river, for the cultivation of millet during the summer. They already began to prepare water-courses, and machines for irrigation. The mode of raising water in Mesopotamia is very simple. In the first place a high bank, which is never completely deserted by the river, is chosen, and a broad recess is cut in it down to the water's edge. Over this recess are fixed three or four upright poles, according to the number of oxen to be employed, united at the top by rollers running on a swivel, and supporting a large framework of boughs and grass, which (Page 233) extends to some distance behind, and is intended as a shelter from the sun. Over each roller are passed two ropes, one fastened to the mouth, and the other to the opposite end, of a sack, formed out of an entire bullock skin. These ropes are attached to oxen, who throw all their weight upon them by descending an inclined plane. A trough formed of wood, and lined with bitumen, or shallow trench coated with matting, is constructed at the bottom of the poles, and leads to a canal running into the fields. When the sack is drawn up to the roller, the ox turns round at the bottom of the inclined plane. The rope attached to the lower part of the bucket being fastened to the back part of the animal, he raises, in turning, the bottom of the sack, and the contents are poured into the trough. As the ox ascends, the bucket is again lowered into the stream. Although this mode of irrigation is very toilsome, and requires the constant labor of several men and animals, it is generally adopted on the banks of the Tigris and Euphrates. In this way all the gardens of Baghdad and Busrah are watered; and by such means the wandering Arabs, who condescend to cultivate - when famine is staring them in the face - raise a little millet to supply their immediate wants.

The principal public quarrels, over which my jurisdiction extended, related to property abstracted, by the Arabs, from one another's tents. These I disposed of in a summary manner, as I had provided myself with handcuffs; and Ibrahim Agha and the bairakdar were always ready to act with energy and decision, to show how much they were devoted to my service. But the domestic dissensions were of a more serious nature, and their adjustment offered far greater difficulties. They related, of course, always to the women. As soon as the workmen saved a few piastres, their thoughts were turned to the purchase of a new wife, a striped cloak, and a spear. To accomplish this, their ingenuity was taxed to the utmost extent. The old wife naturally enough raised objections, and picked a quarrel with the intended bride, which generally ended in an appeal to physical force. Then the fathers and brothers were dragged (Page 234) into the affair; from them it extended to the various branches of the tribe, always anxious to fight for their own honor, and for the honor of their women. At other times, a man repented himself of his bargain, and refused to fulfill it; or a father, finding his future son-in-law increasing in wealth, demanded a higher price for his daughter - a breach of faith which would naturally lead to violent measures on the part of the disappointed lover. Then a workman, who had returned hungry from his work, and found his bread unbaked, or the water-skin still lying empty at the entrance of his tent, or the bundle of fagots for his evening fire yet ungathered, would, in a moment of passion, pronounce three times the awful sentence, and divorce his wife; or, avoiding such extremities, would content himself with inflicting summary punishment with a tent-pole. In the first case he probably repented himself of the act an hour or two afterward, and wished to be remarried; or endeavored to prove that, being an ignorant man, he had mispronounced the formula, or omitted some words both being good grounds to invalidate the divorce, and to obviate the necessity of any fresh ceremonies. But the mullah had to be summoned, witnesses called, and evidence produced. The beating was generally the most expeditious, and really, to the wife, the most satisfactory way of adjusting the quarrel. I had almost nightly to settle such questions as these. Mr. Hormuzd Rassam, who had obtained an immense influence over the Arabs, and was known among all the tribes, was directed to ascertain the merits of the story, and to collect the evidence. When this process had been completed, I summoned the elders, and gave judgment in their presence. The culprit was punished summarily, or, in case of a disputed bargain, was made to pay more, or to refund, as the case required.

When I first employed the Arabs, the women were sorely ill-treated, and subjected to great hardships. I endeavored to introduce some reform into their domestic arrangements, and punished severely those who inflicted corporal chastisement on their wives. In a short time the number of domestic quarrels (Page 235) was greatly reduced; and the women, who were at first afraid to complain of their husbands, now boldly appealed to me for protection. They had, however, some misgivings as to the future, which were thus expressed by a deputation sent to return thanks after an entertainment:- "O Bey! we are your sacrifice. May God reward you! Have we not eaten wheaten bread, and even meat and butter, since we have been under your shadow? Is there one of us that has not now a colored kerchief for her head, bracelets, and ankle rings, and a striped cloak! But what shall we do when you leave us, which God forbid you ever should do? Our husbands will then have their turn, and there will be nobody to help us."

These poor creatures, like all Arab women, were exposed to constant hardships. They were obliged to look after the children, to make the bread, to fetch water, and to cut wood, which they brought home from afar on their heads. Moreover they were intrusted with all the domestic duties, wove their wool and goats' hair into clothes, carpets, and tent-canvas; and were left to strike and raise the tents, and to load and unload the beasts of burden when they changed their encamping ground. If their husbands possessed sheep or cows, they had to drive them to the pastures, and to milk them at night. When moving, they carried their children at their backs during the march, and were even troubled with this burden when employed in their domestic occupations, if the children were too young to be left alone. The men sat indolently by, smoking their pipes, or listening to the gossip of some stray Arab of the desert. At first the women, whose husbands encamped on the mound, brought water from the river; but I relieved them from this labor by employing horses and donkeys. The weight of a large sheep or goat's skin filled with water, is not inconsiderable. It is hung on the back by cords strapped over the shoulders, and upon it is frequently seated the child, who cannot be left in the tent, or is unable to follow its mother on foot. The bundles of fire-wood, brought from a considerable distance, were enormous, completely concealing the head and shoulders of those who tottered beneath (Page 236) them. And yet the women worked cheerfully, and it was seldom that their husbands had to complain of their idleness. Some were more active than others. There was a young girl named Hadla, who particularly distinguished herself, and was consequently sought in marriage by all the men. Her features were handsome, and her form erect, and exceedingly graceful. She carried the largest burdens, was never unemployed, and was accustomed, when she had finished the work imposed upon her by her mother, to assist her neighbors in completing theirs.

The dinners or breakfasts (for the meal comprised both) of the Arab workmen, were brought to them at the mound, about eleven o'clock, by the younger children. Few had more than a loaf of millet bread, or millet made into a kind of paste, to satisfy their hunger; - wheaten bread was a luxury. Sometimes their wives had found time to gather a few herbs, which were boiled in water with a little salt, and sent in wooden bowls; and in spring, curds and sour milk occasionally accompanied their bread. The little children, who carried their father's or brother's portion, came merrily along, and sat smiling on the edge of the trenches, or stood gazing in wonder at the sculptures, until they were sent back with the empty platters and bowls. The working parties eat together in the trenches in which they had been employed. A little water, drank out of a large jar, was their only beverage. Yet they were happy and joyous. The joke went round; or, during the short time they had to rest, one told a story, which, if not concluded at a sitting, was resumed on the following day. Sometimes a pedler from Mosul, driving before him his donkey, laden with raisins or dried dates, would appear on the mound. Buying up his store, I would distribute it among the men. This largess created an immense deal of satisfaction and enthusiasm, which any one, not acquainted with the character of the Arab, might have thought almost more than equivalent to the consideration.

The Arabs are naturally hospitable and generous. If one of the workmen was wealthy enough to buy a handful of raisins, or a piece of camel's or sheep's flesh, or if he had a cow, which (Page 237) occasionally yielded him butter or sour milk, he would immediately call his friends together to partake of his feast. I was frequently invited to such entertainments; the whole dinner, perhaps, consisting of half a dozen dates or raisins spread out wide, to make the best show, upon a corn-sack; a pat of butter upon a corner of a flat loaf; and a few cakes of dough baked in the ashes. And yet the repast was ushered in with every solemnity; - the host turned his dirty keffiah, or head kerchief, and his cloak, in order to look clean and smart; appearing both proud of the honor conferred upon him, and of his means to meet it in a proper fashion.

I frequently feasted the workmen, and sometimes their wives and daughters were invited to separate entertainments, as they would not eat in public with the men. Generally of an evening, after the labors of the day were finished, some Kurdish musicians would stroll to the village with their instruments, and a dance would be commenced, which lasted through the greater part of the night. Sheikh Abd-ur-rahman, or some sheikh of a neighboring tribe, occasionally joined us; or an Arab from the Khabour, or from the more distant tribes of the desert, would pass through Nimroud, and entertain a large circle of curious and excited listeners with stories of recent fights, plundering expeditions, or the murder of a chief. I endeavored, as far as it was in my power, to create a good feeling among all, and to obtain their willing co-operation in my work. I believe that I was to some extent successful.

The Tiyari diggers resided chiefly on the mound, where I had built a large hut for them. A few only returned at night to the village. Many of them had brought their wives from the mountains. The women made bread, and cooked for all. Two of the men walked to the village of Tel Yakoub, or to Mosul, on Saturday evening, to fetch flour for the whole party, and returned before the work of the day began on Monday morning; for they would not journey on the Sabbath. They kept their holydays and festivals with as much rigor as they kept the Sunday. On these days they assembled (Page 238) on the mound or in the trenches; and one of the priests or deacons (for there were several among the workmen) repeated prayers, or led a hymn or chant. I often watched these poor creatures, as they reverentially knelt - their heads uncovered - under the great bulls, celebrating the praises of Him whose temples the worshipers of those frowning idols had destroyed, - whose power they had mocked. It was the triumph of truth over paganism. Never had triumph been more forcibly illustrated than by those who now bowed down in the crumbling halls of the Assyrian kings.

I experienced some difficulty in settling disputes between the Arabs and the Tiyari, which frequently threatened to finish in bloodshed. The Mussulmans were always ready, on the slightest provocation, to bestow upon the Chaldeans the abuse usually reserved in the East for Christians. But the hardy mountaineers took these things differently from the humble Rayahs of the plain, and retorted with epithets very harsh to a Mohammedan's ear. This, of course, led to the drawing of sabers and priming of matchlocks; and it was not until I had inflicted a few summary punishments, that some check was placed upon these disorders.

On Sunday, sheep were slain for the Tiyari workmen, and they feasted during the afternoon. When at night there were music and dances, they would sometimes join the Arabs; but generally performed a quiet dance with their own women, with more decorum, and less vehemence, than their more excitable companions.

As for myself I rose at daybreak, and, after a hasty breakfast, rode to the mound. Until night I was engaged in drawing the sculptures, copying and molding the inscriptions, and superintending the excavations; and the removal and packing of the bas-reliefs. On my return to the village, I was occupied till past midnight in comparing the inscriptions with the paper impressions, in finishing drawings, and in preparing for the work of the following day. Such was our manner of life during the excavations at Nimroud; and I owe an apology to (Page 239) the reader for entering into such details. They may, however, be interesting as illustrative of the character of the genuine Arab, with whom the traveler is seldom brought so much into contact as I have been.

Early in December a sufficient number of bas-reliefs were collected for another raft, and I consequently rode into Mosul to make preparations for sending a second cargo to Baghdad. I had soon procured all that was necessary for the purpose; and loading a small raft with spars and skins for the construction of a larger, and with mats and felts for packing the sculptures, I returned to Nimroud.

The raft men having left Mosul late in the day, and not reaching the awai until after nightfall, were afraid to cross the dam in the dark; they therefore tied the raft to the shore, and went to sleep. They were attacked during the night, and plundered. I appealed to the authorities, but in vain. The Arabs of the desert, they said, were beyond their reach. If this robbery passed unnoticed, the remainder of my property, and even my person, might run some risk. Besides, I did not relish the reflection, that the mats and felts destined for my sculptures were now furnishing the tents of some Arab sheikh. Three or four days elapsed before I ascertained who were the robbers. They belonged to a small tribe encamped at some distance from Nimroud - notorious in the country for their thieving propensities, and the dread of my Jebours, whose cattle were continually disappearing in a very mysterious fashion. Having learned the position of their tents, I started off one morning at dawn, accompanied by Ibrahim Agha, the bairakdar, and a horseman, who was in my service. We reached the encampment after a long ride, and found the number of the Arabs to be greater than I had expected. The arrival of strangers drew together a crowd, which gathered round the tent of the sheikh, where I seated myself. A slight bustle was apparent in the women's department. I soon perceived that attempts were being made to hide various ropes and felts, the ends of which, protruding from under the canvas, I (Page 240) had little difficulty in recognizing. "Peace be with you!" said I, addressing the sheikh, who showed by his countenance that he was not altogether ignorant of the object of my visit. "Your health and spirits are, please God, good. We have long been friends, although it has never yet been my good fortune to see you. I know the laws of friendship; that which is my property is your property, and the contrary. But there are a few things, such as mats, felts, and ropes, which come from afar, and are very necessary to me, while they can be of little use to you; otherwise God forbid that I should ask for them. You will greatly oblige me by giving these things to me." "As I am your sacrifice, O Bey," answered he,. "no such things as mats, felts, or ropes were ever in my tents (I observed a new rope supporting the principal pole). Search, and if such things be found, we give them to you willingly." "Wallah! the sheikh has spoken the truth," exclaimed all the by-standers." That is exactly what I want to ascertain; and as this is a matter of doubt, the pashaw must decide between us," replied I, making a sign to the bairakdar, who had been duly instructed how to act. In a moment he had handcuffed the sheikh, and, jumping on his horse, dragged the Arab, at an uncomfortable pace, out of the encampment. "Now, my sons," said I, mounting leisurely, "I have found a part of that which I wanted; you must search for the rest." They looked at one another in amazement. One man, more bold than the rest, was about to seize the bridle of my horse; but the weight of Ibrahim Agha's courbatch across his back, drew his attention to another object. Although the Arabs were well armed, they were too much surprised to make any attempt at resistance; or perhaps they feared too much for their sheikh, still jolting away at an uneasy pace in the iron grasp of the bairakdar, who had put his horse to a brisk trot, and held his pistol cocked in one hand. The women, swarming out of the tents, now took part in the matter. Gathering round my horse, they kissed the tails of my coat and my shoes, making the most dolorous supplications. I was not to be moved, however; and (Page 241) extricating myself with difficulty from the crowd, I rejoined the bairakdar, who was hurrying on his prisoner with evident good-will.

The sheikh had already made himself well known to the authorities by his dealings with the villages, and there was scarcely a man in the country who could not bring forward a specious claim against him - either for a donkey, a horse, a sheep, or a copper kettle. He was consequently most averse to an interview with the pashaw, and looked with evident horror on the prospect of a journey to Mosul. I added considerably to his alarm, by dropping a few friendly hints on the advantage of the dreary subterraneous lock up house under the governor's palace, and of the pillory and sticks. By the time he reached Nimroud, he was fully alive to his fate, and deemed it prudent to make a full confession. He sent an Arab to his tents; and next morning an ass appeared in my court-yard bearing the missing property, with the addition of a lamb and a kid, by way of a conciliatory offering. I dismissed the sheikh with a lecture, and had afterward no reason to complain of him or of his tribe, - nor indeed of any tribes in the neighborhood; for the story got abroad, and was invested with several horrible facts in addition, which could only be traced to the imagination of the Arabs, but which served to produce the effect I desired - a proper respect for my property.

During the winter Mr. Longworth, and two other English travelers, visited me at Nimroud. They were the only Europeans (except Mr. Ross), who saw the ruins when uncovered.[9.22]

I was riding home from the ruins one evening with Mr. Longworth. The Arabs returning from their day's work were following a flock of sheep belonging to the people of the village, shouting their war-cry, flourishing their swords, and indulging in the most extravagant gesticulations. My friend, less acquainted with the excitable temperament of the children of the desert than myself, was somewhat amazed at these (Page 242) violent proceedings, and desired to learn their cause. I asked one of the most active of the party. "O Bey," they exclaimed almost all together, "God be praised, we have eaten butter and wheaten bread under your shadow, and are content - but an Arab is an Arab. It is not for a man to carry about dirt in baskets, and to use a spade all his life; he should be with his sword and his mare in the desert. We are sad as we think of the days when we plundered the Aneyza, and we must have excitement, or our hearts would break. Let us then believe that these are the sheep we have taken from the enemy, and that we are driving them to our tents!" And off they ran, raising their wild cry and flourishing their swords, to the no small alarm of the shepherd, who, seeing his sheep scampering in all directions, did not seem inclined to enter into the joke.

By the middle of December, a second cargo of sculptures was ready to be sent to Baghdad. I was again obliged to have recourse to the buffalo-carts of the pashaw; and as none of the bas-reliefs and objects to be moved were of great weight, these rotten and unwieldy vehicles could be patched up for the occasion. On Christmas-day I had the satisfaction of seeing a raft, bearing twenty-three cases, in one of which was the obelisk, floating down the river. I watched them until they were out of sight, and then galloped into Mosul to celebrate the festivities of the season, with the few Europeans whom duty or business had collected in this remote corner of the globe.

[9.1] These bas-reliefs are in the British Museum.

[9.2] 2 Kings 18:17; Jeremiah 39:3

[9.3] "Now, therefore, I pray thee, give pledges to my lord the king of Assyria, and I will deliver thee two thousand horses, if thou be able on thy part to set riders upon them." 2 Kings 18:23.

[9.4] Habakkuk 1:8.

[9.5] Job 39:19.

[9.6] 2 Chron. 26:15, and Josephus lib. ix. c. 10.

[9.7] 2 Kings 17:6.

[9.8] Lib. ix. c. 61.

[9.9] Ezekiel 27:20.

[9.10] 1 Esdras 3:6; Xenophon, Cyrop. lib. i. c. 3.

[9.11] Isaiah 22:7

[9.12] Isaiah 22:6.

[9.13] 2 Chron. 1:14; Isaiah 22

[9.14] Judges 1:19, and 4:3.

[9.15] Herod. lib. vii. ch. 56, in which Xerxes is described as seeing his troops driven by blows over the bridge across the Hellespont; it was also the custom for the officers to carry whips to urge the soldiers to the combat: lib. vii. ch. 223.

[9.16] Anab. lib iii ch 8. "Fidentemque fuga Parthum, versisque sagittis." Virg. Georg. 3. and Hor. Carm. lib. i. ode xix.

[9.17] Chamber I, plan 3.

[9.18] This bas-relief is in the British Museum.

[9.19] This animal is a native of the great steppes inhabited by the Tatar tribes. It is almost unknown to the Arabs, and is rarely seen to the west of Persia, except among a few isolated families of Turcomans who now pitch their tents in the north of Syria, and probably brought this camel with them on their first migration.

[9.20] This monument is now in the British Museum.

[9.21] Now in the British Museum.

[9.22] Mr. Seymour was also with me at Nimroud, but before the excavations were in an advanced stage.

Chapter 10

(Page 243) As I was drawing one morning at the mound, Ibrahim Agha came to me, with his eyes full of tears, and announced the death of Tahyar Pashaw. The cawass had followed the fortunes of the late Governor of Mosul almost since childhood, and was looked upon as a member of his family. Like other Turks of his class, he had been devoted to the service of his patron, and was treated more like a companion than a servant. In no country in the world are ties of this nature more close than in Turkey; nowhere does there exist a better feeling between the master and the servant, and the master and the slave.

I was much grieved at the sudden death of Tahyar; for he was a man of gentle and kindly manners, just and considerate in his government, and of considerable information and learning for a Turk. The cause of his death showed his integrity. His troop had plundered a friendly tribe, falsely represented to him as rebellious by his principal officers, who were anxious to have an opportunity of enriching themselves with the spoil. When he learned the truth, and that the tribe, so far from being hostile, were peaceably pasturing their flocks on the banks of the Khabour, he exclaimed, "You have destroyed my house" (i.e. its honor); and, without speaking again, died of a broken heart. He was buried in the court-yard of the principal mosque at Mardin. A simple but elegant tomb, surrounded by (Page 244) 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 among 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 pashaw, or take other steps for the administration of affairs. Essad Pashaw, who had lately been at Beyrout, was at length appointed to succeed Tahyar, and soon after reached his pashawlic. 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 endeavors 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 (Page 245) 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 (Page 246) chamber on the south side of the palace,[10.1] 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 center of the palace was a great hall, nearly square, with entrances on the four sides formed by colossal human-headed lions and bulls. The slabs which paneled 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.[10.2] 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 scepter 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, (Page 247) and the feather above it, were enameled 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 characterized 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.[10.3] 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[10.4] were inscriptions containing the name of the king who built the Khorsabad palace. They had been (Page 248) 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 center 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 paneled 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 sun-dried 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 nearly 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 (Page 249) painted. I explored three rooms, and part of a fourth on the southern side of this building.

It is probable that there were four similar groups of' chambers, facing the cardinal points. In front of the southern entrance,[10.5] was a large square slab with slightly raised edges, similar to those frequently found in the N. W. palace. On two sides of it were narrow pieces of alabaster, forming parallel lines, which I can only compare to the rails of a railroad. I can not form any conjecture as to their use. The rooms had been more than once painted, and two distinct coats of plaster were visible on the walls. The outer coating, when carefully detached, left the under, on which the designs were different.

(Page 250) The painted ornaments were remarkable for their elegance. The Assyrian bull was frequently introduced, sometimes with wings, sometimes without. Above the animals was a border resembling the battlements of castles in the sculptures, and below, forming a kind of cornice, squares and circles, tastefully arranged The colors were blue, red, white, yellow, and black; and although thus limited in number, were arranged with much taste and skill, the contrasts being carefully preserved, and the combinations generally agreeable to the eye. The pale yellow ground, on which the designs were painted, resembled the tint on the walls of Egyptian monuments; and a strong well-defined black outline is a peculiar feature in Assyrian as in Egyptian painting, in the ornaments described, black frequently combining with white alone, or alternating with other colors.

But the most important discovery, connected with these upper chambers, was that of the pavement slabs at two entrances. The inscriptions upon them contained the names of several kings, most of which were new, and are of the greatest interest, as adding to the list of monarchs of the earliest dynasty.[10.6]

I could not ascertain whether there were any chambers, or remains of buildings, beneath this upper edifice; or whether it was a tower constructed on the solid outer wall. A deep trench was opened on the eastern side of it, and, about twenty feet below the surface, a pavement of brick and several square slabs of alabaster were uncovered; but these remains did not throw any light upon the nature of the building above; nor were they sufficient to show that the N. W. palace had been carried under it. To the south of it there were no remains of building, the platform of unbaked bricks being continued up to the level of the flooring of the chambers.

In the center of the mound, I had in vain endeavored to find the walls and other remains of the palace which must at one time have stood there. Except the colossal bulls, the obelisk, (Page 251) two winged figures, and a few fragments of yellow limestone, which appeared to have formed part of a gigantic bull or lion, no sculptures had yet been discovered there. Excavations to the south of the bulls disclosed a tomb built of bricks and closed by a slab of alabaster. It was about five feet in length, and scarcely more than eighteen inches in breadth in the interior. On removing the lid, parts of a skeleton were exposed to view; the skull and some of the larger bones were still entire; but soon crumbled into dust. A vase of reddish clay, with a long narrow neck, stood near the body, in a dish of such delicate fabric, that I had great difficulty in moving it entire. Over the mouth of the vase was placed a bowl or cup, also of red clay. In the dust, which had accumulated round the skeleton, were found beads and small ornaments of opaque-colored glass, agate, cornelian, and amethyst. A small crouching lion of lapis lazuli, pierced on the back, had been attached to the end of the necklace. With the beads was a cylinder, on which was represented the king in his chariot, hunting the wild bull, as in the bas-relief from the N. W. palace; a copper ornament resembling a modern seal, two bracelets of silver, and a pin for the hair. These remains show the tomb to be that of a female.

On digging beyond this tomb, I found others, similarly constructed, and of the same size. In them were vases of highly glazed green pottery, elegant in shape, and in perfect preservation, copper mirrors, and copper lustral spoons.[10.7]

I was surprised to find, about five feet beneath these tombs, the remains of a building. Walls of unbaked bricks could still be traced; but the alabaster slabs, with which they had been paneled, had been removed, and were heaped on the pavement. Slab succeeded to slab; and when I had removed nearly twenty tombs, and had cleared a space about fifty feet square, the ruins presented a very singular appearance. Above (Page 252) one hundred slabs were uncovered, placed in rows, one against the other, like the leaves of a gigantic book. Every slab was sculptured; and as they followed each other according to the subjects upon them, it was evident that they had been moved, in the order in which they stood, from their original positions; and had been left as found, preparatory to their removal elsewhere. That they had not been thus collected prior to their arrangement against the walls, was evident from the fact, proved beyond a doubt by repeated observation, that the Assyrians sculptured the slabs, with the exception of the great bulls and lions, after they had been placed. The slabs had also been split, if I may be allowed the expression, in order to reduce their dimensions, and render them more easily transportable. To the south of the center bulls were two colossal figures, similar to those discovered to the north.

The bas-reliefs resembled, in many respects, some of those discovered in the S. W. palace, in which the sculptured faces of the slabs were turned, it will be remembered, toward the walls of unbaked brick. It would appear, therefore, that the one building had been destroyed, to supply materials for the construction of the other. But here were tombs over the ruins. The edifice had perished, and in the rubbish accumulating above its remains, a people, whose funereal vases and ornaments were nearly identical with those found in the catacombs of Egypt had buried their dead. What race, then, occupied the country after the destruction of the Assyrian palaces? At what period were these tombs made? What antiquity did their presence assign to the buildings beneath them? It is difficult to answer these questions. The tombs undoubtedly prove that the Assyrian edifices were overthrown and buried at a very remote period. The Egyptian character of the pottery, beads, and ornaments, is very remarkable, and would seem to indicate that those who were buried at Nimroud came from Egypt, or were closely connected with that country. The mode of sepulture is, however, undoubtedly not Egyptian; it is, on the (Page 253) contrary, that which prevailed throughout Assyria and Babylonia during an epoch yet unfixed. It resembles in some respects that adopted by the early Persians, - Cyrus and Darius having been buried in sarcophagi or troughs. All we can at present assert is, that these tombs prove the remote period of the utter destruction of the palaces.

The subjects of the sculptures thus found collected together with the exception of a few colossal figures of the king and his attendant eunuchs, and of the winged priests or divinities, were principally battle-pieces and sieges. Some cities were represented as standing on a river, in the midst of groves of date-trees, and among the conquered people were warriors mounted on camels. It may be inferred, therefore, that one series of these bas-reliefs recorded the conquest of an Arab nation, or perhaps of a part of Babylonia - the inhabitants of the cities being assisted by auxiliaries, from the neighboring desert. The conquered races, as in the bas-reliefs of the N. W. palace, (Page 255) were generally without armor or helmets, their hair falling loosely on their shoulders. Some, however, wore helmets, which varied in shape from those of the conquerors.

Battering-rams also differed in form from those represented in the earlier sculptures. The besieged castles, like those of the Assyrians, appear to have been built upon artificial mounds. The battering-ram was rolled up to the walls on an inclined plane constructed of earth, stones, and trees, which appears to have been sometimes paved with bricks or squared stones, to facilitate the ascent of the engine. This mode of besieging a city, as well as the various methods of attack portrayed in the sculptures, are frequently alluded to in Scripture. Ezekiel,[10.8] prophesying of Jerusalem, exclaims, "Lay siege against it, and build a fort against it, and cast a mound against it; set the camp also against, and set battering rams against it round about :" and Isaiah, "Thus saith the Lord concerning the King of Assyria: he shall not come into this city, nor shoot an arrow there, nor come before it with shields, nor cast a bank against it."[10.9] The shields mentioned by the prophet are probably those of wicker work, represented in the (Page 256) bas-reliefs as covering the whole person and resting on the ground. Some of the battering-rams were not provided with towers for armed men, and some were without wheels; the latter were probably "the forts" which Nebuchadnezzar built round about Jerusalem.[10.10] These forts appear to have been mere temporary erections of wood and wicker-work; and the Jews were expressly forbidden to use for the purpose trees affording sustenance to man, - "only the trees which thou knowest that they be not trees for meat, thou shalt destroy and cut them down: and thou shalt build bulwarks against the city that maketh war with thee, until it be subdued."[10.11] Ezekiel, in prophesying the destruction of Tyre by Nebuchadnezzar, has faithfully recorded the events of an Assyrian siege, and the treatment of the conquered people; his description illustrates in a remarkable manner, the bas-reliefs of Nimroud:-

"Thus saith the Lord God; Behold, I will bring upon Tyrus Nebuchadrezzar king of Babylon, a king of kings, from the north, with horses, and with chariots, and with horsemen, and companies, and much people. He shall slay with the sword thy daughters in the field: and he shall make a fort against thee, and cast a mount against thee, and lift up the buckler against thee. And he shall set engines of war against thy walls, and with his axes he shall break down thy towers. By reason of the abundance of his horses, their dust shall cover thee: thy walls shall shake at the noise of the horsemen, and of the wheels, and of the chariots, when he shall enter into thy gates, as men enter into a city wherein is made a breach. With the hoofs of his horses shall he tread down all thy streets: he shall slay thy people by the sword, and thy strong garrisons shall go down to the ground. And they shall make a spoil of thy riches, and make a prey of thy merchandise: and they shall break down thy walls, and destroy thy pleasant houses: and they shall lay thy stones and thy timber and thy dust in the midst of the water."[10.12]

(Page 257) The battering ram appears to have been directed by men within the framework, which was frequently covered with drapery or hides, ornamented with fringes and even with devices.

On two slabs was a bas relief of considerable interest, representing the sack of a city.[10.13] The conquerors were seen carrying away the spoil, and two eunuchs, standing near the gates, wrote down with a pen on rolls of some pliable material, probably a kind of paper or leather, the number of sheep and cattle driven away by the soldiers. In the lower part of the bas relief, were (Page 258) carts drawn by oxen, carrying women and children. Near the gates were two battering-rams, which, the city having been taken, were no longer at work.

Among other bas-reliefs may be mentioned the king seated on his throne, receiving prisoners with their arms bound behind them; eunuchs registering the heads of the enemy, laid at their feet by the conquerors; idols borne on the shoulders of men; and a walled city, standing on the sea, or on a river.

The spoil represented in these bas-reliefs as carried away from the conquered nations, consisted chiefly of cattle, sheep, (Page 259) and camels. The cattle were evidently of two kinds, probably the buffalo and common ox, distinguished in the sculptures by horns curved toward the back of the head, and horns projecting in front. The sheep also appear to have been of two species; that with the broad tail is still found in the country, and is described by Herodotus as peculiar to (Page 260) Mesopotamia.[10.14] The goats have long spiral horns. The camel is faithfully delineated. This valuable animal formed at the remotest period the riches of the inhabitants of Assyria and Arabia, and was no doubt by them, as it still is by the Arab, ranked among the most desirable objects of plunder. It was used even in those days by couriers, and for posts, and flocks of them were possessed by Abraham and Jacob.[10.15]

To the east of the center bulls several slabs were discovered, still standing in their original position. The lower part of the bas-reliefs alone remained, the upper having been completely destroyed. They represented colossal winged figures, carrying the usual square vessel, and sacred flowers of various forms.

The only part of the S. W. palace sufficiently well preserved to give any idea of its original form, was one large hall curiously constructed. It had two entrances, formed by human-headed bulls and lions sculptured in a coarse gray limestone; and, in the center, was a portal (also formed by winged bulls), in a kind of partition, which divides the hall into four distinct parts, but appears to have been merely intended to support beams for the roof. Between the bulls forming the center portal were a pair of sphinxes.

The whole of this hall was paneled with slabs brought from other buildings. Some, and by far the greater number, were from the N. W., others from the center, palace. But there were many bas-reliefs which differed greatly, in the style of art, from the sculptures discovered in both these ruins. From whence they were obtained I am unable to determine; whether from a palace of another period once existing at Nimroud, and still concealed in a part of the mound not explored, or from some edifice in the neighborhood.

All the walls had been exposed to fire, and, the slabs nearly reduced to lime, were too much injured to bear removal. They (Page 261) were not all sculptured; the bas-reliefs being scattered here and there, and always turned toward the wall of sun-dried brick.

Among the most interesting bas-reliefs discovered were the following:- A king seated on his throne, receiving his vizier, and surrounded by his attendants, within the walls of a castle; a warrior wearing a crested helmet on a rearing horse, asking quarter of Assyrian horsemen; a spearman on horseback hunting the wild bull; the king of the N.W. palace in his chariot fighting (Page 262) with the enemy; the siege of a castle, in which was represented a bucket attached to a pulley; a pair of human headed bulls in low relief; and a king placing his foot on the neck of a captive, and raising a spur in his right hand, the only instance in which he is represented with this weapon - a bas-relief illustrating the passage of Scripture which describes the captains of Israel placing their feet upon the necks of the captive kings: "And it came to pass, when they brought out those kings unto Joshua, that Joshua called for all the men of Israel, and said unto the captains of the men of war which went with him, Come near, and put your feet upon the necks of these kings. And they (Page 263) came near, and put their feet upon the necks of them."[10.16] To make "a footstool of mine enemies" is a common biblical expression of triumph. A procession of warriors carrying away the idols of a conquered nation, was highly interesting on account of the figures of the gods. The first was that of a female seated on a high backed chair, holding a ring in one hand, and a kind of fan in the other. Her face was in full, and she wore the horned cap surmounted by a star. The next figure was also that of a seated female, wearing a similar cap, and holding a ring in one hand. The third was partly concealed by a screen placed on a chair; and the fourth was that of a man walking, raising an ax in one hand, and grasping an object resembling the conventional thunderbolt of the Greek Jove in the other. The female figures may be those of Hera and Rhea, who were worshipped in the temple of Babylon; while the god may be identified with Baal or Belus, the supreme deity of the Semitic races, who, according to Diodorus Siculus, was represented in the act of walking. This bas-relief illustrates more than one passage in the Bible. Hosea prophesied that the idol of Samaria should be carried away by the Assyrians;[10.17] and Jeremiah declares that the Babylonians should burn the gods of the Egyptians, and carry them away captive. [10.18] In the epistle supposed to have been written by the prophet Jeremiah to the captive Jews, to warn them against the idolatries of the Babylonians, we find the following remarkable description of the gods represented in the Assyrian sculptures. "Now shall ye see, in Babylon, gods of silver, and of gold, and of wood, borne upon shoulders. And he that can not put to death one that offendeth him, holdeth a scepter, as though he were a judge of the country. He hath also in his right hand a dagger and an ax."[10.19] We learn from the same epistle that these idols were of wood laid over with gold, and that parts of them were polished by the workmen, that crowns were placed on their heads, that they were decked (Page 264) out in garments and purple raiment, and that fires or lamps were kept burning before them. Jeremiah describes the gods of the heathen as cut out of a tree of the forest, decked with silver and gold, fastened with nails, and with blue and purple garments.[10.20] The star above the horned-cap of the figures in the bas-relief appears to point to an astral system personified in the idols; and it is to this custom of placing the star above the head of the god to which the prophet Amos probably alludes, when he condemns the house of Israel for having "borne the tabernacle of Moloch and Chiun, their images and the star of their god, which they had made for themselves."[10.21]

Some of the sculptures had been carefully erased, and only a few traces of the figures remained. Several of the bas-reliefs were accompanied by descriptive inscriptions; and on the pavement was discovered a tablet recording the conquests of a king whose name occurs in no other ruins yet discovered, and to whom no place can yet be assigned in the Assyrian royal lists.

The three entrances to the south of the palace appear to have led into a magnificent hall, about 220 feet in length, the northern entrance to which was also formed by a pair of human headed bulls. The side walls had in some places completely disappeared, and the sculptures which were still standing had all suffered more or less from the conflagration and subsequent long exposure to the atmosphere.

As the level of the S. W. palace was considerably above that of the N. W., and as the site of many sculptures in it had not been discovered, it appeared to me possible that it had been built over the ruins of some more ancient building. By way of experiment, therefore, I directed long and very deep trenches to be opened in three different directions: nothing, however, was found, but a box or square hole, twenty feet beneath the surface, formed by bricks carefully fitted together, and containing several small idols in unbaked clay. They (Page 265) were bearded figures, wearing high, pointed miters, and had probably been placed, for some religious purpose, beneath the foundations of the building. Objects somewhat similar, and in the same material, were discovered at Khorsabad, under the pavement slabs, between the great bulls.

Near the southern entrance to the great hall was found, amid a mass of charred wood and charcoal, and beneath a fallen slab, part of a beam in good preservation, apparently of mulberry wood.

It may be inferred that a very long interval intervened between the time of the construction of the N. W. and of the S. W. palaces. A considerable period must have elapsed before a monarch destroyed the monuments of his predecessors to raise out of the materials a new habitation for himself or his divinities. It is highly probable that some great change had taken place before such an event could have happened, - that a new dynasty of kings had ejected the older family; and that, as conquerors, they had introduced a new element into the nation. There are remarkable differences in the costume of the king, the forms of the chariots, the trappings of the horses, and the arms and armor of the warriors, which further tend to prove that some such change had taken place in Assyria between the destruction of the N. W. palace at Nimroud and the erection of that at Khorsabad. The state of art, as shown in the treatment of the sculptures, in their forms and in their ornaments, differed materially during the two periods, and points to a very great change in manners, the state of civilization, and religion.

The southeast corner of the mound, which was considerably above the level of any other part, appears to have been the principal burying place of those who occupied the country after the destruction of the Assyrian palaces. Beside the two tombs already described, many others were subsequently discovered there. The sarcophagi were mostly of the same shape, that of a dish cover; but there were other tombs constructed of bricks well fitted together and covered by a slab, similar to those about the ruins in the center of the mound. In nearly all were (Page 266) earthen vases, copper and silver ornaments, and small alabaster bottles. The skeletons, as soon as uncovered, crumbled to pieces, although entire when first exposed, and one skull alone has been preserved. Scattered among these tombs were vases of all sizes, lamps, and small objects of pottery, some uninjured, others broken into fragments.[10.22]

Removing the tombs I discovered beneath them the remains of a building, and explored seven chambers. No sculptures or inscriptions were found in them; the lower part of the walls being paneled with plain slabs of limestone, three feet seven inches high, and from two to three feet wide, and the upper being of sun-dried bricks, covered by a thick coat of white plaster.

In the rubbish, near the bottom of the chambers, were found several small objects; among them a female head in white alabaster, now in the British Museum.

It only remains for me to mention a singular discovery on the eastern face of the mound near its northern extremity. A trench having been opened from the outer slope, the workmen came upon a small vaulted chamber, about ten feet high, and the same in width, fifteen feet below the level of the mound, and in the center of a wall of sun-dried bricks, nearly fifty feet thick. The arch was built of baked bricks. The chamber was filled with rubbish, the greater part of which was a kind of slag, and the bricks forming the vault and walls were almost vitrified, evidently from exposure to very intense heat. The chamber had thus the appearance of a large furnace for making glass, or fusing metal. I am unable to account for its use, as there was no access to it, as far as I could ascertain from any side.

Much, of course, remained to be explored in the ruins; but with the limited means at my disposal, I was unable to pursue my researches to the extent that I could have wished. If, after carrying a trench to a reasonable depth and distance, no (Page 267) remains of sculpture or inscription were discovered, I abandoned it, and renewed the experiment elsewhere. I could thus ascertain whether any very extensive edifice was still standing. There were too many tangible objects in view to warrant an outlay in excavations promising no immediate results; and a great part of the mound of Nimroud was left to be explored, when the ruins of Assyria should be further examined.

[10.1] In chamber L (plan 3). 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.

[10.2] One of these figures is in the British Museum.

[10.3] Compare 1 Kings 10:18, and 22:39; Psalms 45:8; Amos 3:15, and 6:4.

[10.4] Chamber U.

[10.5] Entrance a, Plan 4.

[10.6] One of these slabs is in the British Museum.

[10.7] Most of the small objects discovered in the tombs, and described in the text, are now in the British Museum.

[10.8] Ch. iv. 2.

[10.9] Isaiah 37:33; compare 2 Kings 19:32; Jeremiah 32:24, and 33:4; Ezekiel 17:17

[10.10] Jeremiah 52:4.

[10.11] Deut. 20:19, 20.

[10.12] Ezek. 26:7-12.

[10.13] Now in the British Museum.

[10.14] Lib. iii. c. 113. This broad tail is mentioned in Leviticus 3:9, 7:3, where it is rendered "rump."

[10.15] Esther 8:10, 14; Genesis 12:16, 30:43; and compare Genesis 24:19, 31:34; 1 Samuel 30:17.

[10.16] Joshua 10:24.

[10.17] Chapter 10:6

[10.18] Chapter 43:12.

[10.19] That the Jews looked upon this Epistle as genuine, may be inferred from the reference to it in 2 Maccab. 11:2, 3.

[10.20] Chapter 10:4, 9.

[10.21] Chapter 5:26.

[10.22] Many of the small objects are in the British Museum.

Chapter 11

(Page 268) I had long wished to excavate in the mounds of Kalah Sherghat, which rivaled in extent those of Nimroud and Kouyunjik. An Arab, from the Shammar Bedouins, would occasionally spend a night among my workmen, and entertain them with accounts of idols and sculptured figures of giants, which had long been the cause of wonder and awe to the wandering tribes, who pitch their tents near the place. On my first visit I had searched in vain for such remains; but the Arabs, who are accustomed to seek for pasture during the spring in the neighborhood, persisted in their assertions, and offered to show me where these strange statues, carved, it was said, in black stone, were to be found. Scarcely a ruin in Mesopotamia is without its wondrous tale of apparitions and Frank idols, and I concluded that these sculptures only existed in the fertile imagination of the Arabs. As the vicinity of Kalah Sherghet is notoriously dangerous, being a place of rendezvous for plundering parties of the Shammar, Aneyza, and Obeid Bedouins, I had deferred a visit to the spot, until I could remain there for a short time, under the protection of some powerful tribe. This safeguard was also absolutely necessary in the event of my sending workmen to excavate.

There being no pasture in the neighborhood of Mosul this year, on account of the want of rain, the three great divisions of the Jebour Arabs sought the jungles on the banks of the Tigris. Abd'rubbou with his tribe descended the river, and first pitching his tents at Senidij, near the confluence of the Tigris (Page 269) and the Zab, subsequently moved toward Kalah Sherghat. I thought this a favorable time for excavating in the great mound; and the sheikh having promised to supply me with Arabs for the work, and with guards for their defense, I sent Mansour, one of my superintendents, to the spot. I followed some days afterward, accompanied by Mr. Hormuzd Rassam, the bairakdar, and several well armed men, chosen from among the Jebours who were employed at Nimroud.

We crossed the Tigris on a small raft, - our horses having to swim the river. Striking into the desert by the Wadi Jehainah, we rode through a tract of land, at this time of year usually covered with vegetation; but then, from the drought, a barren waste. During some hours' ride we scarcely saw any human being, except a solitary shepherd in the distance, driving before him his half-famished flocks. We reached at sunset a small encampment of Jebours. The tents were pitched in the midst of a cluster of high reeds on the banks of the Tigris, and nearly opposite to the tomb of Sultan Abd-Allah. They were so well concealed, that it required the experienced eye of a Bedouin to detect them[11.1] by the thin smoke rising above the thicket. The cattle and sheep found scanty pasturage in a marsh formed by the river. The Arabs were as poor and miserable as their beasts; they received us, however, with hospitality, and killed a very lean lamb for our entertainment.

Near the encampment was a quadrangle, resembling on a small scale the great inclosures of Nimroud and Kouyunjik, formed by low mounds, and evidently marking the site of an Assyrian town or fort. I searched for some time, but without success, for fragments of pottery or brick inscribed with cuneiform characters.

On the following day we passed the bitumen pits, or the "Kiyara," as they are called by the Arabs. They cover a (Page 270) considerable extent of ground; the bitumen bubbling up in springs from crevices in the earth and forming small ponds. The Jebours, and other tribes encamping near the place, carry the bitumen for sale to Mosul, and other parts of the pashawlic. It is extensively used for building purposes, for coating the boats on the river, and particularly for smearing camels, when suffering from certain diseases of the skin to which they are liable. Before leaving the pits, the Arabs, as is their habit, set fire to the bitumen, which sent forth a dense smoke, obscuring the sky, and visible for many miles. We reached the tents of Abd'rubbou early in the afternoon. They were pitched about ten miles to the north of Kalah Sherghat, at the upper end of a long tongue of rich alluvial soil, lying between the river and a range of low hills. The great mound was visible from this spot, rising high above the zor, or jungle, which clothes the banks of the Tigris.

No sheikh could have made a more creditable show of friendship than did Abd'rubbou. He rode out to meet me, and, without delay, ordered sheep enough to be slain to feast half his tribe. I declined, however, to spend the night with him, as he pressed me to do, on the plea that I was anxious to see the result of the excavations at Kalah Sherghat. He volunteered to accompany me to the ruins after we had breakfasted, and declared that if a blade of grass were to be found near the mound, he would move all his tents there immediately for my protection. In the meanwhile, to do me proper honor, he introduced me to his wives, and to his sister, whose beauty I had often heard extolled by the Jebours, and who was not altogether undeserving of her reputation. She was still unmarried. Abd'rubbou himself was one of the handsomest Arabs in Mesopotamia.

We started for the ruins in the afternoon, and rode along the edge of the jungle. Hares, wolves, foxes, jackals, and wild boars continually crossed our path, and game of all kinds seemed to abound. The Arabs gave chase; but the animals were able to enter the thick brushwood, and conceal themselves (Page 271) before my greyhounds could reach them. Lions are sometimes found near Kalah Sherghat, rarely higher up on the Tigris.[11.2] As I floated down to Baghdad a year before, I had heard the roar of a lion not far from this spot: they are, however, seldom seen, and we beat the bushes in vain for such noble game.

As for grass, except in scanty tufts at the foot of the trees in the jungle, there appeared to be none at all. The drought had been felt all over the desert: in the place of the green meadows of last year, covered with flowers, and abounding in natural reservoirs of water, there was a naked yellow waste, in which even the abstemious flocks of the Bedouin could scarcely escape starvation. As we rode along, Abd'rubbou examined every corner and ravine in the hope of finding an encamping place, and a little pasture for his cattle, but his search was not attended with much success.

The workmen on the mound, seeing horsemen approach, made ready for an encounter, under the impression that we were a foraging party from a hostile tribe. As soon, however, as they recognized us, they threw off the few superfluous garments they possessed. Dropping their shirts from their shoulders, and tying them round the waists by the arms, they set up the war-cry, and rushed in and out of the trenches like madmen.

The principal excavations had been made on the western side of the mound. After I had succeeded in obtaining silence, and calming the sudden fit of enthusiasm which had sprung up on my arrival, I descended into the trenches. A sitting figure in black basalt, of the size of life, had been uncovered. It was, however, much mutilated. The head and hands had been destroyed, and other parts of the statue had been injured. The (Page 272) square stool, or block, upon which the figure sat, was covered on three sides with a cuneiform inscription. The first line, containing the name and titles of the king, was almost defaced; but one or two characters enabled me to restore a name, identical with that on the great bulls in the center of the mound at Nimroud. On casting my eye down the first column of the inscription, I found the names of this king's father (the builder of the most ancient palace of Nimroud), and of his grandfather. An Arab soon afterward brought me a brick bearing a short legend, which contained the three names entire. I was thus enabled to fix the comparative epoch of the newly discovered ruins.

The figure, unlike the sculptures of Nimroud and Khorsabad, was in full, and not in relief; and probably represented the king. Part of the beard was still preserved; the hands appear to have rested on the knees, and a long robe, edged with tassels, reached to the ankles. The Arabs declared that this statue (Page 273) had been seen some years before; and it is possible that, at some period of heavy rain, it may have been for a short time exposed to view, and subsequently reburied. It stood on a spur of the mound, and probably in its original position. Mansour had dug trenches at right angles with it on four sides, in the expectation of finding a corresponding figure; but he was disappointed in his search, and no remains of building were discovered near it.[11.3]

In other parts of the mound there were ruins of walls, but we found no more sculptures. Several tombs, similar to those above the palaces of Nimroud, had been opened; and Mansour brought me earthen vases and cups taken from them. He had also picked up, among the rubbish, a few fragments of black stone with small figures in relief, and cuneiform characters, and a piece of copper similarly inscribed.

Having made a hasty survey of the trenches, I rode to my tent, which had been pitched in the midst of those of my workmen. The Arabs had chosen for their encampment a secure place in the jungle at the northern foot of the mound, and not far from the Tigris. A ditch, leading from the river, nearly surrounded the tents, which were completely concealed by the trees and shrubs. Abd'rubbou remained with me for the night. While I was examining the ruins, he had been riding to and fro, to find a convenient spot for his tents, and grass for his cattle. Such is the custom of the Arabs. When the grass, within a certain distance of their encampment, has been exhausted, they prepare to seek new pastures. The sheikhs, and the principal men of the tribe, mount their mares, and ride backward and forward over the face of the country, until they find herbage sufficient for the wants of their flocks. Having fixed on a suitable spot, they return to acquaint their followers with their success, and announce their intention of moving thither on the following morning. The sheikh's tent is generally the first (Page 274) struck; and the rest of the tribe, if they feel inclined, follow his example. If any have cause of complaint against their chief and wish to desert him, they seize this occasion; they leave their tents standing until the others are gone, and then wander in another direction.

Abd'rubbou having, at length, found a convenient site on the banks of the river, to the south of the mound, he marked out a place for his tents, and sent a horseman to his tribe, with orders for them to move to Kalah Sherghat on the following morning. These preliminaries having been settled, he adjourned to my tent to supper. It was cold and damp, and the Arabs, collecting brushwood and trunks of trees, made a great fire, which lighted up the recesses of the jungle. As the night advanced, a violent storm broke over us; the wind rose to a hurricane - the rain descended in torrents - the thunder rolled in one long peal -and vivid streams of lightning, almost incessant, showed the surrounding landscape. When the storm had abated, I walked to a short distance from the tents to gaze upon the scene. The huge fire we had kindled threw a lurid glare over the trees around our encampment. The great mound could be distinguished through the gloom, rising like a distant mountain against the dark sky. From all sides came the melancholy wail of the jackals, who had issued from their subterranean dwellings in the ruins, as soon as the last gleam of twilight was fading in the western horizon. The owl, perched on the old masonry, occasionally sent forth its mournful note. The shrill laugh of the Arabs would sometimes rise above the cry of the jackal. Then all earthly noises were buried in the deep roll of the distant thunder. It was desolation such as those alone who have witnessed such scenes, can know - desolation greater than the desolation of the sandy wastes of Africa: for there was the wreck of man, as well as that of nature.

Soon after sunrise, on the following morning, stragglers on horseback from Abd'rubbou's late encampment, began to arrive. They were soon followed by the main body of the tribe. Long lines of camels, sheep, laden donkeys, men, women, and children, (Page 275) such as I have described in my visit to Sofuk, covered the small plain, near the banks of the river. A scene of activity and bustle ensued. Every one appeared desirous to outdo his neighbor in vehemence of shouting, and violence of action. A stranger would have fancied that there was one general quarrel; in which, out of several hundred men and women concerned, no two persons took the same side of the question. Every one seemed to differ from every one else. All this confusion, however, was but the result of a friendly debate of the site of the respective tents; and when the matter had been settled to the general satisfaction, without recourse to any more violent measures than mere yelling, each family commenced raising their temporary abode. The camels being made to kneel down, and the donkeys to stop in the place fixed upon, their loads were rolled of their backs; The women next spread the black goat-hair canvas. The men rushed about with wooden mallets to drive in the stakes and pegs; and in a few minutes the dwellings, which were to afford them shelter, until they needed shelter no longer, and under which they had lived from their birth upward, were complete. The women and girls were then sent forth to fetch water, or to collect brushwood and dry twigs for fire. The men, leaving all household matters to their wives and daughters, assembled in the tent of the sheikh; and crouching in a circle round the entire trunk of an old tree, which was soon enveloped in flames, they prepared to pass the rest of the day in that desultory small-talk, relating to stolen sheep, stray donkeys, or successful robberies, which fills up the leisure of an Arab, unless he be better employed in plundering or in war.

Leaving Abd'rubbou and his Arabs to pitch their tents and settle their domestic matters, I walked to the mound. The trenches dug by the workmen around the sitting figure were almost sufficiently extensive to prove that no other remains of building existed in its immediate vicinity. Had not the figure been in an upright position I should have concluded, at once, that it had been brought from elsewhere; as I could not find (Page 276) traces of pavement, nor any fragments of sculpture or hewn stone, near it. Removing the workmen, therefore, from this part of the mound, I divided them into small parties, and employed them in making experiments in different directions. Wherever trenches were opened, remains of the Assyrian period were found, but only in fragments; such as bits of basalt, with small figures in relief, portions of slabs bearing cuneiform inscriptions, and bricks similarly inscribed. Many tombs were also discovered. Like those of Nimroud, they belonged to a period long subsequent to the destruction of the Assyrian edifices, and were in the rubbish and earth which had accumulated above them. The sarcophagi resembled those I have already described - large cases of baked clay, some square, others in the form of a dish-cover; as at Nimroud, they were all much too small to hold a human body, unless it had been violently forced in, or the limbs had been separated. That the bodies had not been burned, was proved by the bones being found entire. They may have been exposed, as is the custom among the Parsees, until the skeleton was made bare by the usual process of decomposition, or by birds and beasts of prey, and then buried in these earthen cases. In the sarcophagi were found numerous small vases, metal ornaments, and a copper cup, resembling in shape and in the embossed designs one held by the king, in a has relief from the N.W. palace of Nimroud.[11.4]

Above these ancient tombs were graves of more recent date; some of them, indeed, belonged to the tribes which had, but a few days before, encamped among the ruins.[11.5] The tenant of one had been removed from his last resting-place by the hungry hyenas and jackals, who haunt these depositories of the dead. The rude casing of stones, forming the interior of an Arab (Page 277) grave, had been opened; and the bones and skull, still clothed with shreds of flesh, were scattered around.

Although I spent two days at Kalah Sherghat I was unable to reach the platform of sun-dried bricks upon which the edifice, now in ruins, and covered with earth, must originally have been built. Remains of walls were found in abundance; but they were evidently of a more recent period than the Assyrian buildings, to which the inscribed bricks and the fragments of sculptured stone belonged. The ruins were consequently not thoroughly explored. I saw no remains of the alabaster or Mosul marble so generally employed in the palaces to the north of Kalah Sherghat. Unbaked bricks alone may have been used in the edifice; and if so, the walls built with them could no longer, without very careful examination, be distinguished from the soil in which they are buried.

The Tigris has been gradually encroaching upon the ruins, and is yearly undermining and wearing away the mound. Large masses of earth are continually falling into the stream, leaving exposed to view vases, sarcophagi, and remains of building. Along the banks of the river, several shafts of circular masonry, having the appearance of wells, had been thus uncovered. At the time of my first visit, we observed similar wells, and were at a loss to account for their use. I now opened two or three of them. They were filled with earth, mixed with human bones and fragments of vases and pottery ;[11.6] which may have been originally deposited there, or may have fallen in from above with the rubbish. It is possible that these wells may have been constructed, at a very early period, for purposes of irrigation, or to supply water to the inhabitants of the city.

The principal ruin at Kalah Sherghat, like those of Nimroud, Khorsabad, and other ancient Assyrian sites, is a large square mound, surmounted by a cone or pyramid, which rises nearly in the center of the north side of the great platform. (Page 278) Immediately below it, and forming a facing to the great mound, is a wall of well hewn stones, carefully fitted together, and beveled. The battlements, which still exist, are cut into gradines, and resemble those of castles and towers in the Nimroud sculptures. The wall is therefore, I think, Assyrian. It is not improbable that much of the masonry, still visible on the summit of the mound, may be the remains of an Arab fort. Long lines of smaller mounds or ramparts form a quadrangle, and are the remains of the walls which once inclosed the town.

The principal ruin of Kalah Sherghat, is one of the largest with which I am acquainted in Assyria. I was unable to measure it accurately during this visit; but when on the spot with Mr. Ainsworth, we carefully paced round it; and the result, according to that gentleman's calculation, gave a circumference of 4685 yards.[11.7] A part of it, however, is not artificial. Irregularities in the face of the country, and natural eminences, have been united into one great platform by earth and layers of sun dried bricks. It is, nevertheless, a stupendous structure, yielding in extent to no other artificial mound in Assyria. In height it is unequal; to the south it slopes off nearly to the level of the plain, while to the north, where it is most lofty, its sides are perpendicular, in some places rising to nearly one hundred feet.

I will not attempt to connect, without better materials than we now possess, the ruins of Kalah Sherghat with any ancient city whose name occurs in the sacred books, or has been preserved by ancient geographers. That it was one of the oldest cities of Assyria, is proved by the identification of the name of the king found on its monuments and bricks, with that on the center bulls and obelisk of Nimroud; but whether it be Chalah, one of the four primitive cities mentioned in Genesis,[11.8] I will not venture to decide.

Having directed Mansour to continue the excavations, I prepared to return to Mosul. Abd'rubbou offered to accompany (Page 279) me; and as the desert between Kalah Sherghat and Hammum Ali was infested by roving parties of the Shammar and Aneyza Arabs, I deemed it prudent to accept his escort. He chose eight horsemen from his tribe, and we started together for the desert.

We slept the first night at the tents of a Seyyid, or descendant of the Prophet, of some repute for sanctity, and for the miraculous cure of diseases, which he effected by merely touching the patient. The Arabs were fully persuaded of the existence of his healing power; but I never saw any one who even pretended to have been cured, although there was certainly no lack of subjects for the Seyyid to practice upon. The old gentleman's daughter, a dark, handsome girl, was claimed by a sheikh of the Jebours, to whom, according to some accounts, she had been betrothed. The greater part of the night was spent in quarreling and wrangling upon this subject. The Seyyid resolutely denied the contract, on the mere plea that one of such holy descent could not be united to a man in whose veins the blood of the Prophet did not flow. Abd'rubbou and his friends, on the other hand, as stoutly contended for the claims of the lover, not treating, I thought, so great a saint with a proper degree of respect. Although my tent was pitched at some distance from the assembly, the discordant voices, all joining at the same time in the most violent discussion, kept me awake until past midnight. Suddenly the disputants appeared to have talked themselves out, and there was a lull. Vainly flattering myself that they had sunk into sleep, I prepared to follow their example. But I had scarcely closed my eyes, when I was roused by a fresh outbreak of noises. An Arab had suddenly arrived from the banks of the Khabour - the old pasture-grounds of the tribe: he was overwhelmed with a thousand questions, and the news he brought of struggles; between the Aneyza and the Asai, and the defeat of the former enemies of the Jebours, led to continual bursts of enthusiasm, and to one or two attempts to raise a general shouting of the war-cry. Thus they passed the night to my great discomfort.

(Page 280) On the morrow I started early with Abd'rubbou and his horsemen. We struck directly across the desert, leaving my servants and baggage to follow leisurely along the banks of the river, by a more circuitous but safer road. When we were within four or five miles of that part of the Tigris at which the raft was waiting for me, I requested the sheikh to return, as there appeared to be no further need of an escort. Mr. Hormuzd Rassam and myself galloped over the plain. We disturbed, as we rode along, a few herds of gazelles, and a solitary wolf or jackal; but we saw no human beings. Abd'rubbou and his Arabs, however, had scarcely left us, when they observed a party of horsemen in the distance, whom they mistook for men of their own tribe returning from Mosul. It was not until they drew nigh that they discovered their mistake. The horsemen were plunderers from the Aneyza. The numbers were pretty equal. A fight ensued, in which two men on the side of the enemy, and one of the Jebours, were killed; but the Aneyza were defeated, and Abd'rubbou carried off in triumph a couple of mares.

A few days after my return to Nimroud, the Jebours were compelled, by want of pasturage, to leave the neighborhood of Kalah Sherghat. The whole desert, as well as the jungle on the banks of the river, which generally supplied, even in the driest seasons, a little grass to the flocks, having been completely dried up, Abd'rubbou, with his tribe, moved to the north. A few of his people came to Nimroud to cultivate millet; but the sheikh himself, with the greater part of his followers, left the district of Mosul altogether, migrating to the sources of the Khabour and to the Nisibin branch of that river - the ancient Mygdonius. The desert to the south of the town was now only frequented by wandering parties of plunderers, and the position of my workmen at Kalah Sherghat became daily more insecure. After they had been once or twice exposed to molestation from the Aneyza and the Obeid, I found it necessary to withdraw them - had I not, they would probably have run away of themselves. I renounced the further (Page 281) examination of these ruins with regret, as they had not been properly explored; and I have little doubt, from the fragments discovered, that many objects of interest, if not sculptured slabs, exist in the mound.

[11.1] In the desert, the vicinity of an encampment is generally marked by some sign well known to the members of the tribe. It would otherwise be very difficult to discover the tents, pitched, as they usually are, in some hollow or ravine to conceal them from hostile plundering parties.

[11.2] The lion is frequently met with on the banks of the Tigris below Baghdad, rarely above. On the Euphrates it has been seen, I believe, almost as high as Bir, where the steamers of the first Euphrates expedition, under Colonel Chesney, were launched. In the Sinjar, and on the banks of the Kabour, they are frequently caught by the Arabs. They abound in Khuzistan, the ancient Susiana: I have frequently seen three or four together and have hunted them with the chiefs of the tribes inhabiting that province.

[11.3] This statue is now in the British Museum.

[11.4] This cup was taken out entire, but was unfortunately broken by the man who was employed to carry it to Mosul.

[11.5] The Arabs generally seek some elevated spot to bury their dead. The artificial mounds, abounding in Mesopotamia and Assyria, are usually chosen for the purpose, and there is scarcely one whose summit is not covered with them. On this account I frequently experienced great difficulty while excavating, and was compelled to leave unexamined one or two ruins.

[11.6] I found similar wells, containing human remains and pottery, among the ruins on the banks of the rivers of Susiana.

[11.7] Journal of the Royal Geographical Society, vol. xi. p. 5.

[11.8] Chap. x. 11

Chapter 12

(Page 282) Assyria proper, like Babylonia, owed its ancient fertility as much to artificial irrigation, as to the rains which fall during the winter and early spring. The Tigris and Euphrates, unlike the Nile, do not overflow their banks and deposit a rich manure on the face of the land. They rise sufficiently at the time of the melting of the snows in the Armenian hills, to fill the numerous canals led from them into the adjacent country; but these are generally so deep, or their banks so high, that when the stream returns to its usual level, water can only be raised by artificial means.

The great canals dug in the most prosperous period of the Assyrian Empire, and used for many centuries by the inhabitants of the country - even after the Arab invasion - have long since been choked up and are now useless. When the waters of the rivers are high, it is still only by the labor of man that they can be led into the fields. I have already described the rude wheels constructed for the purpose along the banks of the Tigris. Even these are scarce. The government, or rather the local authorities, levy a considerable tax upon machines for irrigation, and the simple buckets of the Arabs become in many cases the source of exaction and oppression. Few being, consequently, bold enough to make use of them, the land near the rivers, as well as the interior of the country, is entirely dependent for its fertility upon the winter rains, which are amply sufficient to insure the most plentiful (Page 283) crops; such being the richness of the soil, that even a few heavy showers in the course of the year, at the time of sowing the seed, and when the corn is about a foot above the ground, are sufficient to insure a good harvest.

Herodotus[12.1] describes the extreme fertility of Assyria, and its abundant harvests of corn, the seed producing two and three hundred-fold. The blades of wheat and barley, he declares grew to full four fingers in breadth; and such was the general richness of Babylonia, that it supplied the Persian king and his vast army with subsistence for four months in the year, while the rest of the Persian dominions furnished provisions for the other eight. But in his day the Assyrians depended as much upon artificial irrigation, as upon the winter rains. They were skillful in constructing machines for raising water, and their system of canals was as remarkable for its ingenuity as for the knowledge of hydraulics it displayed. In the hills, the vine, olive, and fig tree were cultivated anciently as they are now; and Rabshakeh, to tempt the Jews, describes Assyria as "a land of corn and wine, a land of bread and vineyards, a land of olive-oil and of honey."[12.2]

It sometimes happens that the season passes without rain. Such was the case this year. During the winter and spring no water fell. The inhabitants of the villages, who had been induced to return by the improved administration and conciliatory measures of the late pashaw, had put their whole stock of wheat and barley into the ground. They now looked in despair upon the cloudless sky. I watched the young grass as it struggled to break through the parched earth; but it was burnt up almost at its birth. Sometimes a distant cloud hanging over the solitary hill of Arbela, or rising from the desert in the far west, led to hopes, and a few drops of rain gave rise to general rejoicings. The Arabs would then form a dance, and raise (Page 284) songs and shouts, the women joining with the shrill tahlehl. But disappointment always ensued. The clouds passed over, and the same pure blue sky was above us. To me the total absence of verdure in spring was very painful. For months my eye had not rested upon a green thing; and that unchanging yellow, barren waste, has a depressing effect upon the spirits. The jaif, which the year before had been a flower garden and had teemed with life, was now as naked and bare as a desert in the midst of summer. I had been looking forward to the return of the grass to encamp outside the village, and had meditated many excursions to ancient ruins in the desert and the mountains; but I was doomed to disappointment like the rest.

The pashaw issued orders that Christians, as well as Mussulmans, should join in a general fast and in prayers. Supplications were offered up in the churches and mosques. The Mohammedans held a kind of three days' Ramazan, starving themselves during the day, and feasting during the night. The Christians abstained from meat during the same length of time. If a cloud were seen on the horizon, the inhabitants of the villages, headed by their mullahs, would immediately walk into the open country to chant prayers and verses from the Koran. Sheikhs - crazy ascetics who wandered over the country, either half clothed in the skins of lions or gazelles, or stark naked - burnt themselves with hot irons, and ran shouting about the streets of Mosul. Even a kind of necromancy was not neglected, and the cadi and the Turkish authorities had recourse to all manner of mysterious incantations, which were pronounced to have been successful in other parts of the sultan's dominions on similar occasions.

Still there was no rain, and a famine appeared to be inevitable. It was known, however, that there were abundant supplies of corn in the granaries of the principal families of Mosul; and the fact having been brought to the notice of the pashaw, he at once ordered the stores to be opened, and their contents to be offered for sale in the market at moderate prices. (Page 285) As usual, the orders were given to the very persons who were speculating upon the miseries of the poor and needy - to the cadi, the mufti, and the head people of the town. They proceeded to obey them with great zeal and punctuality, but somehow or another overlooked their own stores and those of their friends, and ransacked the houses of the rest of the inhabitants. In a few days, consequently, those who had saved up a little grain for their own immediate wants, were added to the number of the starving; and the necessities and misery of the town were increased.

The Bedouins, who are dependent upon the village for supplies, now also began to feel the effects of the failure of the crops; and were preparing to make up for their sufferings by plundering the caravans of merchants, and the peaceable inhabitants of the districts within reach of the desert. Although the spring had already commenced, the Shammar and other formidable tribes had not yet encamped in the vicinity of Mosul; still casual plundering parties had made their appearance among the villages, and it was predicted that as soon as their tents were pitched nearer the town, the country without the walls would be not only very unsafe, but almost uninhabitable.

These circumstances induced me to undertake the removal of the larger sculptures as early as possible. I determined to embark them for Busrah in the month of March or April, foreseeing that as soon as the Bedouins had moved northward from Babylonia, and had commenced their plundering expeditions in the vicinity of Mosul, I should be compelled to leave Nimroud.

The Trustees of the British Museum had not contemplated the removal of either a winged bull or lion, and I had at first believed that, with the means at my disposal, it would have been useless to attempt it. I was directed to leave them, where discovered, until some favorable opportunity of moving them entire might occur; and to heap earth over them, after the excavations had been brought to an end. Being loth, however, (Page 286) to abandon all these fine specimens of Assyrian sculpture, I resolved upon attempting the removal and embarkation of two of the smallest and best preserved, and fixed upon a lion and a bull from the great central hall. Thirteen pairs of these gigantic sculptures, and several fragments of others, had been discovered; but many of them were too much injured to be worth sending to England. I had wished to secure the lions forming the great entrance to the principal chamber of the N. W. palace; the finest specimens of Assyrian sculpture discovered in the ruins. But after some deliberation I determined to leave them for the present; as, from their size, the expense attending their conveyance to the river would have been very considerable.

I formed various plans for lowering the lion and bull, dragging them to the river, and placing them upon rafts. Each step had its difficulties, and a variety of original suggestions were made by my workmen, and by the good people of Mosul. At last I resolved upon constructing a cart sufficiently strong to bear the sculptures. As no wood but poplar could be procured in the town, a carpenter was sent to the mountains with directions to fell the largest mulberry tree, or any tree of equally compact grain, he could find; and to bring back with him beams of it, and thick slices from the trunk.

By the month of March this wood was ready. I purchased from the dragoman of the French consulate a pair of strong iron axles, formerly used by M. Botta in moving sculptures from Khorsabad. Each wheel was formed of three solid pieces, nearly a foot thick, bound together by iron hoops. Across the axles were laid three beams, and above them several crossbeams. A pole was fixed to one axle, to which were also attached iron rings for ropes, to enable men, as well as buffaloes, to draw the cart. The wheels were provided with movable hooks for the same purpose.

Simple as this cart was, it became an object of wonder in the town. Crowds came to look at it, as it stood in the yard of the vice consul's khan; and the pashaw's topjis, or artillery men, (Page 287) who, from their acquaintance with the mysteries of gun carriages, were looked up to as authorities on such matters, daily declaimed on the properties and use of this vehicle, and of carts in general, to a large circle of curious and attentive listeners. As long as the cart was in Mosul, it was examined by every stranger who visited the town. But when the news spread that it was about to leave the gates, and to be drawn over the bridge, the business of the place was completely suspended. The secretaries and scribes from the palace left their divans; the guards their posts; the bazars were deserted; and half the population assembled on the banks of the river to witness the manoeuvers of the cart, which was forced over the rotten bridge of boats by a pair of buffaloes, and a crowd of Chaldeans and shouting Arabs.[12.3]

To lessen the weight of the lion and bull, without in any way interfering with the sculpture, I reduced the thickness and considerably diminished the bulk of the slabs, by cutting away as much as possible from the back, which, being placed against the wall of sun-dried bricks, was never meant to be seen. As, in order to move these figures at all, I had to choose between this plan and that of sawing them into several pieces, I did not hesitate to adopt it.

To enable me to move the bull from the ruins, and to place it on the cart in the plain below, a trench or road nearly two hundred feet long, about fifteen feet wide, and, in some places, twenty feet deep, was cut from the entrance, in which stood the bull, to the edge of the mound. As I had not sufficient mechanical power at command to raise the sculpture out of the trenches, like the smaller bas-reliefs, this road was necessary. It was a tedious undertaking, as a very large accumulation of (Page 289) earth had to be removed. About fifty Arabs and Nestorians were employed in the work.

On digging this trench it was found that a chamber had once existed to the west of the great hall. The sculptured slabs had been destroyed or carried away; but part of the walls of unbaked bricks could still be traced. The only bas relief discovered was lying flat on the pavement, where it had evidently been left when the adjoining slabs were removed. It was the small relief of the lion-hunt now in the British Museum, and remarkable for its finish, the elegance of the ornaments, and the spirit of the design. It resembles, in the general treatment, the battle-scene first discovered in the S. W. palace, and I am inclined to believe that they both belonged to this ruined chamber; in which, perhaps, the sculptures were more elaborate and more highly finished than in any other part of the building. The work of different artists may be plainly traced in the Assyrian edifices. Frequently when the outline is spirited and correct, and the ornaments designed with considerable taste, the execution is defective or coarse; evidently showing, that while the subject was drawn by a master, the carving of the stone had been intrusted to an inferior workman. In many bas-reliefs some parts are more highly finished than others, as if they had been retouched by an experienced sculptor. The figures of the enemy are generally rudely executed and left unfinished, to show probably that, being those of the conquered or captive race, they were unworthy the care of the artist. It is rare to find an entire bas-relief equally well executed in all its parts. The most perfect hitherto discovered in Assyria, are probably, the lion-hunt from the principal chamber, the lion-hunt just described, and the large group of the king sitting on his throne, in the midst of his attendants and winged figures, all now placed in the British Museum.

While making this trench, I also discovered, about three feet beneath the pavement, a drain, which appeared to communicate with others previously opened in different parts of the (Page 290) building. It was probably the main sewer, through which all the minor water-courses were discharged. It was built of baked bricks, and covered in with large slabs and tiles.

As the bull was to be lowered on its back, the unsculptured side of the slab having to be placed on rollers, I removed the walls behind it to form a clear space large enough to receive the sculpture when prostrate, and to leave room for the workmen to pass on all sides of it. The principal difficulty was of course to lower the mass: when once on the ground, or on rollers, it could be dragged forward by the united force of a number of men; but, during its descent, it could only be sustained by ropes. If these ropes, not strong enough to bear the weight, chanced to give way, the sculpture would be precipitated to the ground, and would, probably, be broken in the fall. The few ropes I possessed had been sent to me, across the desert, from Aleppo; but they were small and weak. From Baghdad I had obtained a thick hawser, made of the fibers of the palm. In addition I had been furnished with two pairs of blocks, and a pair of jack-screws belonging to the steamers of the Euphrates expedition. These were all the means at my command for moving the bull and lion. The sculptures were wrapped in mats and felts, to preserve them, as far as possible, from injury in case of a fall, and to prevent the ropes chipping or rubbing the alabaster.

The bull was ready to be moved by the 18th of March. The earth had been taken from under it, and it was now only supported by beams resting against the opposite wall. With the wood obtained from the mountains were several thick rollers. These were placed upon sleepers or half-beams, formed out of the trunks of poplar-trees, well greased and laid on the ground parallel to the sculpture. The bull was to be lowered upon these rollers. A deep trench had been cut behind the second bull, completely across the wall, and, consequently, extending from chamber to chamber. A bundle of ropes coiled round this isolated mass of earth served to hold two blocks, two others being attached to ropes wound round the bull to be (Page 291) moved. The ropes, by which the sculpture was to be lowered, were passed through these blocks; the ends, or falls of the tackle, as they are technically called, being led from the blocks above the second bull, and held by the Arabs. The cable which was first passed through the trench, and then round the sculpture, was held by two bodies of men. Several of the strongest Chaldeans placed thick beams against the back of the bull, and were directed to withdraw them gradually, supporting the weight of the slab, and checking it in its descent.

My own people were reinforced by a large number of the Abou-Salman. I had invited Sheikh Abd-ur-rahman to be present, and he came attended by a body of horsemen. The inhabitants of Naifa and Nimroud, having volunteered to assist on the occasion, were placed among my Arabs. The workmen, except the Chaldeans who supported the beams, were divided into four parties, two of which were stationed in front of the bull, and held the ropes passed through the blocks, while the rest clung to the ends of the cable, and were directed to slack off gradually as the sculpture descended.

The men being ready, and all my preparations complete, I stationed myself on the top of the high bank of earth over the second bull, and ordered the wedges to be struck out from under the sculpture to be moved. Still, however, it remained firmly in its place. A rope having been passed round it, six or seven men easily tilted it over. The thick, ill-made cable stretched with the strain, and almost buried itself in the earth round which it was coiled. The ropes held well. The mass descended gradually, the Chaldeans propping it up with the beams. It was a moment of great anxiety. The drums and shrill pipes of the Kurdish musicians increased the din and confusion caused by the war cry of the Arabs, who were half frantic with excitement. They had thrown off nearly all their garments; their long hair floated in the wind; and they indulged in the wildest postures and gesticulations as they clung to the ropes. The women had congregated on the sides of the trenches, and by their incessant screams, and by the (Page 292) ear-piercing tahlehl, added to the enthusiasm of the men. The bull once in motion, it was no longer possible to obtain a hearing. The loudest cries I could produce were lost in the crash of discordant sounds. Neither the hippopotamus-hide whips of the cawasses, nor the bricks and clods of earth with which I endeavored to draw attention from some of the most noisy of the group, were of any avail. Away went the bull, steady enough as long as supported by the props behind; but as it came nearer to the rollers, the beams could no longer be used. The cable and ropes stretched more and more. Dry from the climate, as they felt the strain, they creaked and threw out dust. Water was thrown over them, but in vain, for they all broke together when the sculpture was within four or five feet of the rollers. The bull was precipitated to the ground. Those who held the ropes, thus suddenly released, followed its example, and were rolling one over the other, in the dust. A sudden silence succeeded to the clamor. I rushed into the trenches, prepared to find the bull in many pieces. It would be difficult to describe my satisfaction, when I saw it lying precisely where I had wished to place it, and uninjured! The Arabs no sooner got on their legs again, than, seeing the result of the accident, they darted out of the trenches, and, seizing by the hands the women who were looking on, formed a large circle, and, yelling their war cry with redoubled energy, commenced a most mad dance. The musicians exerted themselves to the utmost; but their music was drowned by the cries of the dancers. Even Abd-ur-rahman shared in the excitement, and, throwing his cloak to one of his attendants, insisted upon leading off the debke. It would have been useless to endeavor to put any check upon these proceedings. I preferred allowing the men to wear themselves out, - a result which, considering the amount of exertion and energy displayed by limbs and throat, was not long in taking place.

I now prepared, with the aid of Behnan, the bairakdar, and the Tiyari, to move the bull into the long trench which led to the edge of the mound. The rollers were in good order; and (Page 293) as soon as the excitement of the Arabs had sufficiently abated to enable them to resume work, the sculpture was dragged out of its place by ropes.

Sleepers were laid to the end of the trench, and fresh rollers were placed under the bull as it was pulled forward by cables, to which were fixed the tackles held by logs buried in the earth, on the edge of the mound. The sun was going down as these preparations were completed. I deferred any further labor to the morrow. The Arabs dressed themselves; and, placing the musicians at their head, marched toward the village, singing their war-songs, occasionally raising a wild yell, throwing their lances into the air, and flourishing their swords and shields over their heads.

I rode back with Abd-ur-rahman. Schloss and his horsemen galloped round us, playing the jerrid, and bringing the ends of their lances into a proximity with my head and body which was far from comfortable; for it was evident enough that had the mares refused to fall almost instantaneously back on their haunches, or had they stumbled, I should have been transfixed on the spot. As the exhibition, however, was meant as a compliment, and enabled the young warriors to exhibit their prowess, and the admirable training of their horses, I declared myself highly delighted, and bestowed equal commendations on all parties.

The Arab sheikh, his enthusiasm once cooled down, gave way to moral reflections. "Wonderful! Wonderful! There is surely no God but God, and Mohammed is his prophet," exclaimed he, after a long pause. "In the name of the Most High, tell me, O Bey, what you are going to do with those stones. So many thousands of purses spent upon such things! Can it be, as you say, that your people learn wisdom from them; or is it, as his reverence the cadi declares, that they are to go to the palace of your Queen, who, with the rest of the unbelievers, worships these idols? As for wisdom, these figures will not teach you to make any better knives, or scissors, or chintzes; and it is in the making of those things that the (Page 294) English show their wisdom. But God is great! God is great! Here are stones which have been buried ever since the time of the holy Noah, - peace be with him! Perhaps they were under ground before the deluge. I have lived on these lands for years. My father, and the father of my father, pitched their tents here before me; but they never heard of these figures. For twelve hundred years have the true believers (and, praise be to God! all true wisdom is with them alone) been settled in this country, and none of them ever heard of a palace under ground. Neither did they who went before them. But lo! here comes a Frank from many days' journey off, and he walks up to the very place, and he takes a stick (illustrating the description at the same time with the point of his spear), and makes a line here, and makes a line there. Here, says he, is the palace; there, says he, is the gate; and he shows us what has been all our lives beneath our feet, without our having known any thing about it. Wonderful! Wonderful! Is it by books, is it by magic, is it by your prophets, that you have learned these things? Speak, O Bey; tell me the secret of wisdom."

The wonder of Abd-ur-rahman was certainly not without cause, and his reflections were natural enough. While riding by his side I had been indulging in a reverie, not unlike his own, which he suddenly interrupted by these exclamations. Such thoughts crowded upon me day by day, as I looked upon every newly discovered sculpture. A stranger laying open monuments buried for more than twenty centuries, and thus proving to those who dwelt around them, that much of the civilization and knowledge of which we now boast, existed among their forefathers when our "ancestors were yet unborn," was, in a manner, an acknowledgment of the debt which the West owes to the East. It is, indeed, no small matter of wonder, that far distant, and comparatively new, nations should have preserved the only records of a people once ruling over nearly half the globe; and should now be able to teach the descendants of that people, or those who have taken (Page 295) their place, where their cities and monuments once stood. There was more than enough to excite the astonishment of Abd-ur-rahman, and I seized this opportunity to give him a short lecture upon the advantages of civilization and of knowledge. I will not pledge myself, however, that my endeavors were attended with as much success as those of some may be who boast of their missions to the East. All I could accomplish was, to give the Arab shiekh an exalted idea of the wisdom and power of the Franks; which was so far useful to me, that through his means the impression was spread about the country, and was not one of the least effective guarantees for the safety of my property and person.

This night was, of course, looked upon as one of rejoicing. Abd-ur-rahman and his brother dined with me; although, had it not been for the honor and distinction conferred by the privilege of using knives and forks, they would rather have exercised their fingers with the crowds gathered round the wooden platters in the court-yard. Sheep were as usual killed, and boiled or roasted whole; - they formed the essence of all entertainments and public festivities. They had scarcely been devoured before dancing was commenced. There were fortunately relays of musicians; for no human lungs could have furnished the requisite amount of breath. When some were nearly falling from exhaustion, the ranks were recruited by others. And so the Arabs went on until dawn. It was useless to preach moderation, or to entreat for quiet. Advice and remonstrances were received with deafening shouts of the war cry, and outrageous antics as proofs of gratitude for the entertainment and of ability to resist fatigue.

After passing the night in this fashion, these extraordinary beings, still singing and capering, started for the mound. Every thing had been prepared on the previous day for moving the bull, and the men had now only to haul on the ropes. As the sculpture advanced, the rollers left behind were removed to the front, and thus in a short time it reached the end of the trench. There was little difficulty in dragging it down the precipitous (Page 296) side of the mound. When it was within three or four feet of the bottom, sufficient earth was removed from beneath it to admit the cart, upon which the bull itself was then lowered by still further digging away the soil. It was soon ready to be dragged to the river. Buffaloes were first harnessed to the yoke; but, although the men pulled with ropes fastened to the rings attached to the wheels, and to other parts of the cart, the animals, feeling the weight behind them, refused to move. We were compelled, therefore, to take them out; and the Tiyari, in parties of eight, lifted the pole by turns, while the Arabs, assisted by the people of Naifa and Nimroud, dragged the cart. The procession was thus formed. I rode first, with the bairakdar, to point out the road. Then came the musicians, with their drums and fifes, drumming and fifing with might and main. The cart followed, dragged by about three hundred men, all screeching at the top of their voices, and urged on by the cawasses and superintendents. The procession was closed by the women, who kept up the enthusiasm of the Arabs by their shrill cries. Abd-ur-rahman's horsemen performed divers feats round the group dashing backward and forward, and charging with their spears.

We advanced well enough, although the ground was very heavy, until we reach the ruins of the former village of Nimroud.[12.4] The villagers of Assyria dig deep pits to store their corn, barley, and straw for the autumn and winter. These pits generally surround the villages. Being only covered by a light framework of boughs and stakes, plastered over with mud, they become, particularly when half empty, a snare, and a trap to the horseman, who, unless guided by some one acquainted with the localities, is pretty certain to find the hind legs of his horse on a level with its ears, and himself suddenly sprawling in front. The corn-pits around Nimroud had long since been emptied of their stores, and had been concealed by the light (Page 297) sand and dust, which, blown over the plain during summer, soon fill up every hole and crevice. Although I had carefully examined the ground before starting, one of-these holes had escaped my notice, and into it two wheels of the cart completely sank. The Arabs pulled and yelled in vain. The ropes broke, but the wheels refused to move. We tried every means to release them, but unsuccessfully. After working until dusk, we were obliged to give up the attempt. I left a party of Arabs to guard the cart and its contents, suspecting that some adventurous Bedouins, attracted by the ropes, and by the mats and felts, with which the sculpture was enveloped, might turn their steps toward the spot during the night. My suspicions did not prove unfounded; for I had scarcely got into bed before the whole village was thrown into commotion by the reports of fire-arms and the war-cry of the Jebours. Hastening to the scene of action, I found that a party of Arabs had fallen upon my workmen. They were beaten off, leaving behind them, however, their mark; for a ball struck and indented the side of the bull. I was anxious to learn who the authors of this wanton attack were, and had organized a scheme for taking summary vengeance. But they were discovered too late; for, anticipating punishment, they had struck their tents, and had moved off into the desert.

Next morning we succeeded in clearing away the earth, and in placing thick planks beneath the buried wheels. After a few efforts the cart moved forward amid the shouts of the Arabs; who, as was invariably their custom on such occasions, indulged, while pulling at the ropes, in the most outrageous antics. The procession was formed as on the previous day, and we dragged the bull triumphantly down to within a few hundred yards of the river. Here the wheels buried themselves in the sand, and it was night before we contrived, with the aid of planks and by increased exertions, to place the sculpture on the platform prepared to receive it, and from which it was to slide down on the raft. The tents of the Arabs, who encamped near the river, were pitched round the bull, until its (Page 298) companion, the lion, should be brought down; and the two embarked together for Baghdad. The night was passed in renewed rejoicings, to celebrate the successful termination of our labors. On the following morning I rode to Mosul, to enjoy a few days' rest after my exertions.

The bull having thus been successfully transported to the banks of the river, preparations were made, on my return to Nimroud, for the removal of the second sculpture; and I ordered the trench, already opened for the passage of the bull to be continued to the entrance formed by the lions, or about eighty feet to the north.

My arrangements were completed by the middle of April. I determined to lower the lion at once on the cart, and not to drag it out of the mound over the rollers. This sculpture, during its descent, was supported in the same manner as the bull had been; but, to avoid a second accident, I doubled the number of ropes and the coils of the cable. Enough earth was removed to bring the top of the cart to a level with the bottom of the lion. While clearing away the wall of unbaked bricks, I discovered two alabaster tablets, similar to those already described.[12.5] They bore the standard inscription, and had evidently been placed in the foundations of the palace: probably, as coins and similar tablets are now buried under edifices, to commemorate the period and object of their erection.

As the lion was cracked in more than one place, considerable care was required in lowering, and moving it. Both, however, were effected without accident. The Arabs assembled as they had done at the removal of the bull. Abd-ur-rahman and his horsemen rode over to the mound. We had the same shouting and the same festivities. The lion descended into the place I had prepared for it on the cart, and was easily dragged out of the ruins. It was two days in reaching the river, as the wheels sank more than once into the loose soil, and were with difficulty extricated. It was, however, at length placed by the side of (Page 299) the bull, on the banks of the Tigris, ready to proceed to Busrah, as soon as I could make the necessary arrangements for their embarkation.

The sculptures, which I had hitherto sent to Busrah, had been floated down the river on rafts, as far only as Baghdad, where they had been transferred to boats built by the natives for the lower part of the Tigris and Euphrates. These vessels were much too small and weak to carry either the lion or the bull; and, indeed, had they been large enough, it would have been difficult, if not impossible, in the absence of proper machinery, to lift such heavy masses into them. I resolved, therefore, to attempt the navigation of the lower, as well as of the upper, part of the river with rafts; and to embark the lion and bull at once for Busrah. The raftmen of Mosul, who are accustomed to descend the Tigris to Baghdad, but never venture further, declared the scheme to be impracticable, and refused to attempt it. Even my friends at Baghdad doubted of my success; principally, however, on the ground that the prejudices and customs of the natives were against me, - and every one knows how difficult it is to prevail upon Easterns to undertake any thing in opposition to their established habits. Such has been their nature for ages. As their fathers have done, so have they done after them, forgetting or omitting many things, but never adding or improving. As rafts meet with no insurmountable difficulties in descending, even from the mountainous districts of Diarbekir, to Baghdad, there was no good reason why they should not continue their voyage to Busrah. Obstructions might occur in the upper part of the river, which abounds in rapids, rocks, and shallows; but not in the lower, where there is depth of water, and nothing to impede the passage of large boats. The stream below Baghdad is sluggish, and the tide ascends nearly sixty miles above Busrah: these were the only objections, and they merely affected the time to be employed in the descent, and not its practicability.

It was impossible by the most convincing arguments, even though supported by the exhibition of a heap of coins, to (Page 300) prevail upon the raftmen of Mosul to construct such rafts as I required, or to undertake the voyage. I applied, therefore, to Mr. Hector, and through him found a man at Baghdad, who declared himself willing to make the great sacrifice generally believed to be involved in the attempt. He was indebted in a considerable sum of money, and being the owner of a large number of skins, now lying useless, he preferred a desperate undertaking to the prospect of a debtor's prison.

Mullah Ali - for such was the name of my raft contractor - at length made his appearance at Nimroud. He was followed by a dirty half-naked Arab, his assistant in the construction of rafts; and, like those who carried on his trade some two thousand years before, by a couple of donkeys laden with skins ready for use. Like a genuine native of Baghdad, he had exhausted his ingenuity in the choice of materials for the composition of his garments. There could not have been a more dextrous mixture of colors than that displayed by his antari, cloak, and voluminous turban. He began, of course, with a long speech, protesting, by the Prophet, that he would undertake for no one else in the world what he was going to do for me; that he was my slave and my sacrifice, and that the man who was not was worse than an infidel. I cut him short in this complimentary discourse. He then, as is usual in such transactions, began to make excuses, to increase his demands, and throw difficulties in the way. On these points I declined all discussion, directing Ibrahim Agha to give him an insight into my way of doing business, to recommend him to resign himself to his fate, as the contract had been signed, and to hint that he was now in the power of an authority from which there was no appeal.

Mullah Ali made many vain efforts to amend his condition, and to induce on my part a fuller appreciation of his merits. He expected that these endeavors might, at least, lead to an additional amount of bakshish. At last he resigned himself to his fate, and slowly worked, with his assistant, at the binding together of beams and logs of wood with willow twigs to form a (Page 301) framework of a raft. There were still some difficulties and obstacles to be surmounted. The man of Baghdad had his own opinions on the building of rafts in general, founded upon immemorial customs, and the traditions of the country. I had my theories, which could not be supported by equally substantial arguments. Consequently, he, who had all the proof on his side, may not have been wrong in declaring against any method, in favor of which I could produce no better evidence than my own will. But, like many other injured men, he fell a victim to the "droit du plus fort," and had to sacrifice at once prejudice and habit.

I did not doubt that the skins, once blown up, would support the sculptures without difficulty as far as Baghdad, a voyage of eight or ten days, under favorable circumstances. But there they would require to be opened and refilled, or they would scarcely sustain so heavy a weight during the longer voyage to Busrah. However carefully the skins are filled, the air gradually escapes, and rafts, bearing merchandise, are generally detained several times during their descent, to enable the raftmen to examine and refill the skins.

It may interest the reader to know how these rafts, which have probably been for ages the only means of traffic on the upper parts of the rivers of Mesopotamia, are constructed. The skins of full-grown sheep and goats, taken off with as few incisions as possible, are dried and prepared, one aperture being left, through which the air is forced by the lungs. A framework of poplar beams, branches of trees, and reeds, having been constructed of the size of the intended raft, the inflated skins are tied to it by osier twigs. The raft is then complete, and is moved to the water and launched. Care is taken to place the skins with their mouths upward, that, in case any should burst or require refilling, they can be easily reached. Upon the framework of wood are piled bales of goods, and property belonging to merchants and travelers. When persons of rank or wealth descend the river, small huts are constructed for them on the raft by covering a common (Page 302) wooden takht, or bedstead of the country, with a hood formed of reeds and lined with felt. The poorer passengers seek shade or warmth by burying themselves among the bales and other cargo, and sit patiently, almost in one position, until they reach their destination. They carry with them an earthen mangal or chafing-dish, containing a charcoal fire, which serves to light their pipes, and to cook their coffee and food. The only real danger to be apprehended on the river is from the Arabs; who, when the country is in a disturbed state, invariably attack and pillage the rafts.

The raftmen impel and guide these rude vessels by long poles, to the ends of which are fastened a few pieces of split cane. They skillfully avoid the rapids; and, seated on the bales, row continually, even in the hottest sun. They will seldom travel after dark before reaching Tekrit, on account of the rocks and shoals, which occur in the upper part of the river; but when they have passed that place, they resign themselves, night and day, to the sluggish stream. During the floods in the spring, or after heavy rains, small rafts may float from Mosul to Baghdad in about eighty-four hours; but the larger are generally six or seven days in performing the voyage. In summer, and when the river is low, they are frequently nearly a month in reaching their destination. When they have been unloaded, they are broken up, and the beams, wood, and twigs, sold at a considerable profit. The skins are washed, and afterward rubbed with a preparation of pounded pomegranate skins, to keep them from cracking and rotting. They are then brought back, either upon the shoulders of the raftmen or upon donkeys, to Mosul and Tekrit, where the men engaged in the navigation of the Tigris usually reside.

On the 20th of April, there being fortunately a slight rise in the river, and my arrangements being complete, I determined to attempt the embarkation of the lion and bull. The two sculptures had been so placed on beams of poplar wood that, by withdrawing wedges from under them, they would slide nearly into the center of the rafts. The high bank of the river had (Page 303) been cut away into a rapid slope to the water's edge. The beams having first been well greased, a raft of six hundred skins was brought opposite the bull, which, on the wedges being removed, immediately descended into its place. To prevent its moving too rapidly, and bursting the skins by the sudden pressure, the Arabs checked it by ropes, and it was placed without accident. The lion was then embarked, with equal success, upon a second raft of the same size; in a few hours the two sculptures, with several large bas-reliefs from the same ruins, were properly secured, and before night they were ready to float down the river to Busrah.

After the labors of the day were over, sheep were slaughtered for the entertainment of Abd-ur-rahman's Arabs, who had assisted on the occasion, and for the workmen. The Abou-Salman returned to their tents after dark. Abd-ur-rahman took leave of me, and we did not meet again: the next day he moved toward the district of Jezirah in search of pasture. I heard of him on my journey to Constantinople; the Kurds by the road complaining, that his tribe were making up the number of their flocks, by appropriating the stray sheep of their neighbors. I had seen much of the sheikh during my residence at Nimroud; and although, like all Arabs, he was not averse to ask for what he thought there might be a remote chance of getting by a little importunity, he was, on the whole, a very friendly and useful ally.

On the morning of the 22d, the rafts being ready, I gave two sheep to the raftmen to be slain on the banks of the river, as a sacrifice to insure the success of their voyage. The carcasses were distributed, as is proper on such occasions, among the poor. A third sheep was reserved for a propitiatory offering, to be immolated at the tomb of Sultan Abd-Allah, - a saint who appears to interfere considerably with the navigation of the Tigris, and who closed the further ascent of the river against the infidel crew of the Frank steamer the "Euphrates," because they had neglected to make the customary sacrifice. All ceremonies having been duly performed, Mullah Ali kissed (Page 304) my hand, placed himself on one of the rafts, and slowly floated, with the cargo under his charge, down the stream.[12.6]

As I watched the rafts, until they disappeared behind a projecting bank forming a distant reach of the river, I could not forbear musing upon the strange destiny of their burdens; which, after adorning the palaces of the Assyrian kings, the objects of the wonder, and may be the worship of thousands, had been buried unknown for centuries beneath a soil trodden by Persians under Cyrus, by Greeks under Alexander, and by Arabs under the first successors of their prophet. They were now to visit India, to cross the most distant seas of the southern hemisphere, and to be finally placed in a British Museum. Who can venture to foretell how their strange career will end?

After the departure of the Abou-Salman, the plain of Nimroud was a complete desert. The visits of armed parties of Arabs became daily more frequent, and we often watched them from the mound, as they rode toward the hills in search of pillage, or returned from their expeditions driving the plundered flocks and cattle before them. We were still too strong to fear the Bedouins; but I was compelled to put my house into a complete state of defense, and to keep patrols round my premises during the night to avoid surprise. The Jebours (Page 305) were exposed to constant losses, in the way of donkeys or tent furniture, as the country was infested by petty thieves, who issued from their hiding-places, and wandered to and fro, like jackals, after dark. Nothing was too small or worthless to escape their notice. I was roused almost nightly by shoutings and the discharge of fire-arms, when the whole encampment was thrown into commotion at the disappearance of a copper pot or an old grain sack. I was fortunate enough to escape their depredations.

The fears of my Jebours increased with the number of the plundering parties, and at last, when a small Arab settlement, within sight of Nimroud, was attacked by a band of Aneyza horsemen, who murdered several of the inhabitants, and drove away the sheep and cattle, the workmen protested in a body against any further residence in so dangerous a vicinity. I found that it would not be much longer possible to keep them together, and I determined, therefore, to bring the excavations to an end.

I therefore commenced covering with earth those parts of the ruins which still remained exposed, according to the instructions I had received from the Trustees of the British Museum. Had the numerous sculptures been left, without any precaution having been taken to preserve them, they would have suffered, not only from the effects of the atmosphere, but from the spears and clubs of the Arabs, who are always ready to knock out the eyes, and to otherwise disfigure, the idols of the unbelievers. The rubbish and earth removed on opening the building, was accordingly brought back in baskets, thrown into the chambers, and heaped over the slabs until the whole was again covered over.

But before leaving Nimroud and reburying its palaces, I would wish to lead the reader once more through the ruins of the principal edifice, and to convey as distinct an idea as I am able of the excavated halls and chambers. Let us imagine ourselves issuing from my tent near the village in the plain. (Page 306) On approaching the mound, not a trace of building can be perceived, except a small mud-hut covered with reeds, erected for the accommodation of my Chaldean workmen. We ascend this artificial hill, but still see no ruins, not a stone protruding from the soil. There is only a broad level platform before us, perhaps covered with a luxuriant crop of barley, or may be yellow and parched, without a blade of vegetation, except a scanty tuft of camel-thorn. Low black heaps, surrounded by brushwood and dried grass, a thin column of smoke rising from the midst of them, are scattered here and there. These are the tents of the Arabs; and a few miserable old women are groping about them, picking up camel's-dung or dry twigs. One or two girls, with firm step and erect carriage, are just reaching the top of the mound, with the water-jar on their shoulders, or a bundle of brushwood on their heads. On all sides of us, issuing from underground, are long lines of wild-looking beings, with disheveled hair, their limbs only half concealed by a short loose shirt, some jumping and capering, and all hurrying to and fro shouting like madmen. Each one carries a basket, and as he reaches the edge of the mound, or some convenient spot near, empties its contents, raising a cloud of dust. He then returns at the top of his speed, dancing and yelling as before, and flourishing his basket over his head; again he suddenly disappears in the bowels of the earth, from whence he emerged. These are the workmen employed in removing the rubbish from the ruins.

We will descend into the principal trench, by a flight of steps rudely cut in the earth, near the western face of the mound. As we approach it, we find a party of Arabs bending on their knees, and intently gazing at something beneath them. Each holds his long spear, tufted with ostrich feathers, in one hand; and in the other the halter of his mare, which stands patiently behind him. The party consists of a Bedouin sheikh from the desert, and his followers; who, having heard strange reports of the wonders of Nimroud, have made several days' journey to remove their doubts and satisfy their curiosity. He (Page 307) rises as he hears us approach, and if we wish to escape the embrace of a very dirty stranger we had better at once hurry into the trenches.

We descend about twenty feet, and suddenly find ourselves between a pair of colossal lions, winged and human-headed, forming a portal. I have already described my feelings when gazing for the first time on these majestic figures. Those of the reader would probably be the same, particularly if caused by the reflection, that before those wonderful forms Ezekiel, Jonah, and others of the prophets stood, and Sennacherib bowed; that even the patriarch Abraham himself may possibly have looked upon them.

In the subterraneous labyrinth which we have reached, all is bustle and confusion. Arabs are running to and fro; some bearing baskets filled with earth, others carrying water-jars to their companions. The Chaldeans or Tiyari, in their striped dresses and conical felt caps, are digging with picks into the tenacious earth, raising a dense cloud of fine dust at every stroke. The wild strains of Kurdish music may be occasionally heard issuing from some distant part of the ruins, and if they are caught by the parties at work, the Arabs join their voices in chorus, raise the war-cry, and labor with renewed energy. Leaving behind us a small chamber, in which the sculptures are distinguished by a want of finish in the execution, and considerable rudeness in the design of the ornaments, we issue from between the winged lions, and enter the remains of the principal hall. On both sides of us are colossal winged figures: some with the heads of eagles, others entirely human, and carrying mysterious symbols in their hands. To the left is another portal, also formed by winged lions. One of them has, however, fallen across the entrance, and there is just room to creep beneath it. Beyond this portal is a winged figure, and two slabs with bas-reliefs; but they have been so much injured that we can scarcely trace the subject upon them. Further on there are no traces of wall, although a deep trench has been opened. The opposite side of the hall has also (Page 308) disappeared, and we only see a high wall of earth. On examining it attentively, we can detect the marks of masonry; and we soon find that it is a solid structure built of bricks of unbaked clay, now of the same color as the surrounding soil, and scarcely to be distinguished from it.

The slabs of alabaster, fallen from their original position, have, however, been raised; and we tread in the midst of a maze of small bas-reliefs, representing chariots, horsemen, battles, and sieges. Perhaps the workmen are about to raise a slab for the first time; and we watch, with eager curiosity, what new event of Assyrian history, or what unknown custom or religious ceremony, may be illustrated by the sculpture beneath.

Having walked about one hundred feet among these scattered monuments of ancient history and art, we reach another doorway, formed by colossal winged bulls in yellow limestone. One is still entire; but its companion has fallen, and is broken into several pieces - the great human head is at our feet.

We pass on without turning into the part of the building to which this portal leads. Beyond it we see another winged figure, holding a graceful flower in its hand, and apparently presenting it as an offering to the winged bull. Adjoining this sculpture we find a perfect series of highly-finished bas-reliefs. There is the king, slaying the lion and wild bull, engaged in battles and in sieges, and receiving as captives the chiefs of the conquered people. We have now reached the end of the hall, and find before us an elaborate and beautiful sculpture, representing two kings, standing beneath the emblem of the supreme deity, and attended by winged figures. Between them is the sacred tree. In front of this bas-relief is the great stone platform, upon which, in days of old, may have been placed the throne of the Assyrian monarch, when he received his captive enemies, or his courtiers.

As we gaze upon these singular sculptures the description of Ezekiel is brought vividly to our minds. The prophet, in typifying the corruptions which had crept into the religious (Page 309) system of the Jews, and the idolatrous practices they had borrowed from the strange nations with which they had been brought into contact, thus illustrates the influence of the Assyrians. "She saw men portrayed upon the wall, the images of the Chaldeans portrayed with vermilion, girded with girdles upon their loins, exceeding in dyed attire upon their heads, all of them princes to look to, after the manner of the Babylonians of Chaldea, the land of their nativity."[12.7] The prophet is prophesying on the banks of the Chebar, or Khabour, in the immediate vicinity of Nineveh, previous to the destruction of the Assyrian capital, an event which he most probably witnessed. He points out the rich and highly ornamented head-dress of the sculptured kings, and evidently alludes to the prevalence of that red color, remains of which are so frequent in the ruins of Nimroud and Khorsabad. Nor can the resemblance between the symbolical figures pictured on the walls and those seen by Ezekiel in his vision fail to strike us. As the prophet had beheld the Assyrian palaces, with their mysterious images and gorgeous decorations, it is highly probable that, when seeking to typify certain divine attributes, and to describe the divine glory, he chose forms that were not only familiar to him, but to the people whom he addressed, captives like himself in the land of Assyria. He chose the four living creatures, with four faces, four wings, and the hands of a man under their wings on the four sides, the faces being those of a man, a lion, an ox, and an eagle, - the four creatures continually introduced on the sculptured walls, - and by them was a wheel, the appearance of which "was as a wheel in the middle of a wheel."[12.8] May not this wheel have been the winged circle, or globe, which, hovering above the (Page 310) head of the kings, typifies the Supreme Deity of the Assyrian nation?

To the left of the great bas-relief at the eastern end of the hall is a fourth outlet formed by another pair of lions. We pass between them, and find ourselves on the edge of a deep ravine, to the north of which rises, high above us, the lofty pyramid. Figures of captives bearing objects of tribute, - ear-rings, bracelets, and monkeys, - are sculptured on the walls; and two enormous bulls, with two winged figures above fourteen feet high, are lying prostrate on the ground.

As the ravine bounds the ruins on this side, we must return to the yellow bulls. The entrance formed by them, leads us into a large chamber surrounded by eagle-headed figures: at one end of it is a doorway guarded by two priests or divinities, and in the center another portal with winged bulls. Whichever way we turn, we find ourselves in the midst of a nest of rooms; and without an acquaintance with the intricacies of the place, we should soon lose ourselves in this labyrinth. The accumulated rubbish being generally left in the center of the chambers, the whole excavation consists of a number of narrow passages, paneled on one side with slabs of alabaster; and shut in on the other by a high wall of earth, half buried in which may here and there be seen a broken vase, or a brick painted with brilliant colors. We may wander through these galleries for an hour or two, examining the marvelous sculptures, or the numerous inscriptions that surround us. (Page 311) Here we meet long rows of kings, attended by their eunuchs and priests, - there lines of winged figures, carrying fir-cones and religious emblems, and seemingly in adoration before the mystic tree. Other entrances formed by winged lions and bulls, lead us into new chambers. In every one of them are fresh objects of curiosity and surprise. At length, wearied, we issue from the buried edifice by a passage on the side opposite to that by which we entered, and find ourselves again upon the naked platform. We look around in vain for any traces of the wonderful remains we have just seen, and are half inclined to believe that we have dreamed a dream, or have been listening to some tale of Eastern romance.

Some, who may hereafter tread on the spot when the grass again grows over the ruins of the Assyrian palaces, may indeed suspect that I have been relating a vision.

[12.1] Lib. i. c. 192 and 193.

[12.2] 2 Kings 18:32. On a black stone in the possession of Lord Aberdeen, a plow is represented, nearly resembling that now in use in the country.

[12.3] The bridge of Mosul consists of a number of rude boats bound together by iron chains. Planks are laid from boat to boat, and the whole is covered with earth. During the spring floods this frail bridge would be unable to resist the force of the stream; the chains holding it on one side of the river are then loosened, and it swings round. All communication between the two banks of the river is thus cut off, and a ferry is established until the waters subside, and the bridge can be replaced.

[12.4] The village was moved to its present site after the river had gradually receded to the westward, as the inhabitants had been left at a very inconvenient distance from water.

[12.5] Page 76

[12.6] It is not improbable that the great obelisk which, according to Diodorus Siculus (lib. ii. c. 1), was brought to Babylon from Armenia by Semiramis was floated down on rafts supported by skins, in the same way that I transported the sculptures of Nineveh to Busrah. It was 130 feet in height and 25 feet square at the base; and being cut out of the solid rock, if the account be not a little exaggerated, must have been of prodigious weight. The principal difficulty might probably appear to have been to place it on the raft; but this could have been accomplished by a simple method - by putting the beams forming the framework of wood, and fastening the skins under the obelisk, in some dry place, which would be overflowed during the periodical floods. When the water began to rise, by gradually removing the earth from beneath the skins, they could easily be filled with air and when the stream had reached the raft they would lift up the obelisk, which could then be floated into the center of the river. I should have adopted this method of moving the larger lions and bulls, had I been required to send them to Busrah without being provided with any mechanical contrivance sufficiently powerful to embark such large weights by a simpler process.

[12.7] Ezekiel 23:14, 15. The literal translation of this remarkable passage is, "she saw men of sculptured (or painted) workmanship upon the wall, likenesses of the Chaldeans, pictured (or sculptured) in shashar (red ochre or vermilion); girded with girdles on their loins, with colored flowing head-dresses upon their heads, with the aspect of princes all of them, the likeness of the sons of Babel-Chaldea, the land of their nativity."

[12.8] Ezekiel 1:16.

Chapter 13

(Page 312) The chambers at Nimroud had been filled up with earth, and the sculptures once more concealed from the eye of man. The surrounding country became daily more dangerous from the incursions of the Arabs of the desert, who now began to encamp even on the east bank of the Tigris. It was time, therefore, to leave the village. As a small sum of money still remained at my disposal, I resolved to devote it to an examination of the ruins opposite Mosul; particularly of the great mound of Kouyunjik. Although excavations on a small scale had already been made there, I had not hitherto had time to superintend them myself, and in such researches the natives of the country can not be trusted. It is well known that almost since the fall of the Assyrian empire, a city of some extent, representing the ancient Nineveh, although no longer the seat of government, nor a place of great importance, has stood on the banks of the Tigris in this part of its course. The modern city may not have been built above the ruins of the ancient; but it certainly rose in their immediate vicinity, either to the east of the river, or to the west, as the modern Mosul. The slabs, which had once lined the walls of the old palaces, and still remained concealed within mounds of earth, had been frequently exposed by accident or by design. Those who were settling in the neighborhood soon found that the ruins were an inexhaustible mine of building materials. The alabaster was dug out to be either used in the construction of houses, or to be burnt for lime. A few years before, a bas-relief had been discovered in one part of the ruins, during a search after stones for the repair (Page 313) of a bridge. The removal of slabs, and the destruction of sculptures, for similar purposes, may have been going on for centuries. There was, therefore, some reason to doubt whether any edifice, except in a very imperfect state, still existed in Kouyunjik. I knew that under the village, containing the tomb of the prophet Jonah, there were remains of considerable importance, probably as entire as those at Nimroud. They owe their preservation to the existence, from a very remote period, of the tomb and village above them. Portions of sculpture, and inscriptions, had frequently been found, when the inhabitants of the place had made the foundations of their dwellings; and when Ali Pashaw of Baghdad caused a well to be dug for the benefit of the mosque, a pair of winged bulls had been discovered at a considerable depth beneath the surface. But the prejudices of the people of Mosul forbade any attempt to explore a spot so venerated for its sanctity.

The palaces of Nimroud being far distant from any large town, when once buried were not disturbed. It does not appear that after the fall of the empire any place of importance rose near them, except Selamiyah. This village is three miles from the ruins, and there are no remains near it to show that, at any time since the Assyrian period, it was any thing more than a small market-town. It may, consequently, be inferred that the great mound of Nimroud has never been opened, and its contents carried away for building purposes, since the destruction of the latest palace; except, as it has already been mentioned, when a pashaw of Mosul endeavored to remove one or two slabs to repair the tomb of a Mussulman saint.

There can, I think, be little doubt that the edifices of which the remains exist at Nimroud, Kouyunjik, and Khorsabad, at one time formed part of the same great city. Each of these palace-temples (for such they appear to have been) was probably the center of a separate quarter, built at a different period, and having a different name. Thus on the inscribed bricks we find distinct names applying to the localities from which they are derived; and this will explain the names of Mespila and (Page 314) Larissa assigned by Xenophon, respectively, to the ruins at Kouyunjik and Nimroud, and that of Evorita given to the palace in which Saracus, the last of the Assyrian kings, is said to have destroyed himself. Each quarter being, at one time, a royal residence, was surrounded by a wall and fortifications, and probably contained rather hunting-grounds and gardens than fixed habitations. They resembled, in fact, the paradises or parks of the later Persian kings. The space between these quarters was occupied by private houses standing in the midst of gardens, orchards, and corn-land. I know no other way of reconciling the unanimous statements of ancient historians, as well as of the inspired writers, as to the extent of Nineveh, nor of explaining the fact that each of the great edifices explored, owed their foundation to different kings, and that there are no remains, either at Kouyunjik or Khorsabad, of the same early period as those at Nimroud. The dimensions of the city given by Diodorus Siculus were 150 stadia for the two longest sides of the quadrangle, and 90 for the shortest, the square being 480 stadia or about 60 miles. Jonah calls it "an exceeding great city of three days' journey," the number of inhabitants, who did not know their right hand from their left being six score thousand.[13.1] It is certainly remarkable that the three days' journey of Jonah should correspond exactly with the sixty miles of the geographer, and that a square formed by the great ruins on the east bank of the Tigris, taking Nimroud, Kouyunjik, Khorsabad, and Karamless as the four corners, should give very nearly the same result.[13.2] These fortified (Page 315) quarters were not all inclosed within one wall: it is probable that in the event of a siege, the population of the intermediate spaces and suburbs took refuge within the different fortifications.

It would appear from existing monuments that the city was originally founded on the spot now occupied by the ruins of Nimroud. No better position could be chosen than the Delta formed by the junction of two large rivers, the Tigris and the Zab. The N. W. palace was the first built; successive monarchs added the center palace, and other edifices which rose by its side. As the population increased, and conquered nations were brought, like the people of Samaria, from distant lands and settled around the Assyrian capital, the dimensions of the city increased also. A king founding a new dynasty, or anxious to perpetuate his fame, and to record his conquests, chose a new site for the erection of a palace. The city, gradually spreading, at length embraced all these buildings. Thus Nimroud represents the original site of Nineveh. The son of the builder of the oldest palace founded a new edifice at Baashiekhah. At a much later period subsequent monarchs erected their temple-palaces at Khorsabad and Kouyunjik. Their descendants returned to Nimroud, the principal buildings of which had been allowed to fall to decay, and were probably already concealed by a mass of ruins and rubbish. The city had now attained the dimensions assigned to it by the Greek geographers, and by the sacred writings. The numerous royal residences, surrounded by gardens and parks, and inclosed by fortified walls, each being a distinct quarter known by a different name, formed together the great city of Nineveh.

It is not difficult to account for the total disappearance of the dwelling-places which occupied the space between the palaces. They were probably little superior to the huts of the present inhabitants of the country, and, like them, constructed entirely (Page 316) of sun dried bricks. As soon as they were allowed to fall to decay, the materials of which they were built became again mingled with the soil, and after a lapse of the very few years scarcely a trace of them would exist. Thus a modern village of Assyria, when once deserted, is rapidly replaced by a mere inequality in the plain. There is, however, still sufficient to indicate that buildings were once spread over the space I have described; for scarcely a husbandman drives his plow over the soil without turning up the vestiges of former habitations. The larger and more important monuments are fully represented by the numerous mounds which are scattered over the plain. It must be remembered that even the palaces would have remained undiscovered had not slabs of alabaster marked the walls.

We can not identify in any other way than that I have suggested, all the ruins described with the site of Nineveh; unless, indeed, we suppose that there were more than one city of that name, the later rebuilt on a new site after the destruction of the earlier. In this case Nimroud and Kouyunjik may each represent the Nineveh of a different epoch. The size, which I have assigned to the city at the time of its greatest prosperity, can not, I think, be deemed extravagant when the nature of Eastern cities is taken into consideration. They do not bear the same proportion to their populations as those of Europe. A place as extensive as London or Paris would not contain one third of the inhabitants of either. The custom, prevalent from the earliest period in the East, of secluding women in apartments removed from those of the men, renders a separate house for each family almost indispensable.[13.3] It was probably as rare, in the time of the Assyrian monarchy, to find more than one family residing under one roof, unless (Page 317) composed of persons very intimately related, such as father and son, as it is at present in an Arab or Turkish city. Moreover, that gardens and arable land were inclosed by the houses, we learn from Diodorus Siculus and Quintus Curtius, who state that there was space enough, even within the precincts of Babylon, to cultivate corn for the sustenance of the whole population in case of siege, besides orchards and gardens.[13.4] From the expression of Jonah that there was much cattle within the city,[13.5] it may be inferred that there was also pasture for them; and we learn from the sculptures that a large portion of the population even resided in tents within the walls, - a custom still prevailing in Baghdad, Mosul, and the neighboring towns; and a far larger space must have been required for such encampments than for huts or cottages. The cities of Isfahan and Damascus, with their gardens and suburbs, must, during the time of their greatest prosperity, have been little inferior in size to Nineveh.

Existing ruins show that Nineveh had acquired its greatest extent and prosperity in the time of the kings of the second (Page 318) dynasty, that is to say, of the kings mentioned in the Scriptures. It was then that Jonah visited it, and that reports of its size and magnificence were carried to the west, and gave rise to those traditions from which the Greeks mainly derived the information handed down to us. It was then, too, that the wealth, luxury, and power of its inhabitants called forth the indignant protests of the prophets, and led to those vices and that effeminacy which ultimately brought about the destruction of the city and the fall of the empire

By the middle of May, I had finished my work at Nimroud. My house was dismantled. The windows and doors, which had been temporarily fitted up, were taken out; and, with the little furniture that had been collected together, were placed on the backs of donkeys and camels to be carried to the town. The Arabs struck their tents and commenced their march. I remained behind until every one had left, and then turned my back upon the deserted village. We were the last to quit the plains of Nimroud; and, indeed, nearly the whole country to the south of Mosul, as far as the Zab, became, after our departure, a wilderness.

Half-way between Mosul and Nimroud the road crosses a low hill. From its crest, both the town and the ruins are visible. On one side, in the distance, rises the pyramid, in the midst of the broad plain of the Jaif, and on the other may be faintly distinguished the great artificial mound of Kouyunjik, and the surrounding remains. The leaning minaret of the old mosque of Mosul may also be seen springing above the dark patch which marks the site of the town. The river can be traced for many miles, winding in the midst of the plain, suddenly losing itself among low hills, and again emerging into the level country. The whole space over which the eye ranges from this spot, was probably once covered with the buildings and gardens of the Assyrian capital - that great city of three days' journey. At an earlier period, that distant pyramid directed the traveler from afar to Nineveh, when the limits of the city were small. It was then one of those primitive settlements (Page 319) which, for the first time, had been formed by the congregated habitations of men. To me the long dark line of mounds in the distance were objects of deep interest. I reined up my horse to look upon them for the last time - for from no other part of the road are they visible - and then galloped on toward Mosul.

In excavating at Kouyunjik, I pursued the plan adopted at Nimroud. I resided in the town. The Arabs pitched their tents on the summit of the mound, at the entrances to the trenches. The Tiyari encamped at its foot, on the banks of the Khausser, the small stream which flows through the ruins. The nearness of the ruins to Mosul, enabled the inhabitants of the town to gratify their curiosity by a constant inspection of my proceedings; and a crowd of gaping Mussulmans and Christians was continually gathered round the trenches. I rode to the mound early every morning, and remained there during the day.

The French consul had carried on his excavations for some time at Kouyunjik, without finding any traces of building. He was satisfied with digging pits or wells, a few feet deep, and then renouncing the attempt, if no sculptures or inscriptions were uncovered. By excavating in this desultory manner, if any remains of building existed underground, their discovery would be a mere chance. An acquaintance with the nature and position of the ancient edifices of Assyria, will at once suggest the proper method of examining the mounds which inclose them. The Assyrians, when about to build a palace or temple, appear to have first constructed a platform of sun dried bricks and earth, about thirty or forty feet above the level of the plain. Upon it they raised the monument. When the building was destroyed, its ruins, already half-buried by the falling in of the upper walls and roof, were in process of time completely covered by the dust and sand, carried about by the hot winds of summer. Consequently, in digging for remains, the first step is to reach the platform of sun-dried bricks. When this is discovered, the trenches must be opened to the level of it, and not (Page 320) deeper; they should then be continued in opposite directions, care being always taken to keep along the platform. By these means, if there be any ruins, they must necessarily be discovered, supposing the trenches to be long enough; for the chambers of the Assyrian edifices are generally narrow, and their walls, or the slabs which cased them if fallen, must sooner or later be reached.

At Kouyunjik, the accumulation of rubbish and earth was very considerable, and to reach the platform of unbaked bricks, trenches were dug to the depth of twenty and even thirty feet. Before beginning the excavations, I carefully examined all parts of the mound, to ascertain where remains of buildings might most probably exist; and at length decided upon continuing my researches where I had commenced them last summer, near the S. W. corner.

The workmen had been digging for several days without finding any other remains than fragments of calcined alabaster, sufficient, however, to encourage me to persevere in the examination of this part of the ruins. One morning as I was in Mosul, two Arab women came to me, and announced that sculptures had been discovered. They had hurried from the mounds as soon as the first slab had been exposed to view; and blowing up the skins, which they always carry with them, had crossed the river upon them. They had scarcely received the present claimed in the East by the bearers of good tidings, and the expectation of which had led to the display of so much eagerness, than one of my overseers, who was generally known from his corpulence as Toma Shishman, or fat Toma, made his appearance, breathless from his exertions. He had hurried as fast as his legs could carry him over the bridge, to obtain the reward carried off, in this instance, by the women.

I rode immediately to the ruins; and, on entering the trenches, found that the workmen had reached a wall, and the remains of an entrance. The only slab as yet uncovered had been almost completely destroyed by fire. It stood on the edge of a deep ravine which ran far into the southern side of the mound.

(Page 321) As the excavations at Kouyunjik were carried on in precisely the same manner as those at Nimroud, I need not trouble the reader with any detailed account of my proceedings. The wall first discovered proved to be the side of a chamber. By following it we reached an entrance formed by winged bulls, leading into a second hall. In a month nine chambers had been explored.

The palace had been destroyed by fire. The alabaster slabs were almost reduced to lime, and many of them fell to pieces as soon as uncovered. The places, which others had occupied, could only be traced by a thin white deposit, like a coat of plaster, left by the burnt alabaster upon the wall of sun-dried bricks.

In its architecture, the newly discovered edifice resembled the palaces of Nimroud and Khorsabad. The chambers were long and narrow; the walls of unbaked brick, with a paneling of sculptured slabs. The bas-reliefs were, however, much larger in their dimensions than those generally found at Nimroud, being about ten feet high, and from eight to nine feet wide. The winged human-headed bulls, forming the entrances, were from fourteen to sixteen feet square. The slabs, unlike those I had hitherto discovered, were not divided in the center by bands of inscription, but were completely covered with figures. The bas-reliefs were greatly inferior in general design, and in the beauty of the details, to those of the earliest palace of Nimroud; but in many parts they were very carefully and minutely finished: in this respect Kouyunjik yields to no other known monument in Assyria. The winged bulls resembled those of Khorsabad in their head-dress and high cap, surmounted by a crest of feathers and richly ornamented with rosettes, like that of the winged monsters of Persepolis. Some of the bulls had four legs, others five, as at Nimroud.[13.7] In the costumes of (Page 322) the warriors, and in the trappings and caparisons of the horses, the sculptures resembled those of Khorsabad.

Inscriptions were not numerous. They occurred between the legs of the winged bulls, above the head of the king, on bas-reliefs representing the siege or sack of a city, and on the backs of slabs; but they were all more or less injured. Those on the bulls were long, the same inscription being continued on the two sides of an entrance. As four pairs of these colossal figures were discovered, each pair bearing nearly the same inscription, the whole may be restored from the fragments.[13.8]

The king, whose name is on the sculptures and bricks from Kouyunjik, was the father of the builder of the S. W. palace at Nimroud, and the son of the Khorsabad king. Long before the discovery of the ruins, I had conjectured, from a hasty examination of a few fragments of sculpture and inscription picked up on the mound, that the building which once stood (Page 323) there must be referred to the time of the Khorsabad king, or of his immediate predecessors or successors.

A few vases and fragments of pottery were discovered in the earth, above the ruins; but no sarcophagi, or tombs with human remains, like those of Nimroud and Kalah Sherghat. The foundations of buildings, of roughly hewn stone, were also found above the Assyrian edifice. One or two small glass bottles, many fragments of glass, several inscribed tablets in clay, and one or two detached slabs covered with inscriptions, were taken out of the rubbish.[13.9]

The slabs forming the entrance to the first chamber[13.10] in the excavations had been almost destroyed. The colossal figures which had been sculptured upon them were probably those of mythic deities such as had been found at Nimroud. The extremities of these figures were alone preserved. They were those of an eagle or vulture: to them were united, it would appear from subsequent discoveries, the body of a man and the head of a lion. The walls of the chamber had suffered no less than the doorway. Upon them could be traced processions of warriors, and captives passing through a thickly wooded, mountainous country; the mountains being represented, as in the bas-reliefs of Nimroud, by a network of lines. On the fragment of a slab was an eunuch carrying a utensil resembling a censer, and standing before an altar, near which were vessels of various shapes.

The southern extremity of the great hall,[13.11] into which the chamber just described opened, had been completely destroyed. Its width was about forty-five feet, and the length of the western wall from the entrance of the small chamber (to the south of which it could not be traced), was nearly one hundred and sixty feet. The first bas-relief on entering represented the burning (Page 324) and sacking of a city, and was divided into several compartments by parallel lines. In the upper, which occupied about half the sculpture, were represented houses, some two and three stories high; they had been fired by the enemy, and flames were issuing from the windows and doors. Beneath were three rows of warriors, marching in regiments, each distinguished by different helmets, arms, and shields. Some wore the pointed helmet peculiar to the Assyrians in the Nimroud sculptures, but with the addition of lappets falling over the ears. They bore concave oval shields, large enough to cover the greater part of the person - probably of metal, the center and margin being ornamented with bosses. The conquerors were carrying away the spoil, consisting of furniture, vases, chariots and horses. Beneath the figures were vines bearing grapes. The captured city stood upon a mountain. Above it was a short inscription, unfortunately almost illegible, containing its name, and a record of the event represented in the bas-relief.

On an adjoining slab was a mountain clothed with forests. Among the trees were warriors, some descending in military array, and leading prisoners toward a castle; others ascending the steep rocks with the aid of their spears, or resting, seated under the trees. The same subject had evidently been continued on the next slab, which had been destroyed.

After these bas-reliefs came an entrance formed by two winged bulls, nearly sixteen feet and a half square, and sculptured out of one slab. The human heads of these colossal animals had been entirely destroyed. Of the inscription which once covered the parts of the slabs not sculptured, there remained only a few lines. Notwithstanding the size of the bulls, this entrance scarcely (Page 325) exceeded six feet in width, thus differing from those at Nimroud. The pavement was formed by one slab, elaborately ornamented with flowers resembling the lotus. Behind the sculptures was a short inscription containing the names and titles of the king.

Beyond this entrance, to the distance of nearly sixty feet, only two slabs were preserved. On one was the interior of a castle, the walls and towers represented, as at Nimroud, by a kind of ground plan. The city had been taken by the Assyrians, and the king, seated on his throne, placed within the walls, was receiving the prisoners and spoil brought to him by his vizier. His dress differed in many respects from that of the monarch in the earlier sculptures at Nimroud. His tiara was higher, more pointed, made up of several bands, and richly ornamented. The ornaments on his robes consisted of rosettes and fringes, elaborate groups of men and animals not being introduced as in the more ancient sculptures. He was seated on a chair with a high back, and his feet rested on an elegant footstool. Behind the throne stood two eunuchs holding fans over the head of the monarch. The arms of the prisoners were fastened in front by fetters, probably of metal.[13.12] Within the (Page 326) walls of the city, as in the bas-reliefs discovered at Nimroud, were houses and tents, in which were men engaged in a variety of domestic occupations, and articles of furniture, such as tables, couches, and chairs. Suspended to the tent-poles were vases, probably, as is still the custom in the East, to cool water. Above the head of the king was one line of inscription containing his name and titles. The castle was built on a mountain, and was surrounded by trees.

On the other slab was represented the invasion of a mountainous country. The enemy defended the summit of a wooded hill against Assyrian warriors, who were scaling the rocks, supporting themselves with their spears and with poles, or drawing themselves up by the branches of trees. Others, returning from the combat, were descending the mountains driving captives before them, or carrying away the heads of the slain.

A spacious entrance at the upper, or northern end of the hall opened into a small chamber, which will be hereafter described.[13.13] The bulls forming this portal were in better preservation than those previously discovered. Their human heads, with the high and elaborately adorned tiara of the later Assyrian period, although greatly injured, could still be distinguished. The greater part of the inscription was also entire.

Upon the two slabs beyond this entrance was a bas-relief of considerable interest. Vessels filled with warriors, and females, were seen leaving a castle, built on the sea-shore at the foot of a mountain. At a gate opening upon the water stood a man placing in the open arms of a woman, who had already embarked in one of the ships, a young child. The sea was indicated by wavy lines, covering the slab from top to bottom, among which were fish, crabs, and turtles. The vessels were of two kinds. The larger had one mast, to the top of which (Page 327) was attached a long yard, held in its place by ropes. The sail was furled. It had two, or perhaps three decks, as there were double tiers of rowers. On the upper deck, which was high out of the water when compared with the depth of the keel, were warriors armed with spears, and women wearing high turbans or caps, to the back of which long vails were attached. The fore part of the vessel rose perpendicularly from a low sharp prow, resembling a plowshare, which may have been of metal, as in the Roman galleys, to disable and sink the enemy's ships. The stern was curved from the keel, and ended in a high point rising above the upper deck. The vessel appears to have been steered by two long oars. Eight rowers were represented on a side, but the number was probably conventional. The lower tier was concealed by the sides of the vessel, the oars issuing from small port-holes. The smaller vessel had no mast, and the head and stern were alike; it was furnished with a double deck, and had the same number of rowers as the larger. Shields were suspended around the upper decks of both.[13.14]

(Page 329) The larger vessel closely resembles in form the galleys represented on coins of a very early date, which were probably struck by Phoenician colonies during the Persian supremacy, the reverse bearing the effigy of the Persian king in his chariot, as found on Darics and cylinders of the same period. The galleys on these coins and in the bas-reliefs are further identified with those of the Syrian coast by the coins of Sidon of a later period, which bear on one side a vessel of similar shape, and on the other the head of an Assyrian goddess. It is highly probable, therefore, that the sculptures described represent the siege and capture of Tyre, Sidon, or some other city on the Mediterranean, and the flight of the conquered people. History has recorded the wars of Shalmaneser with the Tyrians, under their king Elulaeus, and the subjection of the whole of Phoenicia by the Assyrian monarch;[13.15] and, according to Eusebius, who quotes from Abydenus, Sennacherib defeated the Greek fleet on the Cilician coast. It is to one of these two kings that I would attribute the foundation of the great palace of which the ruins opposite Mosul are the remains; and it is remarkable that the rock-tablets at the mouth of the Nahr-el-Kelb river near Beyrout in Syria were erected by the Kouyunjik (Page 330) king, and bear his name. Records of the Khorsabad king, his father, have been discovered in Cyprus.[13.16]

Materials derived from distant countries, and of the most costly description, were employed in the construction of the Tyrian vessels. The "ship-boards were of the fir trees of Senir," the masts of the cedars of Lebanon, the oars of the oaks of Bashan, and the benches of ivory brought from the isles of Chittim, and carved by the Ashurites, probably the Assyrians, of whose skill we have full proof in the beautiful ivories from Nimroud. "Fine linen, with broidered work from Egypt," was used for sails, and the ornaments were of "blue and purple, from the Isles of Elishah." The men of Zidon and Arvad were employed as mariners, and the management and sailing of the vessel were confided to the pilots of Tyre, who, by long experience, were well versed in the art of navigation, and were consequently looked upon as "the wise men" in a city of sailors and merchants.[13.17] In these vessels the Phoenicians coasted along the shores of the Mediterranean and entered the ocean, carrying on an active commerce with the most distant nations, establishing their colonies, and diffusing far and wide their civilization, their arts, and their language.

The castles of the people who are taking refuge in the ships, are distinguished by the shields hung round the walls, a peculiarity which appears to illustrate a passage in Ezekiel[13.18]concerning Tyre: "The men (Page 331) of Arvad, with thine army, were upon thy walls round about, and the Gammadims were in thy towers: they hanged their shields upon thy walls round about."

On the two slabs adjoining the sea-piece was represented the besieging army. The upper part of both had been destroyed; on the lower were still preserved a few Assyrian warriors, protected by the high wicker shield, and discharging arrows in the direction of the castle, and rows of prisoners, with their hands bound, led away by the conquerors.

On the eastern side of the hall was a third entrance, also formed by human-headed bulls. Adjoining were bas-reliefs representing a battle in a hilly country, wooded with pines or fir-trees.

Beyond this entrance the slabs, although in some places entire, had been so much injured by fire that only one bas-relief was preserved. It represented a battle and the sack of a city, and was divided into six compartments. Warriors were dragging chariots, and driving horses and cattle out of the castle gates, others were combating with horsemen and footmen, and in the two lower compartments were lines of chariots, each holding three warriors. The chariots differed in many respects from those of the earlier sculptures of Nimroud, and appear to resemble more closely the chariot of the Persepolitan bas-reliefs, and of the Mosaic in the museum at Naples, supposed to be that of Darius. They were much more roomy and higher, the wheels being almost the height of a man. The ornamented frame work stretching from the fore part to the end of the pole of the ancient chariots, was replaced by a thin rod, or by a rope or leather thong, knotted in the center. The harness of the horses also differed. The upper part of the chariot was square and not rounded, and a projection in front, instead of the quivers suspended at the sides, held the arrows of the archer. The panels were carved and adorned with rosettes; the wheels had eight, and not six spokes, the felloes being bound and strengthened by four metal bands.[13.19]

(Page 332) The western entrance led into a second hall,[13.20] the four sides of which, although the bas-reliefs had unfortunately suffered greatly from fire, were almost entire.

The slabs to the left appear to have been divided into three compartments, each occupied by rows of warriors differently armed and accoutered, probably denoting the allies of the Assyrians. In the first were archers distinguished by their short tunics richly embroidered and by their head-dress, consisting of a simple fillet confining their long hair; in the second, were slingers wearing the pointed helmet, and in the third spearmen with a circular shield and a crested casque. The slingers held a second stone in the left hand, (Page 333) and in front of them was a pile of stones ready for use. Their slings appear to have been formed by a double rope or leather thong.[13.21] They were attired in armor and greaves. The spearmen wore a short linen tunic, confined round the waist by a belt, probably of metal. A kind of cross-belt passed over their shoulders and was ornamented in front with a circular disk. They also wore greaves.

On the following slabs was one subject - the taking by assault of a city or castle, built near a river in a mountainous country and surrounded by trees. Warriors armed with spears were scaling the rocks, slaying the besieged on the house-tops, and leading off the captives.

On the adjoining corner stone were two scribes, one an eunuch, writing down on rolls of leather or some flexible material, the number of heads of the slaughtered enemy laid (Page 334) at their feet by the Assyrian warriors. Thus were the heads of the seventy sons of Ahab brought in baskets to Jezreel and laid "in two heaps at the entering in of the gate ;"[13.22] and such is still the mode of reckoning the loss of an enemy in the East.

The remainder of the wall from this slab to an entrance formed by human-headed bulls, had been greatly injured by fire. The bas-reliefs appear to have represented the conquest of a mountainous and wooded country. The king in his chariot was receiving the prisoners and the spoil.

Beyond the entrance, as far as the bas-reliefs could be traced, the same subject appears to have been continued. The king was again represented standing in his chariot, holding a bow in his left hand, and raising his right in token of triumph. He was accompanied by a charioteer, and by an attendant bearing all open umbrella, from which fell a long curtain as a complete screen from the sun. The chariot was drawn by two horses, and was preceded by spearmen and archers. Above the king there had originally been a short inscription, probably containing his name and titles, but it had been entirely defaced. Horsemen, crossing well wooded mountains, were separated from the group just described, by a river abounding in fish.

The remaining bas-reliefs in this chamber appear to have recorded similar events, - the conquests of the Assyrians, and the triumphs of their king. Only four of them had been preserved; the rest were almost completely destroyed. On two of them was portrayed, with great spirit, the taking by assault of a city. Warriors, armed with spears, were mounting ladders, placed against the walls; those who manned the battlements and towers being held in check and assailed by archers who discharged their arrows from below. The enemy defended themselves with spears and bows, and carried small oblong shields. Above the castle a short inscription recorded the name of the captured city. Under the walls were captives, driven off by the conquerors; and above and below were (Page 336) mountains, trees, and a river, to indicate the nature of the country .

The west entrance of this hall[13.23] led into a further chamber, a part only of which I was able to explore. On two slabs was a mountainous country, with a river running through the midst of it. The higher parts of the mountains were clothed with a forest of pines or firs, the middle region by vineyards, and the lower by trees resembling those sculptured on other slabs, probably the dwarf oak of the country. As the king was represented in his chariot, accompanied by many horsemen in the midst of the forest, it may be presumed that the Assyrians had opened roads through the mountainous districts of their empire.

The remaining slabs were covered from top to bottom with rows of warriors, spearmen, and archers, in their respective costumes, and in martial array. Each slab must have contained several hundred minute figures, which probably represented regularly disciplined troops; for like the Egyptians, the (Page 337) Assyrians were evidently acquainted with military tactics, and possessed organized armies. In several bas-reliefs, troops were represented, drawn up to form a kind of phalanx, or the more modern military square.

The three small chambers to the west of the hall last described[13.24] had been so much injured by fire that few slabs retained traces of sculpture. Among the bas-reliefs remaining, were the siege and capture of a city standing on the banks of a river in the midst of forests and mountains, with warriors cutting down trees, to form an approach to the castle, and carrying away the idols of the conquered people; a fisherman fishing with a hook and line in a pond;[13.25] and warriors receiving long lines of captives, among whom were women and children riding mules.

The wide portal, formed by the winged bulls at the upper end of the great hall first discovered, opened into a small chamber, which had no other entrance.[13.26] One side of it had been completely destroyed. The remaining bas-reliefs represented the siege and sack of a city between two rivers, in the midst of the groves of palm-trees, and consequently, it may be conjectured, in some part of Mesopotamia. There was, fortunately an inscription above the captured city, which probably contains its name. The king was represented, several times, in his chariot, superintending the operations of the siege. The besiegers were cutting down the palms to open and clear the approaches to the walls.

A part only of the chamber to the east of the great hall[13.27] was uncovered. Many of the sculptures had been intentionally destroyed with some sharp instrument, and all had suffered, more or less, from fire. On some could be traced warriors urging their horses at full speed; and others discharging their arrows backward. Beneath the horsemen were rows of chariots (Page 339) and led horses. In their trappings and harness the Kouyunjik horses differed completely from those represented in the (Page 340) bas-reliefs of Nimroud. Their heads were generally surmounted by an arched crest, and bells or tassels were hung round their necks; or, as at Khorsabad, high plumes, generally three in number, rose between their ears. After my departure from Mosul, Mr. Ross continued the excavations in this chamber, and found several other slabs, and an entrance formed by four sphinxes. The bas-reliefs appear to have been part of the series previously uncovered, and represented chariots, horsemen, archers, and warriors in mail. The country in which the events recorded took place, was indicated by a river and palm trees. In front of these bas-reliefs, he discovered an immense square slab, which he conjectures to have been a dais or altar, resembling that in the great hall of the N. W. palace at Nimroud.

This was the extent of my discoveries at Kouyunjik. From the dimensions of some of the halls, it is evident that the ruins are those of a building of great extent and magnificence. The mound upon which it stood was once washed by the river. Then also the edifice, now covered by the village of Nebbi Yunus, rose above the stream, and the two palaces were inclosed in one vast square by lofty walls cased with stone-their towers adorned with sculptured alabaster, and their gateways formed by colossal bulls.

As I have described the ruins as they were discovered during the excavations, it may not be here out of place to add a few words on the subject of the architecture of the Assyrians, and restore, as far as the remains will permit, the fallen palaces.

The architecture of a people must naturally depend upon the materials afforded by the country, and upon the object of their buildings. The descriptions, already given in the course of this work of the ruined edifices of ancient Assyria, are sufficient to show that they differed, in many respects, from those of any other nation with which we are acquainted. Had the Assyrians, so fertile in invention, so skillful in the arts, and (Page 341) so ambitious of great works, dwelt in a country as rich in stone and costly granites and marbles as Egypt or India, it can scarcely be doubted that they would have equaled, if not excelled, the inhabitants of those countries in the magnitude of their pyramids, and in the magnificence of their rock temples and palaces. But their principal settlements were in the alluvial plains watered by the Tigris and Euphrates. On the banks of those great rivers, which spread fertility through the land, and afford the means of easy and expeditious intercourse between distant provinces, they founded their first cities. On all sides they had vast plains, unbroken by a single eminence until they approached the foot of the Armenian hills.

The earliest habitations, constructed when little progress had been made in the art of building, were probably but one story in height. In this respect the dwelling of the ruler scarcely differed from the meanest hut. It soon became necessary, how ever, that the temples of the gods, and the palaces of the kings, depositories at the same time of the national records, should be rendered more conspicuous than the humble edifices by which they were surrounded. The nature of the country also required that the castle, the place of refuge in times of danger, or the permanent residence of the garrison, should be raised above the city so as to afford the best means of resistance to an enemy. As there were no natural eminences in the country, the inhabitants were compelled to construct artificial mounds. Hence the origin of those vast, solid structures which have defied the hand of time; and, with their grass-covered summits and furrowed sides, rise like natural hills in the Assyrian plains.

Let us picture to ourselves the migration of one of the primitive families of the human race, seeking for some spot favorable to a permanent settlement, where water abounded, and where the land, already productive without cultivation, promised an ample return to the labor of the husbandman. They may have followed him who went out of the land of Shinar, to found new (Page 342) habitations in the north;[13.28] or they may have descended from the mountains of Armenia; whence came, according to the Chaldean historian, the builders of the cities of Assyria.[13.29] It was not until they reached the banks of the great rivers, if they came from the high lands, or only while they followed their course, if they journeyed from the south, that they could find a supply of water adequate to the permanent wants of a large community. The plain, bounded to the west and south by the Tigris and Zab, from its fertility, and from the ready means of irrigation afforded by two noble streams, may have been first chosen as a resting-place; and there were laid the foundations of a city, destined to be the capital of the eastern world.

The materials for building were at hand, and in their preparation required neither much labor nor ingenuity. The soil, an alluvial deposit, was rich and tenacious. The builders moistened it with water, and, adding a little chopped straw that it might be more firmly bound together, they formed it into squares, which, when dried by the heat of the sun, served them as bricks. In that climate the process required but two or three days. Such were the earliest building materials; and they are used to this day almost exclusively in the same country. In Egypt, too, they were employed at the remotest period; and the Egyptians, to harass their Jewish captives, withheld the straw without which their bricks could not preserve their form and consistency.

Huts for the people were speedily raised, and roofed with the branches and boughs of trees from the banks of the river.

The inhabitants of the new settlement now sought to build a place of refuge in case of attack, or a dwelling place for their leader, or a temple to their gods. In order to raise the edifice above the plain, and to render it conspicuous among the surrounding habitations, it was erected on an artificial mound (Page 343) constructed for the purpose of earth and rubbish, or of sun-dried bricks.[13.30]

The palaces and temples appear to have been at the same time public monuments, in which were preserved the records or archives of the nation, carved on stone. In them were represented in sculpture the exploits of the kings, and the forms of the divinities; while the history of the people, and invocations to their gods, were inscribed in written characters upon the walls. It was necessary, therefore, to use in the building, some material upon which figures and inscriptions could be carved. The plains of Mesopotamia, as well as the low lands between the Tigris and the hill country, abound in a kind of coarse alabaster or gypsum. Large masses of it everywhere protrude in low ridges from the alluvial soil, or are exposed in the gullies formed by winter torrents. It yields readily to the chisel, and its color and transparent appearance are agreeable to the eye. Thus while offering few difficulties to the sculptor, it was an ornament to the edifice in which it was placed. This alabaster cut into slabs, from eight to ten feet high, four to six wide, and about one foot thick, served as a kind of paneling to the walls of sun dried bricks. On the back of all the slabs, was carved an inscription recording the name, title, and genealogy of the royal founder of the edifice, and they were kept in their places and held together by iron, copper, or wooden cramps in the form of double dovetails, fitting into corresponding grooves in two adjoining slabs. The corners of the chambers were generally formed by one angular stone; and all the walls were either at right angles, or parallel to each (Page 344) other. Upon the slabs were sculptured the bas-reliefs and inscriptions.

At the principal entrances to the chambers were placed gigantic winged bulls and lions with human heads. The smaller doorways were guarded by colossal figures of divinities, or priests. There were no remains of doors or gates; but metal hinges have been discovered, and holes for bolts exist in many of the slabs. The priests of Babylon "made fast their temples with doors, with locks and bars, lest their gods be spoiled by robbers,"[13.31] and the gates of brass of Babylon are continually mentioned by ancient authors. On all the slabs forming entrances, in the oldest palace of Nimroud, were marks of a black fluid, resembling blood, which appeared to have been daubed on the stone. I have not been able to ascertain the nature of this fluid; but its appearance can not fail to call to mind the Jewish ceremony, of placing the blood of the sacrifice on the lintel of the doorway. Under the pavement slabs, at the entrances, were deposited small figures of the gods, probably as a protection to the building.[13.32] Sometimes, as in the N.W. palace at Nimroud, tablets on which were inscribed the name and title of the king, with a short notice of his principal conquests, as a record of the time of the erection of the building, were embedded in the walls.

The upper part of the walls of the chambers, above the alabaster slabs, was built either of baked bricks, richly colored, or of sun-dried bricks covered by a thin coat of plaster, on which were painted figures and ornamental friezes. It is to these upper walls that the complete covering up of the building, and the consequent preservation of the bas-reliefs, may be attributed; for when once the edifice had been deserted they fell in, and the unbaked bricks, again becoming earth, encased the (Page 345) sculptured slabs. Many chambers at Nimroud were entirely constructed of sun-dried bricks, the walls having been painted with figures and ornaments.

The mode of roofing the palaces and lighting the chambers, many of which were in the very center of the building with no other inlet for light but the door, is one of the most difficult questions in Assyrian architecture. I am inclined, on the whole, to concur with Mr. Fergusson in thinking that light was admitted through galleries or open rows of low pilasters above the alabaster slabs, and that wooden columns were sometimes used to support the roof in the larger halls.[13.33] It is, however, remarkable that no remains whatever of columns have been discovered, nor are there any traces of them. Unless they were employed, the chambers exceeding a certain width must have been left open to the sky. There is no proof whatever of any of the rooms having been vaulted, although the Assyrians were well acquainted with the principle of the arch.

The chambers were paved with alabaster slabs, covered with inscriptions recording the name and genealogy of the king, and the chief events of his reign, or with baked bricks, or rather tiles, each also bearing a short inscription. The alabaster slabs were laid upon bitumen. The bricks or tiles were generally in two layers, one above the other, with sand between and beneath them probably to exclude damp. Between the lions and bulls forming the entrances, was usually one large inscribed or ornamented slab.

The drains discovered beneath almost every chamber in the older palace of Nimroud joined a large drain, probably running from under the great hall into the river, which originally flowed at the foot of the mound.

The interior of the Assyrian palaces must have been as magnificent as imposing. I have led the reader through their ruins, and he may judge of the impression their halls were calculated to (Page 346) make upon one who, in the days of old, entered for the first time the abode of the Assyrian kings. Passing through a portal guarded by colossal lions or bulls, he found himself surrounded by the sculptured records of the empire. Battles, sieges, triumphs, the exploits of the chase, and the ceremonies of religion, were portrayed on the walls, - sculptured in alabaster, and painted in gorgeous colors. Above the sculptures were painted other events - the king, attended by his eunuchs and warriors, receiving his prisoners, entering into alliances with distant monarchs, or performing holy rites. These pictures were inclosed in colored borders or friezes of elaborate and elegant design, in which were introduced the emblematic tree, winged bulls, and monstrous animals. At the upper end of the hall was the colossal figure of the king in adoration before the supreme deity, or receiving from his attendants the sacred cup. He was attended by warriors bearing his arms, and ministered to by winged priests or presiding divinities. His robes, and those of his followers, were adorned with groups of human figures, animals, and flowers.

The ceiling above him was gorgeously painted, or inlaid with ivory and precious woods. The beams were of cedar, and gold leaf and plates of gold and silver were probably used with profusion in the decorations.[13.34]

These edifices, as it has been shown, were great national monuments, upon the walls of which were represented in sculpture, or recorded by inscriptions, the chronicles of the empire. (Page 347) He who entered them might thus read the history, and learn the glory and triumphs of the nation. They served, at the same time, to bring continually to the remembrance of those who assembled within them on festive occasions, or for the celebration of religious ceremonies, the deeds of their ancestors, and the power and majesty of their gods.

The exterior walls of these palaces were either cased with sculptured slabs or painted. On the outside of the principal palace of Babylon, assigned by tradition to Semiramis, were portrayed men and animals, and on the towers hunting scenes, in which were represented Semiramis herself on horseback, throwing a javelin at a panther, and Ninus slaying a lion with his lance.[13.35] The walls of Ecbatana, according to Herodotus,[13.36] were each painted of a different color; the outer (there were seven round the city) being white, the next black, the third purple, the fourth blue, the fifth orange, and the two inner having their battlements plated, one with silver and the other with gold.[13.37] Walls thus sculptured and painted must, in the clear atmosphere and brilliant sunshine of Assyria, have been peculiarly pleasing to the eye, and have had a beautiful appearance even from afar.

Were these magnificent mansions palaces or temples? or, while the king combined the character of a temporal ruler with that of a high priest or type of the religion of the people, did his residence unite the palace, the temple, and a national monument raised to perpetuate the triumphs and conquests of the nation? These are questions which can not yet be satisfactorily answered. We can only judge by analogy. A very superficial examination of the sculptures will prove the sacred character of the king. The priests or presiding deities (whichever the winged figures so frequently found on the Assyrian monuments may be) are represented as waiting upon, or (Page 348) ministering to, him; above his head are the emblem of the supreme deity, the winged figure within the circle, and the sun, moon, and planets. As in Egypt, he may have been regarded as the representative, on earth, of the deity, receiving his power directly from the gods, and being the organ of communication between them and his subjects.[13.38] The intimate connection between the public and private life of the Assyrians and their religion, is abundantly proved by the bas-reliefs. As among most Eastern nations, not only public and social duties appear to have been more or less influenced by religion, or to have been looked upon as typical, but all the acts of the king, whether in peace or war, were evidently connected with the national faith, and were believed to be under the special protection and superintendence of the deity. Hence the emblem of the supreme God is represented above his head in battle, during his triumphs, and when he celebrates the sacred ceremonies. The embroideries upon his robes, and the ornaments upon his weapons, have likewise mythic meanings. His contests with the lion and other wild animals denote not only his prowess and skill, but his superior strength and wisdom. The architectural decorations have the same religious and typical signification. All the edifices hitherto discovered in Assyria have precisely the same character; so that we have most probably the palace and temple combined; for in them the deeds of the king, and of the nation, are united with religious symbols, and with the statues of the gods.

We have no means of ascertaining the nature of the private dwellings of the Assyrians, nor of learning any particulars concerning their internal economy and arrangement. No such houses have been preserved either in Assyria Proper or Babylonia, their complete disappearance being attributable to the perishable materials of which they were constructed; for although the palace temples were of such extraordinary magnificence, the bulk of the people appear to have lodged, as in (Page 349) Egypt, and indeed in Greece and Rome, in very small and miserable dwellings, which, when once abandoned, soon fell to dust, leaving no trace behind.

Of the walls of the city, or rather of its principal quarters (for the entire city was not, I am convinced, surrounded by one consecutive wall), nothing now remains but the long lines of mounds inclosing the ruins of Nimroud, Khorsabad, and Kouyunjik. In some places the earth still conceals the basement of hewn stones, upon which rose the lofty structure of sun-dried brick, the wonder and admiration of the ancients.[13.39] The dimensions of the walls of Nineveh and Babylon, as given by Herodotus, Xenophon, and Diodorus Siculus, may fairly be considered fabulous; those of Nineveh being 100 feet high, wide enough for three chariots to pass abreast, and furnished with 1500 towers, each 200 feet in height, and those of Babylon nearly 300 feet high and 75 thick.

In the edifices of Assyria reeds and bitumen were not employed, as at Babylon, to cement the layers of bricks, although both materials are found in abundance in the country.[13.40] A tenacious clay, moistened and mixed with a little chopped straw, was used, as it still is in the neighborhood of Mosul, for mortar. With it were united the sun-dried bricks, baked bricks being rarely used in Assyria, and no such masses of them existing among the ruins of Nineveh as at Babylon. These simple materials have successfully resisted the ravages of time, and still mark the stupendous nature of the Assyrian edifices.

Although there is but little difference in the architecture of the various buildings explored in Assyria, the change which had taken place in the manners, religion, and dress of the inhabitants of the country between the foundation of the N. W. palace at Nimroud, and of the edifices at Khorsabad and (Page 350) Kouyunjik must be evident on a most cursory examination of the sculptures from those buildings. The difference, indeed, is so considerable and so radical that even several centuries must have elapsed between the erection of the palaces, or some fundamental change must have taken place in the people. The first appears to me the most probable conjecture. The fact of the S. W. palace at Nimroud being built of materials taken from the N. W. proves that the interval between their erection must have been very great. As in Egypt the more ancient monuments show the purest taste and the highest knowledge of art, and we have that phenomenon which is to be remarked in the history of all nations, ancient or modern, of a gradual decline of art, after a state of comparative perfection. In the later monuments of Nineveh, moreover, particularly in the ornaments, and in the small objects discovered, we find an Egyptian taste, unknown in the earlier remains. This would indicate a foreign influence which may have been the principal source of the change I have pointed out, and which may be traced either to conquest or to intimate family alliances.

By the middle of the month of June my labors in Assyria had drawn to a close. The funds assigned to the Trustees of the British Museum for the excavations had been expended, and further researches were not, for the present at least, contemplated. I prepared, therefore, to turn my steps homeward, after an absence of some years. The ruins of Nimroud had been again covered up, and its palaces were once more hidden from the eye. The sculptures taken from them had been safely removed to Busrah, and were awaiting their final transport to England. The inscriptions, which promise to instruct us in the history and civilization of one of the most ancient and illustrious nations of the earth, had been carefully copied. On looking back upon the few months that I had passed in Assyria, I could not but feel some satisfaction at the result of my labors. Scarcely a year before, with the exception of the ruins of Khorsabad, not one Assyrian monument was known. Almost sufficient materials had now been obtained to enable us to restore much of (Page 351) the lost history of the country, and to confirm the vague traditions of the learning and civilization of its people. It had often occurred to me during my labors, that the time of the discovery of these remains was so opportune, that it might be looked upon as something more than accidental. Had these palaces been by chance exposed to view some years before, no European could have protected them from complete destruction, or could have preserved a record of their existence. Had they been discovered a little later, it is highly probable that there would have been insurmountable objections to the removal of even any part of their contents. It was consequently just at the right moment that they were disinterred; and we have been fortunate enough to acquire the most convincing and lasting evidence of that magnificence, and power, which made Nineveh the wonder of the ancient world, and her fall the theme of the prophets, as the most signal instance of divine vengeance. Without the evidence that these monuments afford, we might almost have doubted that the great Nineveh ever existed, so completely "has she become a desolation and a waste."

Before my departure I was desirous of giving a last entertainment to my workmen, and to those who had kindly aided me in my labors. On the western side of Kouyunjik there is a small village, belonging, with the mound, to a former slave of a pashaw of the Abd-el-Jeleel family, who had received his liberty, and the land containing the ruins, as a reward for long and faithful services. This village was chosen for the festivities, and tents for the accommodation of my guests were pitched around it. Large platters filled with boiled rice, and divers inexplicable messes, only appreciated by Arabs, and those who have lived with them, - the chief components being garlic and sour milk - were placed before the various groups of men and women, who squatted in circles on the ground. Dances were then commenced, and were carried on through the greater part of the night, the Tiyari and the Arabs joining in them, or relieving each other by turns. The dancers were happy and enthusiastic, and kept up a constant shouting. The quiet (Page 352) Christian ladies of Mosul, who had scarcely before this occasion ventured beyond the walls of the town, gazed with wonder and delight on the scene; lamenting, no doubt, that the domestic arrangements of their husbands did not permit more frequent indulgence in such gayeties.

At the conclusion of the entertainment I spoke a few words to the workmen, inviting any who had been wronged, or ill-used, to come forward and receive such redress as it was in my power to accord, and expressing my satisfaction at the successful termination of our labors without a single accident. One Sheikh Khalaf, a very worthy man, who was usually the spokesman on such occasions, answered for his companions. They had lived, he said, under my shadow, and, God be praised, no one had cause to complain. Now that I was leaving, they should leave also, and seek the distant banks of the Khabour, where at least they would be far from the Turks, and be able to enjoy the little they had saved. All they wanted was each man a teskere, or note, to certify that he had been in my service. This would not only be some protection to them, but they would show my writing to their children, and would tell them of the days they had passed at Nimroud. Please God, I should return to the Jebours, and live in tents with them on their old pasture-grounds, where there were as many ruins as at Nimroud, plenty of plunder within reach, and gazelles, wild boars, and lions for the chase. After Sheikh Khalaf had concluded, the women advanced in a body and made a similar address. I gave a few presents to the principal workmen and their wives, and all were highly satisfied with their treatment.

A few days afterward, the preparations for my departure were complete. I paid my last visit to Essad Pashaw, called upon the principal people of the town, bid adieu to my friends, and on the 24th of June was ready to leave Mosul.

I was accompanied on my journey to Constantinople by Mr. Hormuzd Rassam, Ibrahim Agha, and the bairakdar, and by several members of the household of the late pashaw; who were ready, in return for their own food and that of their horses, to (Page 353) serve me on the road. We were joined by many other travelers, who had been waiting for an opportunity to travel to the north in company with a sufficiently strong party. The country was at this time very insecure. The Turkish troops had marched against Beder Khan Bey, who had openly declared his independence, and defied the authority of the sultan. The failure of the crops had brought parties of Arabs abroad, and scarcely a day passed without the plunder of a caravan and the murder of travelers. The pashaw sent a body of irregular horse to accompany me as far as the Turkish camp, which I wished to visit on my way. With this escort, and with my own party, all well armed and prepared to defend themselves, I had no cause to apprehend any accident.

Mr. and Mrs. Rassam, all the European residents, and many of the principal Christian gentlemen of Mosul, rode out with me to some distance from the town. On the opposite side of the river, at the foot of the bridge, were the ladies who had assembled to bid me farewell. Beyond them were the wives and daughters of my workmen, who clung to my horse, many of them shedding tears as they kissed my hand. The greater part of the Arabs insisted upon walking as far as Tel Kef with me. In this village supper had been prepared for the party. Old Gouriel, the kiayah, still rejoicing in his drunken leer, was there to receive us. We sat on the house-top till midnight. The horses were then loaded and saddled. I bid a last farewell to my Arabs, and started on the first stage of our long journey to Constantinople.

[13.1] Various meanings have been assigned to this statement. Some suppose that young children are intended who would form about one fifth of the population, which would then have been about six hundred thousand. Others contend that this is a mere allusion to the general ignorance of the inhabitants.

[13.2] The distance from Kouyunjik to Nimroud is about eighteen miles; that from Nimroud to Karamless about twelve, the opposite sides of the square the same; these measurements correspond accurately with the elongated quadrangle of Diodorus. Twenty miles is a day's journey in the East, and we have, therefore, exactly three days' journey for the circumference of the city. These coincidences are, at least, very remarkable. Within this space was fought the great battle between Heraclius and Rhazates (A D. 627). "The city, and even the ruins of the city, had long since disappeared, the vacant space afforded a spacious field for the operations of the two armies." - Gibbon's Decline and Fall, ch. xlvi.

[13.3] We learn from the book of Esther that such was the custom among the early Persians, although the intercourse between the sexes was at that time much less circumscribed than after the spread of Mohammedanism, Ladies were even admitted to public banquets, and received strangers in their own apartments, while they resided habitually in dwellings separate from the men.

[13.4] Diod. Sic. lib. ii. c. 9. Quint. Curt. v. cap. l.

[13.5] Jonah 4:11

[13.6] This house appears to resemble the model of an Egyptian dwelling in the British Museum. (See also Sir Gardner Wilkinson's Ancient Egyptian, vol. ii., woodcuts 98 and 99.) From a bas-relief discovered in the center of the mound at Nimroud, it would appear that the upper part was sometimes of canvas.

[13.7] It has already been mentioned that the winged lions of the N. W. palace at Nimroud were furnished with five legs, that the spectator, in whatever position he stood, might have a perfect front and side view of the animal.

[13.8] A restored inscription is included in the collection printed for the Trustees of the British Museum.

[13.9] The greater part of these small objects are in the British Museum.

[13.10] Ch. A, plan 5.

[13.11] Ch. B, plan 5.

[13.12] "To bind their kings with chains, and their nobles with fetters of iron." (Psalm 149:8) "They put out the eyes of Zedekiah, and bound him with fetters of brass, and took him to Babylon." (2 Kings 25:7) Samson was bound with fetters of brass. (Judges 16:21) In a bas-relief at Khorsabad, were represented captives as led before the king by rings of iron passed through the nose and lips, to which was attached a cord; thus illustrating the passage, "I will put my hook in thy nose, and my bridle in thy lips."

[13.13] Ch. G, plan 5

[13.14] In the Khorsabad sculptures the ships are of different form to those described in the text. That they did not belong to the Assyrians, but to some allied or conquered nation, appears to be indicated by the peculiar costume of the figures in them. They are in the shape of a sea-monster, the head of a horse forming the prow, and the tail of a fish the stern The mast is supported by ropes, and is surmounted by a kind of stand, or what a seaman would call a crow's-nest, which in the Egyptian sculptures holds an archer.

[13.15] Josephus, lib. ix. c. 14. The Tyrians having revolted, Shalmaneser attacked them with 60 vessels and 800 rowers, furnished by the inhabitants of other maritime cities. The Tyrians, however, defeated this large fleet and took 500 men prisoners. The Assyrians then invested the city for five years, cutting off the inhabitants from the rivers and wells which furnished them with fresh water.

[13.16] The inscriptions recently brought by me from Kouyunjik completely confirm my conjectures as to the period of the Kouyunjik palace and as to its probable founder, who appears to have been Sennacherib. Colonel Rawlinson communicated the contents of one of these inscriptions to the Athenaeum of August 23, 1851.

[13.17] The 27th chapter of Ezekiel contains a complete description of the vessels and trade of the Tyrian, and is a most important and interesting record of the commercial intercourse of the nations of antiquity.

[13.18] Chap. 27:2

[13.19] See woodcut, facing p. 334.

[13.20] Hall C, plan 5.

[13.21] Xenophon frequently alludes to the expertness of the slingers of Assyria (see particularly Anab. lib. iii. c. 3). They used very large stones and could annoy the enemy, while out of reach of their darts and arrows

[13.22] 2 Kings 10:8.

[13.23] Entrance b, chamber C, plan 5.

[13.24] Chambers D, E, and F, plan 5.

[13.25] In the British Museum.

[13.26] Chamber G, plan 5.

[13.27] Chamber H, plan 5.

[13.28] Genesis 10:11.

[13.29] Xithurus and his followers: Berosus apud Euseb. The similarity between the history of this Chaldean hero, and that of the Noah of Scripture is very singular.

[13.30] Such is the custom still existing among the inhabitants of Assyria. When some families of a nomad tribe wish to settle in a village, they choose an ancient mound; it being no longer necessary to form a new platform, for the old abound in the plains. On its summit they erect a rude castle and the huts are built at the foot. The same plan appears to have been followed since the Arab invasion, and perhaps long previous during the Persian occupation. There are few ancient mounds containing Assyrian ruins upon which castles, cities, or villages have not at some period been built. Such are Arbela, Tel Afer, Nebbi Yunus, &c. &c.

[13.31] Epistle of Jeremy, Baruch, vi. 18.

[13.32] It has already been mentioned, that these small figures in unbaked clay, were found beneath the pavement in all the entrances at Khorsabad. They were only discovered at Nimroud under the most recent palace, in the B. W. corner of the mound.

[13.33] The subject is very fully treated and very ably illustrated in his work entitled "the Palaces of Nineveh and Persepolis restored," which contains, at the same time, many valuable suggestions on the arts and architecture of the Assyrians.

[13.34] Sun-dried bricks with remains of gilding, were discovered at Nimroud. Herodotus states that the battlements of the innermost walls of the royal palace of Ecbatana the ornaments of which were most probably imitated from the edifices of Assyria, were plated with silver and gold (lib. i. c. 98). The precious metals appear to have been generally used in decorating the palaces of the East. Even the roofs of the palace at Ecbatana are said to have been covered with silver tiles. The gold, silver, ivory and precious woods in the ceilings of the palaces of Babylon attributed to Semiramis are frequently mentioned by ancient writers. Zephaniah (2:14) alludes to the "cedar work" of the roof, and in Jeremiah (22:14) chambers "ceiled with cedar and painted with vermilion" are mentioned. Sometimes the walls and ceilings were paneled or wainscoted with this precious wood. (1 Kings 6:15, 7: 3).

[13.35] Diodorus Siculus, lib. ii.

[13.36] Lib. i. c. 98.

[13.37] Herod. lib. 1, c. 98. These colors, with the number seven of the walls, have evidently allusion to the heavenly bodies, and their courses.

[13.38] Diodorus Siculus, lib. i. c. 90; and Wilkinson's Ancient Egyptians, vol. i. p. 245, and vol. ii. p. 67.

[13.39] Such, according to Xenophon, were the walls of Larissa and Mespila, the plinth or lower part of the wall of which was 50 feet high, and the upper 100. The stone was full of shells. (Anab. lib 3.) His description agrees pretty accurately with the actual remains.

[13.40] Bitumen was, however, sometimes used to unite stones, and even burnt bricks.