London: John Murray, 1853. First Edition, First Printing. A Very Good Hardcover.
Full blue leather with five spine bands with intricate gilt scrolling and titles. Text block is marbled. 8vo; xxiii, 686 pages; 8.75 inches tall; profusely illustrated including 15 tinted lithographs, textual drawings, folding frontispiece, three folding plans, and two folding maps at rear. The bindings are tight and square. Text clean, light even toning. Moderate shelf handling wear with modest rubbing. First Edition, First Printing.
Very Good / No Jacket issued. Item #15333
Sir Austen Henry Layard was one of the leading British archaeologists of the nineteenth century. His excavations provided important evidence about ancient Mesopotamia, particularly about the Assyrian civilization, and his books part travel writing, part specialized archaeological studies are beautifully evocative.
The book describes Layard's second expedition to the Near East, in 1845, which led to the identification of Kouyunjik as the great Assyrian capital Nineveh. In this richly illustrated book, Layard focuses on the description and interpretation of ruins, as he tells of the discovery of the lost palace of the Assyrian king Sennacherib (eighth century BCE) in northern Iraq.
The author was an English traveler, archaeologist, cuneiformist, art historian, draughtsman, collector, politician and diplomat. He is best known as the excavator of Nimrud and of Nineveh, where he uncovered a large proportion of the Assyrian palace reliefs known, and in 1851 the library of Ashurbanipal. Most of his finds are now in the British Museum. He made a large amount of money from his best-selling accounts of his excavations.