By Robert William Rogers
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Extra resources for A History of Babylonia and Assyria, 2 volumes
Olivier, who was sent into the East for the purpose chiefly of scientific study. He had no such knowledge of the ancient world as the abb6, and therefore failed to make any independent contribution to the progress of knowledge respecting Nineveh. His 73 references to the city are scanty enough, and he does not appear to have seen any inscriptions. At this time the knowledge of ancient Babylon very far exceeded the knowledge of Nineveh. It is, however, proper to say that both sites had been found, and excavations on a very small scale had been begun at Babylon.
I found in it a subterranean canal, which, instead of being arched over, is covered with pieces of sandstone six or seven feet long by three feet wide. These ruins extend several leagues to the north of Hella, and incontestably mark the situation of ancient Babylon.... "Besides the bricks with inscriptions, which I have mentioned, there are solid cylinders, three inches in diameter, of a white substance, covered with very small writing, resembling the inscriptions of Persepolis mentioned by Chardin.
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 [his Arab host], I rose from my carpet and joined him outside the hovel.