Austen Henry Layard


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Layard, Austen Henry

 

Born Mar. 5, 1817, in Paris; died July 5,1894, in London. British archaeologist and diplomat. Envoy extraordinary to Madrid from 1869 to 1877 and ambassador to Istanbul from 1877 to 1880.

In the course of two expeditions (1845–47 and 1849–51, the second with H. Rassam), Layard excavated the ruins of two Assyrian capitals—Calah and Nineveh—and conducted archaeological excavations in Babylon, Borsippa, Nippur, and other ancient cities. Five palaces dating from the ninth to seventh centuries B.C. were discovered in Calah. A palace of the seventh century B.C. with King Ashurbanipal’s library (about 20,000 clay tablets) was found in Nineveh.

WORKS

Discoveries in the Ruins of Nineveh and Babylon. London, 1853.

REFERENCE

Ceram, C. Bogi, grobnitsi, uchenye. Moscow, 1960. (Translated from German.)
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These colossal stone gateway figures, iconic symbols of the Assyrian empire, were discovered by the English archaeologist Austen Henry Layard in the middle of the 19th century, before being covered up again and re-excavated by Iraqi archaeologists about 15 years ago.
The line of scholars investigating the AST begins with Austen Henry Layard who introduced the notion of the 'tree of life' and maintained that the AST was the tree from the Garden of Eden.
Adkins explores his relationships with Irish scholar Edward Hincks, Austen Henry Layard, who excavated Nineveh, and their roles in deciphering cuneiform.
The second sack of Nineveh is argued to have occurred in 1847, when Austen Henry Layard arrived at the site and stripped it of many of the `best' reliefs, for shipment to England and eventual placement in the British Museum.
Austen Henry Layard, a young English adventurer, had started his Assyrian excavations in late 1845, and he returned home two years later.