Austen Henry Layard

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The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

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.


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


Ceram, C. Bogi, grobnitsi, uchenye. Moscow, 1960. (Translated from German.)
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.
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What renders American-Turkish Encounters truly fascinating is the way in which it draws on the kind of rhetorical strategies reminiscent of Austin Henry Layard's writing, suggesting that the relationship between the two countries is as unequal today as it was a century and a half ago.
In the years of the present volume, 1853-1855, as in the past, he still regularly supervises Urania Cottage for Miss Burdett Courts; throws himself into amateur theatricals to benefit writers--managing, directing, and acting--; involves himself in public affairs (at this point working with Austin Henry Layard in behalf of administrative reform, advocating measures for improved sanitation and water, working to reform the charter of the Royal Literary Fund, and so on and on).

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