By Robert William Rogers
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Additional resources for A History of Babylonia and Assyria, 2 volumes
I imagined, I should have said: 'Here were the walls, and such must have been the extent of the area. " 78 This first visit of Rich to Babylon was brief, for he was back again in Baghdad on December 21. In that short time, however, he had planned all the mounds, and had correctly located them by astronomical observations. He also tested the mounds by digging into them in several places, of which the following words may serve as a sufficient description: "I went with ten men with pickaxes and shovels to make experiments on the Mujelibe; they dug into the heaps on the top, and found layers of burnt bricks, with inscriptions laid in mortar.
Entering breathless into the bazaars, he announced to everyone he met that Nimrod had appeared. The news soon got to the ears of the cadi, who, anxious for a fresh opportunity to annoy me, 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 Pasha very clearly remember whether Nimrod was a true believing prophet or an infidel.
Thereupon Botta went to the scene, to behold a sight that thrilled him. His workmen had lighted upon a very well-preserved ancient wall, not of a city, but of a building. This they had followed round and so uncovered a large room, in which were lying fragments of sculptures, calcined by fire, together with a number of well-preserved inscriptions. The full meaning of this new room was not ascertained until long after, but some appreciation of it was Botta's own, as he looked down into the rude excavation.