History of Archaeological Excavations at Nineveh city
2020, Volume 5, Issue 1, Pages 191-214
AbstractMentioning the names of some ancient cities, including the city of Nineveh in the Bible and the historical narrations of Greek and Roman classical historians such as Herodotus and Xenophon, had the greatest influence in the movement of some European travelers and tourists to the East, such as the Jewish tourist of Spain, Benjamin of Tudela, in 1160.
The former, who visited Nineveh and recorded the activities of his journey that stimulated the activities of the European scientific institutions in the nineteenth century and sent its exploratory expeditions such as the French mission headed by the French consul Paul-Ēmile Botta in 1842 and the English mission headed by Austen Henry Layard in 1845. But, the archaeological discoveries carried out by those was closer to rummage rather than, namely, excavations. The biggest concern of these amateurs was to obtain precious and beautiful pieces to decorate the museums of the Western countries. However, no importance was attached to the scientific documentation of the discovered pieces. What resulted from those errors, the loss of valuable archaeological information.
The scientific excavations phase in Iraq, in general, did not begin until the beginning of the twentieth century when the German missions began drilling in the cities of Babylon and Ashur, but the beginning of World War I prevented the continuation of the foreign exploration works in Iraq.
Then, the final stage of the history of excavations was represented by the national excavations in 1938 after the enactment of a law concerned with archeology in 1936. On this basis, this modest research was divided into a number of chapters. The first of which discussed the city of Nineveh in terms of its geographical location, the importance of the city, its naming, history and layouts. The second chapter dealt with the activities of travelers and tourists. The third chapter dealt with the activities of the amateur prospectors. And, the fourth which is the final chapter studied the scientific exploration phase.
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