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By Robert William Rogers

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Scores of inscriptions, chiefly upon stone and monumental in character, were now found. Great winged bulls that once had guarded palace doors came to light. Bas-reliefs of much beauty portraying scenes of peace and war arose out of dust and dirt. The success of the work passed all the hopes of Botta and all the enthusiastic predictions of Mohl, and almost exceeded the belief of the learned world in Paris. In October, 1844, Botta stopped the work and soon began to arrange for the transportation of the antiquities to Paris.

Thence he wrote on April 5,1843, a quiet, dignified letter to the author of his first enthusiasm, AI. Mohl. There is scarcely a word of enthusiasm in the letter, but it roused Mohl to contribute of his own small purse and also sent him to the Academy of Inscriptions with Botta's letter and the accompanying diagrams. Meanwhile the excavations went slowly on, though with some opposition on the part of the pasha. A month later a second and more important letter moved the French government to its old line of generous assistance to archaeological research, and three thousand francs were placed at Botta's disposal for further researches.

It was, besides this, not published in a complete form until after the author's death. Porter saw his own book published, and heard the popular plaudits. Here was at last a description of Babylon as it now was, duly intermingled with quotations from previous observers, and fortified by the word of Mr. Rich and Mr. Bellino. Here were pictures of mounds and ruined walls and inscribed bricks, and here was the expressed opinion that they had not yet been fully explored. What better thing could have been done for the recovery of Babylon at this time than the publication of just such a book as this of Sir Robert Ker Porter!

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