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Early Adventures in Persia, Susiana, and Babylonia, Vol. I
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Early Adventures in Persia, Susiana, and Babylonia, Vol. I


John Murray 1887

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Austen Henry Layard offers an autobiographical account of his early travels through the Near East, expounding on what drew him to excavate the Nineveh and Babylon sites. His work recounts his encounters with various people groups and the discoveries made during his journey. Part one of two.

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Austen Henry Layard (1817–1894) was born in Paris, but he traveled often in his youth. He was educated in Italy, England, Switzerland, and France. After spending six years working for his uncle’s law firm, he left to travel and explore the Middle East. After his first successful excavations at Kuyunjik and Nimrud, Layard continued his archeological explorations at the ruins of Babylon and the mounds of southern Mesopotamia. (Many of the specimens that he found make up a large part of the British Museum’s collection of Assyrian antiquities.) Layard then returned to England, where he took up a life of politics, serving as under-secretary for foreign affairs and ambassador at Constantinople. Layard retired in Italy, where he continued to write about Italian art and penned the popular account of his earliest travels, Early Adventures in Persia, Susiana, and Babylonia.