New York: George P. Putnam, 1849. First US edition. Hardcover. 2 volumes, complete. viii, (3)-326; viii, 9-373 pp.; tinted lithograph frontispiece in each volume, first volume with 16 engraved plates and plans (some folding) and large folding map; second volume with 16 engraved plates and plans (some folding) and many full-page illustrations as well as many illustrations in the text (illustration lists in the 2 volumes do not follow the same scheme in distinguishing "plates" from "illustrations."; octavos, original blue cloth blocked in gilt and blind. Spine ends moderately frayed, scattered foxing, about 10 pages in first volume on lesser-quality stock and fairly toned, ex libris The American Academy of Asian Studies (AAAS) with their ink stamp to endpapers and title pages, pockets at rear, no external markings (see note below). Item #22920
Important narrative account of the discovery and excavation of a significant archaeological site in what was ancient Assyria. English traveller, archaeologist and, later, politician, Austen Henry Layard (1817-1894) had travelled extensively throughout the region in the early 1840s, living rough and learning both the Arabic and Persian languages. With encouragement and financial backing from Stratford Canning, British Ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, in 1845 he began excavations at Nimrud (about 20 miles south of Mosul in modern-day Iraq). The dig unearthed 3 palaces and a wealth of artifacts and monumental sculpture, much of which was sent to the British Museum. Layard's assertion that he had discovered the lost city of Nineveh was quickly found to be in error shortly after publication of this book. A subsequent expedition in 1849-1851 at Kuyunjik (funded by the British Museum) did locate Nineveh. This copy ex libris American Academy of Asian Studies (AAAS). Founded in 1951 by Louis Gainsborough, an American businessman with extensive ties to Asia, AAAS was conceived as an independent school of graduate studies focusing on Asian cultures and philosophy. With the additions to the staff of Indian scholar and developer of the integral counseling psychology movement Haridas Chaudhuri (recommended by Sri Aurobindo) and Alan Watts, the focus of AAAS became primarily on Eastern religion, mysticism and new fields of psychological study. In 1968 Chaudhuri formed the California Institute of Asian Studies which in 1980 was renamed the California Institute of Integral Studies (CIIS) which continues in the present.