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NOTE 69, p. 540.--The recent discoveries at Nineveh NOTE 60, p. 673.—It has been already stated in a afford an interesting illustration of this verse. In the previous Note (47) of this Appendix, that a large collection Kouyunjik palace (built by Sennacherib), Mr Layard dis- of seals on clay had been found by Mr Layard in the covered two small chambers, which, from the ruins found Kouyunjik palace. These clay-seals of Assyria will enable within them, he regarded as the chambers of records.' the reader to understand the meaning of the present text. *The chambers I am describing,' Mr Layard remarks, According to Mr Layard, there can be no doubt that these 'appear to have been a depository in the palace of clay-seals had been affixed, like modern official seals of vas, Nineveh for such documents [of public affairs, written on to documents written on leather papyrus, or parchment. tablets and cylinders of baked clay). To the height of In his note at 1 Kings xxi. 8, Dr Kitto has stated that all & foot or more from the floor, they were entirely filled seals that were not rings were bored, so that a string might with them; some entire, but the greater part broken into be inserted by which the seal was worn around the neck, or many fragments, probably by the falling in of the upper attached to other parts of the body. It is, then, a remarkpart of the building. They were of different sizes; the able and interesting circumstance connected with these largest tablets were flat, and measured about 9 inches by pieces of impressed clay, that in them may still be seen 6. inches.
The cuneiform characters on most *the holes for the string, or strips of skin, by which the of them were singularly sharp and well defined, but so seal was fastened;' while, more wonderful still, 'in some minute in some instances as to be almost illegible without instances, the ashes of the string itself remain with the a magnifying-glass. The documents were of a various marks of the finger and the thumb.' The seals thus discharacter, including records of wars, royal decrees, stamped covered are of different countries, the greater part being with the name of a king, lists of the gods, with (probably) Assyrian; while some bear Egyptian, others Phænician, a register of offerings made in their temples, &c. Many and others doubtful symbols and characters. “The Assyof the documents were sealed with seals; and Mr Layardrian devices are of various kinds; the most common is that believed that they might prove to be legal contracts, or of a king plunging a dagger into the body of a rampant conveyances of land. Of these documents, the author lion. This appears to have been the royal, and, indeed, remarks generally: "We cannot overrate their value. the national seal or signet. It is frequently encircled by a They furnish us with materials for the complete decipher- short inscription, which has not yet been deciphered, or by ment of the cuneiform character, for restoring the language a simple guilloche border. The same group, emblematic of and history of Assyria, and for inquiring into the customs, the superior power and wisdom of the king, as well as of his sciences, and, we may perhaps even add, literature of its sacred character, is found on Assyrian cylinders, gems, and people. The documents that have thus been discovered monuments. From the Assyrians, it was adopted by the at Nineveh, probably exceed all that have yet been afforded Persians, and appears upon the walls of Persepolis and on by the monuments of Egypt.' These sanguine expectations the coins of Darius.'-Layard, Nineveh and Babylon, p. 154. would seem to be fully justified by the fact, that Dr Hincks Most remarkable for beauty of design and skilful execution has succeeded in detecting amongst these remains a 'table are two seals with horsemen, one riding at full speed, and of the value of certain cuneiform letters, expressed by raising a spear, the other hunting a stag. According to Mr different alphabetical signs, according to different modes Layard, they excel all other Assyrian relics; and the excelof using them; while on two others of the records, he lence of the impressions gives evidence of great perfection found what appeared to be a list of the sacred days of each on the part of the Assyrians in engraving on gems. month, and a calendar. The last-mentioned discovery Round lumps or balls of clay, also impressed with a seal, gives rise to the hope, that amongst these ruins of the were found by M. Botta in the ruins of Khorsabad. They * house of rolls' there may yet be found the record of bore the same figure of a man stabbing a rampant lion, astronomical observations made by the ancient 'wise men' of which Mr Layard speaks ; and, singularly enough, M. of the East. (See Layard, Nineveh and Babylon, p. 344, ff.) Botta found in them a hole bored through, which still We have stated parenthetically that the above records are retained fragments of carbonised string. According to inscribed on tablets and cylinders of baked clay. This was Botta, it is certain that these balls have been moulded not the only, though certainly the most common, method merely in the hollow of the hand; finger-marks may still be of keeping records in use amongst the Assyrians. In the seen on them, and even traces of the pores of the skin' [!]. sculptures of the more recent palaces of Nineveh (at -M. Botta's Discoveries at Nineveh. London. 1850. Khorsabad, Kouyunjik, and the south-west palace at These seals have been regarded as having been employed Nimroud) there are frequent representations of eunuchs to secure the inviolability of doors, or any article of value, on the bass-reliefs taking account of the number of in agreement with the observations made by Dr Kitto in heads cut off in battle (see Kitto's notes at Judges his note on the text. But besides these uses of clay, we vi. 25, and 2 Kings x. 8), the plunder of cities, &c., have to refer the reader to our note on Esther vi. 1, in Apin which they are seen writing down the account on pendix, for a notice of another most important purpose to a flexible material which they hold in their left hand, which it was applied. We stated there that tablets of clay hanging like a strip of supple leather. As these bass- were used for recording public transactions, and that many reliefs are, on good grounds, believed to have been such were found (mutilated, indeed) in the chamber of executed within the period during which close inter- records. But what we wish to repeat at present is, that many course existed between Assyria and Egypt, it is pos- of these tablets were sealed with seals. Now, there can be sible that the material written on, as exhibited in the little doubt but that the cylinders wherewith these tablets above-mentioned bass-reliefs, was papyrus from the latter were stamped, were rolled over the soft clay, and that therecountry.
after the tablet was baked in the furnace; and in this way For an additional notice on bricks with inscriptions, sce these tablets afford another striking illustration of our text, Note 68, in the Appendix to the Third Volume.
in accordance with the view of Landseer quoted by Dr Kitto.
END OF VOL. II.