ROAD TO NINEVEH by Nora Benjamin Kubie


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Subtitled The Adventures and Excavations of Sir Austen Henry Layard, this book is both a biography of an almost forgotten archeologist and the story of his discovery of ancient Nineveh, the Biblical symbol of cruelty and decadence. Born in 1817 and educated in France and Italy, at the age of 22, Layard, poor and unknown but with a knowledge of mid-eastern history and a passion for adventure, left England with one companion to journey overland to Ceylon. In Asia Minor Layard, lured by ""Arabian Nights"" dreams, struck alone into the desert, to meet danger and amazing adventures and nearly to die of malaria. In Mesopotamia, deciding that two immense mounds on the Tigris marked the site of Nineveh, he went to Baghdad, scraped together f120 and returned to Nineveh, where he started trial-and-error excavations, uncovering magnificent treasures which he sent to the British Museum. Made famous by his Nineveh and Its Remains but always hampered by lack of money, he worked at Nineveh until 1850; his finds, comparable to later discoveries of Schliemann at Troy and Evans at Knossos, proved the authenticity of Old Testament history. Layard also ""invented a new genre, the book of travel plus archaeology plus adventure, still popular with armchair explorers"". Mr. Kubie's book should do well in this category.

Publisher: Doubleday