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Kings & Queens of Britain

Illustrations - Chapter 1

Flood Tablet

The ‘Flood Tablet’ as it’s now called, numbered K.3375 by the British Museum, which George Smith read in 1872 in London in a bad November light, finding King He Who Saw the Abyss. The hand-sized object was discovered in the ruins of Nineveh in 1852-1854.
Source: British Museum

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George Smith (1840-1876), the master engraver & self-taught translator who in 1872 rediscovered King He Who Saw the Abyss, with spectacular results in Britain and America.
Source: British Museum, photograph by Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin.


Example of late-period wedges (cuneiform) c.1000 BCE
Source: How to Write In Cuneiform, A Short Charming Introduction, as taught by Dr Irving Finkel of the British Museum, (detail).

Master of Animals

The Master of Animals

Fertile Crescent

This is the region in which King He Who Saw the Abyss, also named Gilgamesh, also named Master of the Animals – hence the thumbnail photo of him with lions at the start of this Chapter - was the most famous formerly real-life individual for some 2,500 years.
Source: Wikipedia commons, Fertile Crescent map, based on a 1994 Encyclopaedia Britannica map of Babylonia during the final millennium BCE

Hormuzd Rassam

The Christian Iraqi, Hormuzd Rassam (1826-1910), born at Mosul across from the ruins of Nineveh. Encouraged by Paris-born British amateur archaeologist and artist Henry Layard (1817-1894) he attended Oxford, became a diplomat for Britain, and transformed his native land’s, and the world’s, understanding of a once-buried past influential over all of us.
Source: Photograph taken c.1854, presumably in England, by Philip Henry Delamotte (1821-1889).