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
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, openculture.com/2018 (detail).
The Master of Animals
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
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).