the beginning of archaeology in iraq.
RICH, Claudius James. Memoir on the Ruins of Babylon [volume II: Second Memoir on Babylon: Containing an Inquiry into the Correspondence between the Ancient Descriptions of Babylon and the Remains still visible on the Site]. London, Longman, Hurst, et al., 1815-1818.
Two volumes in one, 8vo. Slightly later slate cloth, spine lettered in gilt; pp. iv, 67; [iv], 58, 6 engraved plates (3 folding); spine and extremities a little worn; offsetting from first plate to title, a little toned or spotted in places; otherwise very good.
Second English edition of volume one, first of volume II, Rich's earliest and rarest contribution to Mesopotamian archaeology. The first memoir had been published previously in German in Hammer-Purgstall's Mines de l'Orient in Vienna. Rich was a talented linguist had who travelled widely in Asia Minor. Posted to Egypt during the early part of his career, he travelled from there, in Mamluk disguise, to Syria, Palestine, Damascus, Baghdad and Basra. In 1810 he was appointed the East India Company's resident in Baghdad. Rich was 'apparently fluent in Turkish, Arabic and Persian and familiar with Syriac and Chinese as well as French, Greek, Latin and Hebrew. [He] first visited Babylon in December 1811 where he stayed for 10 days and briefly excavated at the Mujelibé as well as re-excavating the Lion of Babylon and putting a trench into the mound of Tell Ibrahim Khalil; collected a small number of objects from this region' (Horniman Museum & Gardens, online). These two little volumes exploring the mounds of Babylon, Nineveh, and Persepolis brought Mesopotamian antiquities to European attention. 'He died on 5 October 1821 and was buried in the Jan Numa at Shiraz, in which he was living at the time of his death. His remains were exhumed and reinterred in the Armenian cathedral of Jolfa in Esfahan in 1826' (ODNB).