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Hormuzd Rassam (1826-1910), archaeologist

Rassam was a brother of the British Vice-consul in Mosul and from 1846 he acted as Henry Layard's overseer and general agent in the excavations at Nimrud and Nineveh. In 1852 he replaced Layard, who had retired from archaeology, as The British Museum's representative. At Nineveh a dispute over whether the British or French had the right to dig there resulted in Rassam exploring the mound at night. Here he discovered the palace of Ashurbanipal including the palace library and the lion-hunt reliefs.

In April 1853 Rassam returned to London where he accepted a political appointment in Aden. The British Museum approached him in 1876 to take over the supervision of the excavations at Nineveh. He reached Mosul in 1878 and began a series of digs. He explored the small site of Balawat where he discovered bronze bands which had decorated a series of gates. Rassam's claims as to the origin of the bands was disputed for many years until more recent excavations confirmed his finds. He also excavated at Babylon, Borsippa, Sippar, at sites in Syria and around Lake Van. Rassam left Mesopotamia in 1882 and died in 1910 having retired to Brighton, England.

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