Layard, Sir Austen Henry

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British excavator and explorer - one of the earliest in Mesopotamia. His most important discoveries were at Nimrud, which he identified wrongly as Nineveh. The Assyrian winged bulls and reliefs he excavated from the massive palace complexes are now in the British Museum. At Nineveh proper (modern Kuyunjik), he recovered a library of cuneiform tablets from Sennacherib's palace. His book on his finds, "Nineveh and its Remains" (1849) ranks as one of the first archaeological bestsellers. He also excavated at Assur Babylon and Nippur.