“What can all this mean? Who built this structure? In what century did he live? To what nation did he belong? Are these walls telling me their tales of joy and woe? Is this beautiful cuneiformedcharacter a language? I know not. I can read their glory and their victories in their figures, but their story, their age, their blood, is to me a mystery. Their remains mark the fall of a glorious and a brilliant past, but of a past known not to a living man.” – Paul-Emile Botta
The excavations of Botta and Layard brought the majesty of ancient Assyria into the modern world.