French and English archaeologists were among the first to excavate important sites in Mesopotamia.

In the nineteenth century Paul-Émile Botta was a French diplomat working in Mosul, a city on the River Tigris.

Paul-Émile Botta
Paul-Émile Botta

Part of the duty of a diplomat at this time was excavation, and Botta began to dig at the site of Khorsabad.

He uncovered some of the first monumental stone sculptures to be found in Mesopotamia at a palace of the Assyrian king Sargon II.


Huge winged human-headed bull from Khorsabad.
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