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William Kennet Loftus: A 19th-Century Archaeologist in Mesopotamia (Paperback)

Letters transcribed and introduced by John Curtis

Ancient History > Ancient Near East > Mesopotamia

Imprint: British Institute for the Study of Iraq
Pages: 252
ISBN: 9780903472418
Published: 31st December 2023
Casemate UK Academic

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This book gathers together hitherto unpublished letters from William Kennett Loftus (1820-1858) to friends and relatives in Newcastle-upon-Tyne. The letters have been transcribed and are introduced by John Curtis. 

Loftus was a geologist attached to the Turco-Persian Frontier Commission which in the years 1849-52 was charged with establishing the border between Persia and the Ottoman Empire. In this position he was able to undertake pioneering archaeological work at sites such as Warka in Mesopotamia (Iraq) and Susa in Persia (Iran). 

As well as providing information about Loftus’ archaeological work, there are vivid descriptions of celebrating the birthday of Queen Victoria in Baghdad, contending with wild tribesmen, travelling on horseback through the Taurus Mountains in winter, working in temperatures of up to nearly 50° centigrade in the summer, and hunting hyenas and wild pigs. The book also contains genealogical information about Loftus and his family.

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