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By Mark A. Kalustian

During the early 1850's, the British Assyrian Excavation Fund entered the field under William Kennett Loftus and many antiquities and accurate drawings of wall sculptures were apportioned between the British Museum and the Louvre. However, a bas-relief destined for Paris forming part of an ill-started convoy of antiquities was attacked by Arab robbers while being shipped down the Tigris River, and today lies buried somewhere in the bed of that river. Fortunately that particular bas-relief was copied at its original location in the palace onto a drawing by Eugene Flandin(2) as Botta's chief artist.


PAUL - EMILE BOTTA [1802 - 1870]

During this period of Assyrian campaigns, the northern Araratian regions were governed by Sardur -and later by his son Rusa (Hrachya, according to Movses Khorenatsi) with the capital at Toushpa (Tosp) located near the great city and the capital of the mighty Kingdom of Ararat, Van (Biaina) on the eastern shore of Lake Van. Sardur placed Urzana as the governor of the spiritual center of Ararat The Temple of [K]Haldi -- Musasir Ardini.