National Geographic : 1900 Oct
EXCA VA TIONS AT NIPP UR produced exceeded by eight or nine feet any previous flood which has visited the city of Galveston, and the almost irresistible force of the enormous waves, together with the strength of the hurricane winds, resulted in a disaster which is without a precedent in the his tory of the United States. Assuming that the reading of the barometer reported at Galveston the evening of the 8th was approximately correct, the hurricane at that point was of almost unparalleled severity. The future possi bility of a like visitation in that locality is extremely remote. EXCAVATIONS AT NIPPUR Many important discoveries have been made during the past eleven years by various expeditions excavating in Babylonia under the auspices of the University of Pennsylvania. Nippur has been identified with ancient Calneh, mentioned in the Book of Genesis (chapter x, verse 10), and the history revealed of Babylonian civil ization during a period more than seven thousand years before Christ; but the present year has witnessed the most extensive and valuable discoveries yet made. These discoveries are three: The library of the great temple at Nippur has been located and opened. Seventeen thousand tablets covered with cuneiform writing have been taken out, and Professor Hilprecht, the able leader of the party, asserts that 150,000 additional tablets are waiting to be uncovered. These tablets are of special value because of their national character; upon them are written the myths and tales of the ancient wars of the Babylonians and their rules of language, of mathematics and astronomy. The library was of great renown in early Babylonia; it was their great college of law and religion. Under 70 feet of rubbish, the accumulations of as many centuries, Professor Hilprecht found in the southwestern section of the city a palace with 600 feet frontage, probably the dwelling of the priest kings of Nippur. In the rooms excavated, pre-Sargonic tablets, seal cylinders of the earliest type, and clay figurines were found. The walls of Nippur were uncovered for several score yards, and every where, especially in the lower strata, weapons of curious devices were unearthed, showing the methods which besieging armies used in those ancient times.