In the excavations at Nimrud in 1952 and 1953 were found several pieces, varying in size, of inscribed clay prisms bearing historical texts of Sargon II. Most of these pieces have proved to be parts of two ‘upright’ prisms, and have been actually joined together. Three other fragments, to be mentioned below, do not belong to these assemblages. The partly-preserved inscriptions thus obtained are duplicate, and as such the two copies have to some extent the valuable quality of restoring each other's text where damaged or missing. It is a misfortune, however, that by singular chance much the same columns of the prisms remain in both copies, so that stretches of the text exist in two examples with only minor variants, while other long passages are lost from both; it is a further misfortune that much of the missing part was evidently the more interesting for the modern student, comprising the beginning and end of the inscription, of which little now remains. The better preserved portions are concerned mostly with the campaigns of Sargon, and therefore do not present very much that is new in matter, though in arrangement they have the peculiar feature of seeming to disregard chronology, as will be seen hereafter, substituting perhaps a general geographical order.
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