"The following work was written to give in a permanent form some account of the excavations undertaken in 1873 and 1874 on the site of Nineveh; and the principal discoveries which have resulted from these operations. The honour of having started this enterprise belongs to the proprietors of the 'Daily Telegraph' newspaper, and at the close of the first expedition they presented the firman and excavating plant to the trustees of the British Museum to facilitate the renewal of the work. The second expedition was only to take advantage of the remainder of the time allowed by the firman, and I was directed to close the excavations within the period allowed by the concession of the Porte." --from the Preface
George Smith (1840-1876) worked for the Oriental Antiquities Department of the British Museum. Among his publications are 'History of Assurbanipal,' 'The Phonetic Values of the Cuneiform Characters,' 'The Assyrian Eponym Canon,' 'The Chaldean Account of Genesis,' and 'Assyria from the Earliest Times to the Fall of Nineveh.'