Sayce’s Archaeology & the Cuneiform Inscriptions

Archibald Henry Sayce [1846-1933], The Archaeology of the Cuneiform Inscriptions

Archibald Henry Sayce [1846-1933], The Archaeology of the Cuneiform Inscriptions
Reverse of a Tablet in the Hittite Language from Boghaz Keui [frontispiece]
The following book by noted archaeologist Archibald H. Sayce is now available for free download in PDF:

Archibald Henry Sayce [1846-1933], The Archaeology of the Cuneiform Inscriptions, 2nd edn. London: Society for the Promotion of Christian Knowledge, 1908. Hbk. pp.220. Download Complete book [4.22MB]

The book contains many excellent illustrations, which I have made available at various resolutions.



1. The Decipherment of the Cuneiform Inscriptions

2. The Archaeological Materials; The Excavations at Susa and the Origin of Bronze

3. The Sumerians

4. The Relation of Babylonian to Egyptian Civilisation

5. Babylonia and Palestine

6. Asia Minor

7. Canaan in the Century Before the Exodus


“Fresh Light” by A.H. Sayce on-line

The following public domain book is now available on-line for free download in PDF.

A.H. Sayce, Fresh Light From the Ancient Monuments

Archibald Henry Sayce [1846-1933], Fresh Light From the Ancient Monuments, 5th edn. London: The Religious Tract Society, 1890. Hbk. pp.160. Click to download.

Table of Contents

Chapter 1: Introduction

Chapter 2: The Book of Genesis

Chapter 3: The Exodus Out of Egypt

Chapter 4: The Moabite Stone and the Incription at Siloam

Chapter 5: The Empire of the Hittites

Chapter VI: The Assyrian Invasions

Chapter VII: Nebuchadnezzar

Appendix I. The Text of the treaty between the Hittites and the Ramses II (Dr. Brugsch’s translation)

Appendix II. List of months of the Assyrian Year

Appendix III. Translation of a cylinder of Nabonidos, King of Babylonia, containing the name of Belshazzar.

Newly Discovered Version of the Story of the Flood (1911)

Allessandro Masnago - Cameo with Noah's Ark before the Flood
Allessandro Masnago – Cameo with Noah’s Ark [Public Domain; source: Wikipedia]
The following article is now available on-line in PDF:

Theophilus G. Pinches [1856-1934], “The Newly Discovered Version of the Story of the Flood,” Journal of the Transactions of the Victoria Institute 43 (1911): 135-159.

The Newly Discovered Version of the Story of the Flood

In all probability there is no phenomenon of nature described in the Old Testament which has attracted so much attention as the account of the Deluge, though many may say, that the sun standing still at the command of Joshua would be found to enter into competition with the great cataclysm of earlier date. Since the reading of the first Babylonian version of the Flood – story by the late George Smith about thirty-six years ago, however, interest has centered rather in that wide-spread catastrophe than in the cause of the great Israelitish leader’s victory; and this interest in the account of the Flood has rather increased of late years in consequence of the discovery of other versions – a second one by George Smith when engaged on the Daily Telegraph Expedition; another still, to all appearance, by Father V. Scheil, a few years ago, and still a fourth, by Professor H. V. Hilprecht last year.

The most complete version of the Babylonian account of the Flood is the first one here referred to. This document forms the eleventh tablet of the Gilgames series, and, as fate (or Providence, if you will) would have it, this portion of the legend is more perfect than any of the remaining tablets – twelve in number – of the series. La yard, Rassam, G. Smith, have all contributed, by the fragments they discovered, to its completion, and the last-named recognised and adjusted, within finite patience, practically the whole of the fragments (one little piece only fell to my share during the time of my employment at the British Museum) of which that eleventh tablet is composed. It is pleasant to think that one of our own countrymen was able to do such a good piece of work, and thus lay the foundation of a really trustworthy text of these important documents, besides attending to numerous fragments of tablets in almost all the other sections of Assyro-Babylonian literature.

To continue reading, click here.

Discoveries in Babylonia (1909)

Babylonia at the Time of Hammurabi
Babylonia at the Time of Hammurabi [Source: Wikipedia Commons]
The following Public Domain article is now available on-line in PDF.

Theophilus G. Pinches [1856-1934], “Discoveries in Babylonia and the Neighbouring Lands,” Journal of the Transactions of the Victoria Institute 41 (1909): 99-122.

Discoveries in Babylonia and the Neighbouring Lands

Gradually, but surely and ever more speedily, Assyriology is becoming the most important study in the domain of Oriental archaeology. The language of the Babylonians and Assyrians proves to be a tongue of the most engrossing importance, whilst that of the seemingly earlier race-the Sumerians-with which it was brought into contact, is regarded by some as the coming study for those who wish to acquire renown as true archaeological linguists. But besides the languages, with their dialects, a very specially interesting and important field of study is their archaeology in general, their beliefs, their manners and customs, their arts and sciences, and the geography of the land. Whether we shall ever obtain information as to their original home, we do not know, but we may, by chance, acquire, ultimately, the information needed to find out where that place may have been; and in any case, we shall know all the better what influence those nations may have had in the world, to say nothing of the bearing of their records on the all-important subject of Bible hi13tory, thought, and beliefs. A number of closely-connected nations whose influence extended from Elam on the to the Mediterranean and Egypt on the west, and from the Caspian Sea on the north to Arabia on the south, cannot fail to have exercised considerable influence beyond those borders and boundaries – an influence of which we shall not obtain a full idea for many years to come.

Now that we have learned so much about these ancient nations, and their peculiar wedge-formed characters, we know also something of their power and the wide influence of their writing. It is now known that the so-called Phoenician goes back to 1,500 or 2,000 years before Christ, but there was a time when the cuneiform script, in one form or other, was used all over Western Asia within the limits I have indicated. In addition, therefore, to Semitic Babylonian, the cuneiform script, derived from that of Babylonia, was used by the Assyrians, who spoke the same language; the Elamites, who spoke Babylonian and ancient Elamite; the Armenians, who seem to have obtained the syllabary they used from Assyria; the Palestinian states, who got their script from Babylonia; the Mitannians, who also employed the Babylonian style; the Cappadocians, who at first used ancient Babylonian, though they seem to have been an Assyrian colony; and the Hittites, who also used the Babylonian style. These are the nationalities who are known to have used some form of the Babylonian wedge-writing, and the list omits ancient Persian on account of the impossibility of tracing any sure connection between their cuneiform alphabet{for that is, perhaps, the best word to use) and the complicated characters of the Babylonians and Assyrians….

Continue reading here.

C.H.W. Johns on The Relations between the Laws of Babylonia and the Laws of the Hebrew Peoples

Prologue Hammurabi Code Louvre AO10237
[Public Domain photo source: Wikipedia]

I am pleased to announce that the following book is now online:

C.H.W. Johns [1857-1920], The Relations between the Laws of Babylonia and the Laws of the Hebrew Peoples. The Schweich Lectures 1912. London: Oxford University Press, 1914. Hbk. pp.96. [This material is in the Public Domain]

Click <<HERE>> to visit the download page.

Leonard W King on the Legends of Babylon and Egypt in Relation to Hebrew Tradition

Many of the Schweich Lectures on Biblical Archaeology are now in the Public Domain (see this page for a complete list). I will be working through the series as and when I can get access to original copies to scan.

This is the first one to be completed, thanks to a copy kindly provided by Tyndale House:

Leonard W King [1869-1919], Legends of Babylon and Egypt in Relation to Hebrew Tradition. The Schweich Lectures 1916. London: Oxford University Press, 1918. Hbk. pp.155.

You can download a copy in PDF from <<HERE>>