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THOMPSON, Reginald Campbell.

A Dictionary of Assyrian Botany.

London: The British Academy, 1949 Stock Code: 140452
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First and only edition. Well-represented institutionally, and occasionally encountered on the market, but rarely without library paraphernalia, and in such sound condition. Thompson was one of the leading Assyriologists of his era, his skill in the transcription of cuneiform being such that some of "those in Thompson's handscript remain indispensable" to this day (ODNB). From 1904-5 he was involved in the first comprehensive mapping of Nineveh, and was co-author with Leonard William King of a collation of "the great trilingual rock-inscription of Darius at Behistan" which "remains definitive". He was with Woolley and Lawrence at Carchemish in 1911, and was responsible for reopening the excavations at Nineveh in 1927, work being undertaken through four winters 192732. Max Mallowan, Agatha Christie's husband, "who completed the deep dig into prehistoric levels, recalled Thompson as 'the most economical man on earth for he contrived to run the dig at Nineveh at a total cost of 1700'". Thompson died in 1941 while serving with the Home Guard and the present work was edited from the his papers by C.J. Gadd, then keeper of the Egyptian and Assyrian Department of the British Museum, being well reviewed on publication by Nature; "this book will be welcomed by philologists, botanists and others as a valuable work of reference, for in this age of increasing specialization it is at the cross-roads of the arts and sciences where knowledge is usually most incomplete" (16 June 1951).

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Octavo. Original green cloth, title gilt to spine.


Spine sunned to moderate blue, lettering flaked, a little rubbed on the spine edges, pale toning and a light scatter of faint foxing, a very good copy.


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