Researches in Assyria, Babylonia, and Chaldaea
The Euphrates Expedition of 1835 was intended to explore the possibility of an overland route to India using the Euphrates river. Led by army officer Francis Rawdon Chesney, the expedition hauled two prefabricated steamboats from the Mediterranean to the upper Euphrates. Among the team of soldiers, engineers and miners assembled was surgeon William Ainsworth (1807-96), who also acted as the expedition's geologist, and published this account in 1838. He describes his work as 'containing a very small portion of the scientific labours' of the expedition. It deals principally with the geological formations around the Euphrates, and the 'indices of the Deluge of Scripture, which are found to exist in the land supposed to have been tenanted by Noah', but also includes descriptions of local plants and animals, and of the archaeological remains which were encountered. This early survey of a remote region will be of interest to students of Assyriology.