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He soon uncovered a number of important buildings including the Ésagila temple.This was a major shrine to the chief Babylonian god Marduk, although its identity was not fully confirmed until the German archaeologist Robert Koldewey's excavation of 1900.
A number of lines at the start and end of the text are too badly damaged for more than a few words to be legible.
It appeals to Marduk to protect and help Cyrus and his son Cambyses.
It extols Cyrus as a benefactor of the citizens of Babylonia who improved their lives, repatriated displaced people and restored temples and cult sanctuaries across Mesopotamia and elsewhere in the region.
In between each phase, he returned to England to bring back his finds and raise more funds for further work.
The Cyrus Cylinder was found on the second of his four expeditions to Mesopotamia, which began with his departure from London on 8 October 1878.
The fragment was apparently broken off the main body of the Cylinder during the original excavations in 1879 and was either removed from the excavations or was retrieved from one of Rassam's waste dumps.
It was not confirmed as part of the Cylinder until Paul-Richard Berger of the University of Münster definitively identified it in 1970.It was built up with extra layers of clay to give it a cylindrical shape before a fine surface slip of clay was added to the outer layer, on which the text is inscribed.It was excavated in several fragments, having apparently broken apart in antiquity.Although the Cylinder clearly post-dates Cyrus the Great's conquest of Babylon in 539 BC, the date of its creation is unclear.It is commonly said to date to the early part of Cyrus's reign over Babylon, some time after 539 BC.The victorious Cyrus is portrayed as having been chosen by the chief Babylonian god Marduk to restore peace and order to the Babylonians.