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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.

It is currently in the possession of the British Museum, which sponsored the expedition that discovered the cylinder.

It was created and used as a foundation deposit following the Persian conquest of Babylon in 539 BC, when the Neo-Babylonian Empire was invaded by Cyrus and incorporated into his Persian Empire.

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.

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.

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He wrote in his memoirs, Asshur and the land of Nimrod, that the Cylinder had been found in a mound at the southern end of Babylon near the village of Jumjuma or Jimjima.The princess asserted that "the heritage of Cyrus was the heritage of human understanding, tolerance, courage, compassion and, above all, human liberty".In 1877, Layard became Britain's ambassador to the Ottoman Empire, which ruled Mesopotamia at the time.He helped Rassam, who had been his assistant in the 1850 dig, to obtain a firman (decree) from the Ottoman Sultan Abdul Hamid II to continue the earlier excavations.The firman was only valid for a year but a second firman, with much more liberal terms, was issued in 1878.