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The Sultan's decree authorised Rassam to "pack and dispatch to England any antiquities [he] found …

provided, however, there were no duplicates." A representative of the Sultan was instructed to be present at the dig to examine the objects as they were uncovered.

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.

The text is written in an extremely formulaic style that can be divided into six distinct parts: The beginning of the text is partly broken; the surviving content reprimands the character of the deposed Babylonian king Nabonidus.

The British Museum puts the Cylinder's date of origin at between 539–530 BC.

It lists his alleged crimes, charging him with the desecration of the temples of the gods and the imposition of forced labor upon the populace.

According to the proclamation, as a result of these offenses, the god Marduk abandoned Babylon and sought a more righteous king.

It was excavated in several fragments, having apparently broken apart in antiquity.

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.

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