When Layard first published Nineveh and Its Remains (1849), the Akkadian cuneiform script used by the Babylonians and Assyrians was only partially deciphered. In 1850, Henry Creswicke Rawlinson, an officer with the British East India Company who made a leading contribution to the script’s decipherment, told the Royal Asiatic Society that the Akkadian cuneiform’s phonetic irregularities made it impossible for him “to reduce it to a definite system” (quoted in Maurice Pope, The Story of Decipherment [London: Thames & Hudson, 1975 and 1999], pp. 113–114). In the mid-1850s, however, Rawlinson completed the decipherment, largely by working on texts found by Layard at (the real) Nineveh.