Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Penn Museum Archives [Contact Us]3260 South Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19104-6324
This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania: Penn Museum Archives. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in their reading room, and not digitally available through the web.
Overview and metadata sections
The University of Pennsylvania expedition to Nubia (1907 to 1911) was a part of the group of Egyptian expeditions financed by Eckley B. Coxe, Jr. The expedition was headed by David Randall MacIver of the University Museum and C. Leonard Woolley of the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. Nubia formed a corridor linking continental Africa and the Mediterranean. The northern part is now located under the Aswan Dam. The southernmost part is in modern day Sudan. Nubians were culturally and linguistically different from the Egyptians but Egyptian interest in the region was raised by its rich natural resources, especially gold. There were strong cultural interactions between the two peoples in the ancient history of the region.
David Randall-MacIver was born in London, of Highland origins, in 1873. His family was a part of the founding group of the Cunard Lines. Following the death of his father and his mother's remarriage, MacIver added the name of his stepfather and became David Randall-MacIver. Randall-MacIver took his first in Litterae Humaniores in 1896 at Queen's College, Oxford. His initial work in archaeology was at Abydos with the acclaimed W.M. Flinders Petrie for the Egyptian Exploration Fund from 1899 to 1901. He then became Laycock Scholar in Egyptology at Worchester College, Oxford.
David Randall-MacIver was the first Egyptologist to hold the position of Curator on the staff of the University Museum. A man of high energy and enthusiasm, Randall-MacIver proposed a five-year plan of excavation in Nubia, Algeria, and sites in Cyprus and Spain for the Museum but spent most of his six year tenure working in Nubia. Randall-MacIver left the Museum after feuding with Director, George B. Gordon.
In 1911, Randall-MacIver became the Librarian of the American Geographical Society. When World War I broke out, he returned to England and became a captain in the Intelligence Service serving on the Western Front and Macedonia. After the war, Randall-MacIver settled in Rome and became well-known for his studies of the early Etruscan civilization and the prehistoric cultures of Scandanavia. Randall-MacIver died in New York in 1945. He is buried in the Non Catholic Cemetery in Rome.
C. Leonard Woolley, son of the Reverend George Herbert and Sarah Woolley, was born into a large family in London. His education was funded through scholarships at St. John's, Leatherhead and New College, Oxford where he graduated with honors in Theology. After graduation, Woolley studied languages in France and Germany followed by an appointment as assistant to Sir Arthur Evans at the Ashmolean Museum. This year served as an apprenticeship before he committed to archaeology as a profession.
Woolley's career began in 1906 with an excavation of the Roman wall at Corbridge, England. The next year, his association with the University Museum began with the joint expedition between the University Museum and the British Museum in Nubia. In 1912, Woolley succeeded Dr. R. Campbell-Thompson as the leader of the British Museum expedition to Carchemish. His work there was interrupted by World War I. During the war Woolley served in Army Intelligence in Egypt and spent time in a prison camp in Turkey after surviving an explosion at sea.
Throughout his career, Woolley remained a freelancer who worked for various institutions but was never on staff. Woolley was chosen as Field Director for the Ur expedition in 1922, the expedition for which he is most renowned. Woolley dug at Ur at intervals for thirteen years, from 1922 to 1934.
C. Leonard Woolley was knighted in 1935. During World War II, he served as an advisor on Architecture and Art to the advancing Allied Army in Italy. Sir C. Leonard Woolley concluded his field work in 1949 in Syria. He died in 1960 in London.
The University of Pennsylvania expedition to Nubia (1907 to 1911) was a part of the group of Egyptian expeditions financed by Eckley B. Coxe, Jr. The expedition was headed by David Randall-MacIver of the University Museum and C. Leonard Woolley of the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford. Ancient Nubia formed a corridor linking continental Africa and the Mediterranean. The northern part is now located under the Aswan Dam. The southernmost part is in modern day Sudan. Nubians were culturally and linguistically different from the Egyptians but Egyptian interest in the region was raised by its rich natural resources, especially gold. There were strong cultural interactions between the peoples in the ancient history of the region.
The Eckley B. Coxe Expedition to Nubia records consist of two archival boxes of correspondence, notes, an object register and photographs, two account books and oversize items. The original order has been maintained with chronological adjustments made when needed on the correspondence. Within the collection, there are fragile papers and photographs. Some originally handwritten materials have been transcribed and are included in the folder following the original data.
The first series of records are ten folders of correspondence of which three are correspondence from the actual expedition. The remaining seven folders relate to the request of Professor Georg Steindorff of the University of Leipzig for use of the data from the expedition.
Box one contains sixteen folders of correspondence, notes, and an object register. The Correspondence and memoranda series includes important correspondence between David Randall-MacIver and the museum as well as the agreements between the principal researchers and the museum that made the expedition possible. The first agreement is between Eckley B. Coxe, Jr. and the museum to fund a curatorial position for the Egyptian collection and to fund expeditions to Egypt. The second agreement is between the museum and David Randall-MacIver to conduct the expedition. The third details the agreement between Randall-MacIver and his colleagues C. Leonard Woollsey and Geoffrey Spurrell Mileham. Much of the correspondence from the collection is between Georg Steindorff and the museum. Steindorff held a chair in Egyptology at the University of Leipzig and founded the Egyptian Museum there. This was a long correspondence with letters dated from 1913 to 1946 containing numerous requests for information or clarification. There are lists of information sent to Steindorff from the collection. Later letters between Steindorff and Carroll Young appear friendly and full of news. Professor Steindorff signs them as "Uncle George". Steindorff's letters are usually in German with the exception of the group to Carroll Young.
Additional correspondence tells of the disagreement about the ownership of the materials from the expedition. The letters reflect information from Southern Methodist University who hold the papers of Dr. Georg Steindorff.
The Notes series begins with material by C. Leonard Woolley from Kasr Ibrim and Ma'am. There is a diagram of the site with the notes. In addition, a four-page list of "Unpublished Material" is present. Several lists with field numbers are titled "Areika" and "Buhen." With this material was an oversize plan of a church in Kasr Ibrim drawn by Somers Clark in 1899. This plan is placed with the oversize material in the map case. The field notes of C. Leonard Woolley on the XXth dynasty graves are hand-written on six by eight inch cards. They have plans, drawings of objects and text. A typed copy of the field notes are also present in a separate folder. The notes also include those from Battiscombe Gunn of the Museum and include Stela E14232 and P-2, the Tomb of Pen-nut. Additional notes on the pyramids of Anibeh, probably also typed by Battiscombe Gunn, are included.
The Anibeh object register is dated 1910. This hardback book contains data on pages one to sixty-three. The objects are listed with number, type and a brief description. There are photographs of the inscribed stones listed on pages fifty-one to sixty-one.
The financial series is composed of loose receipts and records for the four expeditions as well as account books. The account books are stored with the oversize material. They are large, hardcover books in good condition except for a few loose pages. One book holds the accounts "before leaving Cairo for Assowan" and the other "accounts of the Third Eckley Coxe, Jr. Expedition to Nubia."
The Photograph series is contained in fourteen folders and begins with views of Anibeh including the field camp, and visiting Eckley B. Coxe, Jr. and his family. There are some museum enlargements of the family photos. The photographs include shots of the workers, objects in situ, the "church near Wady Halfi" and stone sculpture. Museum prints of some of the stone sculpture are present. Views of Eckley B. Coxe and David Randall-MacIver are with this group. Most of the prints have negative numbers. There is only one print from Areika, a "view of cliff above the castle." The Buhen photographs show the camp, areas of the dig and some stone sculpture. The prints from Karanog are mounted and labeled as "views of the castle" and appear to be plates for publication. They are mounted on fragile paper that is disintegrating.
The collection contains numerous oversize drawings that are kept in the print and map cases. The majority of these original drawings served as plates for the books in the Karanog series by David Randall-MacIver and C.Leonard Woolley. They are grouped by volume and then by plate number. The artists represented are "F.J.", M.W. Bonsall and Mary Louise Baker. There are plates from volumes III, IV, VII and VIII and some unpublished plates.
In addition to the plates, there are two oversize plans, plan of the Nubian Cemetery and plan of the Church at Kasr Ibrim.
- Randall-MacIver, David, b.1873-d.1945
- Steindorff, Georg, b.1861-d.1951
- Woolley, C. Leonard, Sir, 1880-1960
- University of Pennsylvania: Penn Museum Archives
- Finding Aid Author
- Finding aid prepared by Jody Rodgers
- Finding Aid Date
- September 2011