Fara, Iraq expedition records
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
Excavation at Fara, initiated by German excavators between 1902 and 1903, was resumed in 1931 by Erich Schmidt, an archaeologist working under the aegis of the University Museum. Since the Museum’s participation was limited to one season which took place between February 15 and May 19, the records pertaining to this excavation are not numerous. It is a fortunate circumstance that Schmidt listed (letter of May 25, 1931 to H. Jayne) exactly what types of records were generated. A confusing aspect of this collection is that Fara was excavated with funds appropriated by the Joint Persian Expedition for the proposed excavation in Iran (Tepe Hissar) also headed by Schmidt. Most Fara records are contained here, although some may be with the records for the Citadel at Damghan (Tureng Tepe), and Tepe Hissar. However, the excavation at Fara occurred before those at these other sites, and therefore the records were already, for the most part, separate.
The correspondence includes several letters to H. Jayne, the Museum Director, which served as the first and second field report, subsequently, the second (May 1, 1931) was published in The Museum Journal. Fara Report III (July, 1931) is an account of the trip undertaken by Schmidt and the rest of the staff of the Joint Persian Expedition from Fara to Damghan via Baghdad. It actually pertains more to Tepe Hissar and has been placed with those records. Also, some correspondence relates to the acquisition of excavation rights from one of the original German excavators (W. Andrae) and the Antiquities Department in Iraq (S. Smith).
The order of the field notes was not disturbed as the material appeared to be already grouped into broad categories; for example, architectural descriptions were found together, as were the burial sheets. The photographic catalogue was placed with the other records of the Joint Persian Expedition as it is a smaller part of the photographic catalogue for Tepe Hissar and Damghan. In addition, there is an excavation journal and road diary documenting the journey from Fara to Damghan via Baghdad. Together with the photographs which were taken concurrently, it represents information concerning archaeological sites in Iraq, local monuments and daily life in Iraq in the 1930’s. An appointment book, Daily Reminder 1931, is placed within this series as it makes brief mention of the progression of the excavation, as does the field Note Book, 1931.
Where possible, a chronological order was imposed on the records. Photographs were retained with the documents when they directly referred to content. Otherwise, the photographic collections hold material relating to excavations, objects and travel photographs. Large maps and drawings are kept in the Oversize Section, and watercolors are in the Print Cabinet.
- University of Pennsylvania: Penn Museum Archives
- Finding Aid Author
- Finding aid prepared by K. Moreau
- Finding Aid Date
- August 2009
- Use Restrictions
Although many items from the archives are in the public domain, copyright may be retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law. The user is fully responsible for compliance with relevant copyright law.
Reports from the field, financial statements, telegrams and letters to the director. Correspondence and records relating to other archaeologists, with the Antiquities Department and with other officials in Iran. For the most part, materials are arranged chronologically within each folder, although some items which are related are grouped together regardless of date.
Descriptive catalogues of tablets arranged by field number; Artifact Cards arranged by field number F1-1171, a set of incomplete photographic negative cards arranged by field number, the rough drafts of the negative cards arranged by type, photo album.
Duplicates of first and second field reports, report on test excavations at Fara, Appendix: Discussion of S. N. Kramer regarding cuneiform tablets, a cuneiform report, and a University of Chicago Ph.D. thesis (1972) on Fara. Arranged topically.