Tureng Tepe, Iran expedition records
Held at: University of Pennsylvania: Penn Museum Archives [Contact Us]3260 South Street, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, 19104-6324
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Overview and metadata sections
Tureng Tepe, a site dating from approximately 3100-2900 B.C. through 1900 B.C. in northeast Iran was excavated by Frederick R. Wulsin during two short field seasons in 1931. Although the expedition was directed by Wulsin, a University Museum staff member who was a curator of Anthropology during 1930-1932, the expedition was sponsored by the Atkins Museum of Fine Arts in Kansas City, Missouri.
In 1930, Wulsin and his wife Susanne were living in Teheran where they were promoting the archaeological interests of the University Museum by making diplomatic overtures to Teheran officials. When the Iranian antiquities laws were revised in 1930, Wulsin made a preliminary survey for archaelogical sites in the Astarabad region (northeast Iran) and with E. Herzfeld in the Damgham area. Eventually, at Herzfeld's recommendation, Wulsin selected Tepe Hissar and the Citadel at Damghan as sites suitable for excavation by the University Museum (cf. Near East/Iran/Tepe Hissar). The Director of the Museum, H. Jayne, decided that another project could be undertaken in northeast Iran at Tokimakh Tepe which lies north of Astarabad. The original permit from the Persian government was for Tokhmakh Tepe, but a natural mound and that Tureng Tepe would yield more artifacts.
Langdon Warner, a colleague of Jayne, procured the financial assistance of the Atkins Museum of Fine Arts. At first Jayne intended that the University Museum would pay Wulsin's salaries as the Museum's share of the financial contribution. However, the trustees of the William Rockhill Nelson Trust at the Kansas City Museum wanted complete sponsorship of this Project and so they assumed total financial responsibility for the expadition. The University Museum contributed funds for the Wulsins' return trip to the United States and a loan of equipment and staff in return for a portion of the archaeological artifacts recovered from the excavation.
As it happened, the trustees at the Kansas City Museum were not pleased with the Tureng Tepe archaeological material and the University substituted other Near and Far Eastern art objects from the Museum collections. The University Museum also gave as a gift a small representation sample of Tureng Tepe objects (cf. General Correspondence and Reports/General Correspondence, 1967, concerning the present location of the Tureng Tepe objects). This situation may have made the field notes and indexes and catalogs more confusing since some object cards and entries in the object catalog are marked with K.C., designation since Kansas City initially refused Tureng Tepe objects. The Director's Files, Jayne (1929-1940) under Langdon Warner, Kansas City Museum and J.C. Nichols should be checked for further information concerning the financial terms of the project and the transfer of University Museum objects.
The Photographic collection should be checked for photographs. Some are located in the oversize photograph collection. Daher (1969) mentions that photographs of much of the pottery and all of the burials are missing, although the Museum negative card catalog indicates many pots recorded by field number and Museum accession number.
- University of Pennsylvania: Penn Museum Archives
- Finding Aid Author
- Finding aid prepared by Kathy 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.
Letters and telegrams (1931-1932, 1967); excavation reports (1931); reports and notes (1956) on F.R. Wulsin's notes and publication (1932); expense accounts (1930-1932); papers and notebooks relating to residents (particularly government orricials and archaeologists) of Teheran and personal notebooks, primarily of S.C. Wulsin.
Field notebooks and diaries: in some instances, West mound and Main mound entries are within different sections of the same book, which then must be read from the front and from the back (upside-down). Entries are arranged either chronologically, or by excavation area or, in one case, by type of record. Some books include rough sketches, plans and survey notes. Also in this series are a travel journal and notes and abstracts of references concerning Near Eastern particularly Iranian archaeology, arranged by record type.
Object catalog (June and October, 1931), compilations arranged by object field number (1-667) and another by object type; object cards ordered by field number and by artifact type; butial cards, some with sketches of the skeletal position, ordered by burial number; lists of objects arranged by either object type or by burial (these are on cards) or by number and photographs.