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
On May 20, 1901, Harriet A. Boyd(later, Harriet Boyd Hawes), a graduate of Smith College and former Fellow of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, and her associate, Blanche E. Wheeler (later, Mrs. Emile F. Williams), discovered the Bronze Age settlement of Gournia on the island of Crete. The site is located on the Isthmus of Hierapetra, one-quarter mile from the Gulf of Mirabello and about 30 miles from the eastern tip of the island.
Boyd’s exploration of Crete began in 1900, when, unable to secure a position with any ongoing excavation projects because of her gender, she set out to unearth her own site. Achieving moderate success in nearby Kavousi during the field season of 1900, Boyd’s work caught the attention of Sara Yorke Stevenson, Mediterranean Section Curator at the University of Pennsylvania Museum and Secretary of the American Exploration Society, an organization sponsoring archaeological work and affiliated with the Museum. Stevenson offered the society’s financial assistance for Boyd to continue her work on Crete.
The excavation of Gournia was accomplished during three campaigns, in 1901, 1903, and 1904. The work, led by Boyd and employing a crew of 100 local men as excavators and 10 women to wash artifacts, revealed a settlement that thrived from about 1800 B.C. to 1600 B.C. with occupation from as early as the third millennium B.C. and as late as 1000 B.C. The site includes a small palace complex, more than 70 stone houses with upper and lower stories, paved roads, bronze tools, and a large quantity of pottery, which contributed to the development of a dating sequence for Minoan ceramics.
In 1903, Boyd was accompanied by Adelene Moffat, an artist who prepared watercolors of several important finds for publication, and Richard B. Seager, who also returned to Crete in 1904 and began excavations at Vasiliki, a site two miles southeast of Gournia and that pre-dates Gournia by several centuries. In 1904, Edith H. Hall (later, Edith Hall Dohan) joined Boyd and did extensive work with the pottery found at Gournia. In the years following the excavations, Boyd prepared her findings for publication in a significant work entitled Gournia (1908), under the auspices of the American Exploration Society and with the funding of two of its members, Calvin Wells and Mrs. Samuel (Charlotte) Houston.
In 1906, Boyd married British anthropologist Charles H. Hawes. Although she never returned to the field as an excavator, Harriet Boyd Hawes led a notable career as an instructor of archaeology, Greek, and classics, and as a war nurse and war relief organizer. Hawes’ career marks several firsts in the history of archaeology: She was the first woman archaeologist to lead a significant excavation, the first woman invited to present her findings to the Archaeological Institute of America, and the first woman to produce a significant monograph reporting her archaeological work.
In addition to the publication of Gournia, the work of Harriet Boyd Hawes is recounted in a biography, Born to Rebel: The Life of Harriet Boyd Hawes (1992), written by her daughter, Mary Allsebrook.
The textual records from the excavations of Gournia and the papers of Harriet Boyd Hawes consist of 1 linear foot of correspondence, financial records, field notes and drawings, drafts of lectures and materials for publication, and research notes. The records have been compiled from several sources, none of which contributed a significant original order. Sources of the records include the files of the American Exploration Society, the records of University of Pennsylvania Museum Mediterranean Section Curator Sara Yorke Stevenson, and the papers of Harriet Boyd Hawes, contributed to the Archives on two occasions (in 1973, by her son Alexander Hawes, and in 1993 by her daughter Mrs. Mary Allsebrook via researcher Dr. Vasso Fotou. As they contain potentially helpful information for researchers, Vasso Fotou’s extensive notes remain in folders that contain materials from the collection deposited by Mary Allsebrook. Because very similar records were found in all three sets of source materials (e.g., correspondence from the same sequences, excavation expense reports from different years), the records were integrated and then divided into seven series: Correspondence, Financial Records, Field Notes, Interpretive Materials, Bibliographic Notes, Publication Materials, and Visual Materials.
The correspondence consists primarily of letters among Harriet Boyd (Hawes), Sara Yorke Stevenson, and Jane McHugh of the University of Pennsylvania Museum, regarding the excavations at Gournia and the subsequent publication of the findings. Other significant correspondents include Blanche Wheeler (Williams), Calvin Wells, Mrs. Samuel Houston, Edith Hall (Dohan), Edward Robinson, Gisela Richter, and Allen Boyd. Correspondence includes reports from Gournia during campaigns, details of Boyd’s lecture tour in January 1902 for the Archaeological Institute of America, details of the negotiations between Boyd Hawes and the American Exploration Society regarding terms for the publication of Gournia, the business particulars related to the publication, and the eventual distribution of some Gournia artifacts to other institutions. The series is arranged chronologically, except for the correspondence (in Greek) from Cretan government authorities to Boyd granting permissions and appointing government oversight mechanisms for her excavations.
The financial records are comprised of excavation expense reports, receipts, land damage records, monthly billing statements, subscriptions, and letters for the order and sale of Gournia. Records related to the excavation are arranged chronologically and include Boyd’s handwritten accounts of excavation expenses (e.g. payroll and household expenditures) for the campaigns of 1901, 1903, and 1904, and receipts for land purchases and land damage issued by the Cretan authorities, for the work in Gournia as well as in Kavousi in 1900. The records related to the publication of Gournia are arranged chronologically and include monthly billing statements from A.W. Elson & Co. for the plates used in the book and from H. M. Plimpton & Co. for the book binding. Finally, the sale of Gournia generated subscription forms, a list of all subscribers, and letters enclosed with payments; these records are also arranged chronologically.
The field notes in the Archives were greatly enhanced by the deposition of Boyd Hawes’ papers by her daughter in 1993. Prior to that donation, the 1904 Inventory of Finds was the only record in the collection. The more complete set of field notes now include two small notebooks from the 1900 campaign at Cretan sites, including Kavousi, that Boyd excavated prior to the discovery of Gournia; a notebook describing through text and drawings the various houses found at Gournia; a notebook of diagrams with measurements and annotations related to specific finds; a notebook of drawings and annotations related to vases found at Gournia; and three notebooks listing the objects recovered, organized in various ways (e.g. by provenance, by class). Many of the notebooks contain drawings and notes obviously cut out of original notebooks and pasted into new locations. The series also contains two plans of the site, removed from the correspondence, and a list of photographs from the 1901 campaign (see Museum negative catalog for cross-references to Museum negative numbers).
Materials interpreting the finds of Gournia were difficult to arrange as many records are undated. However, the content of the lecture notes, drafts of articles announcing the discovery of Gournia, and first-person accounts of the excavation often indicate a timeframe. Thus, the records are arranged roughly chronologically. The materials were produced by various authors including Harriet Boyd (Hawes), Blanche Wheeler, and Sara Yorke Stevenson.
The small series of bibliographic notes is comprised of handwritten research notes by Harriet Boyd, probably produced for the publication of Gournia.
Publication materials for Gournia consist of portions of two early drafts of the book, drafts and final versions of the prospectus, the book’s copyright issued by the Library of Congress, and drawings of finds from the site for publication. Most of the material is undated, but was clearly produced in the period between conclusion of the 1904 campaign in Crete and the publication of Gournia in 1908.
Visual materials consist of approximately 200 negatives, many of which are glass plates of various sizes, 150 black-and-white prints, three site plans, and one watercolor. Many of the photographs can be related to two lists made by Boyd: a Photo Register from the 1901 field season (see Field Notes series) and a collection of labels describing photos from the 1903 field season enclosed in a letter from Boyd to Sara Yorke Stevenson dated September 4, 1903 (see Correspondence series). These images include views of the site and excavations at Gournia and objects recovered in the excavation.
- University of Pennsylvania: Penn Museum Archives
- Finding Aid Author
- Finding aid prepared by Elizabeth Zogby
- Finding Aid Date
- November 1987
- 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 between Harriet Boyd and Sara Yorke Stevenson and Jane McHugh of the University of Pennsylvania Museum, regarding the excavations at Gournia and the subsequent publication of the findings. Other significant correspondents include Blanche Wheeler (Williams), Calvin Wells, Mrs. Samuel Houston, Edith Hall (Dohan), Edward Robinson, Gisela Richter, and Allen Boyd. Also includes correspondence (in Greek) from Cretan government authorities to Boyd granting permissions for her excavations. Arranged chronologically, except for the government correspondence.
Excavation records include accounts of expenses and receipts for land purchases and land damage issued by the Cretan authorities. Records related to the publication of the Gournia include monthly billing statements from A.W. Elson and Co. for the plates used in the book and from H. M. Plimpton and Co. for the book binding. Sales of Gournia generated subscription forms, a list of all subscribers, and letters enclosed with payments. Excavation, publication, and sales records are each arranged chronologically.
Notebooks from the 1900 campaign at Cretan sites, including Kavousi, that Boyd excavated prior to the discovery of Gournia and the 1901, 1903, and 1904 campaigns at Gournia, as well as her 1905 trip to the site. Notebooks contain textual notes and drawings of the site, structures, and finds, particularly pottery.
Lecture notes, drafts of articles announcing the discovery of Gournia, and first-person accounts of the excavation by various authors including Harriet Boyd (Hawes), Blanche Wheeler, and Sara Yorke Stevenson. Arranged chronologically.
Notes from Harriet Boyd Hawes’ research on other published materials.
Portions of two early drafts of Gournia, drafts and final versions of the prospectus, the book’s copyright issued by the Library of Congress, and drawings of finds from the site for publication.