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Clarence S. Fisher Dendereh Expedition records

1011

This is a finding aid. It is a description of archival material held at the University of Pennsylvania. Unless otherwise noted, the materials described below are physically available in our reading room, and not digitally available through the web.

Summary Information

Repository:
University of Pennsylvania: Penn Museum Archives
Creator:
Fisher, Clarence Stanley, 1876-1941
Title:
Clarence S. Fisher Dendereh Expedition records
Date [bulk]:
1915-1918
Date [inclusive]:
1915-1949
Call Number:
1011
Extent:
7.7 linear foot
Language:
English
Abstract:
Clarence S. Fisher was born in Philadelphia in 1876 and attended the University of Pennsylvania, attaining a degree in architecture in 1897 but devoting his entire life to archaeology. His first archaeology field experience was as the architect for the initial Babylonian expedition to Nippur from 1898 to 1900. This was followed by a research fellowship in Babylonian archaeology at the University Museum. Fisher also worked as an assistant to Harvard Archaeologist, George Andrew Reisner in Egypt and Samaria. From Reisner, Fisher learned archaeological techniques and the methods of meticulous record keeping he would use in his later work. Fisher was appointed a curator of the Egyptian section of the University of Pennsylvania Museum by George B. Gordon in 1914. He spent the next nine years in the field collecting data in Dendereh, Giza, Memphis, and Dra Abu el-Naga. Fisher's expedition to the cemetery at Dendereh re-worked a site that had been explored by Charles S. Rosher and W.M. Flinders Petrie, producing more precise data and a wealth of objects from the burial sites. The Clarence S. Fisher Dendereh expedition records consist of seven archival boxes of correspondence, diaries, notebooks, plans, post-excavation notes and photographs. Additional material includes three card files with tomb notecards and object cards. In addition, there are seven large object register books stored in two boxes and oversize materials stored in the map case.
PDF Version:

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Biography/History

Clarence S. Fisher was born in Philadelphia in 1876 and attended the University of Pennsylvania, attaining a degree in architecture in 1897 but devoting his entire life to archaeology. His first archaeology field experience was as the architect for the initial Babylonian expedition to Nippur from 1898 to 1900. This was followed by a research fellowship in Babylonian archaeology at the University Museum. Fisher also worked as an assistant to Harvard Archaeologist, George Andrew Reisner in Egypt and Samaria. From Reisner, Fisher learned archaeological techniques and the methods of meticulous record keeping he would use in his later work.

Fisher was appointed a curator of the Egyptian section of the University of Pennsylvania Museum by George B. Gordon in 1914. He spent the next nine years in the field collecting data in Dendereh, Giza, Memphis, and Dra Abu el-Naga. Fisher's expedition to the cemetery at Dendereh re-worked a site that had been explored by Charles H. Rosher and W.M. Flinders Petrie, producing more precise data and a wealth of objects from the burial sites.

Fisher received an Honorary ScD. from the University of Pennsylvania in 1924, in recognition of his discoveries. Unfortunately, Fisher preferred discovery to publication and his only contribution to the literature was a report on a minor cemetery in Giza in 1924.

Fisher's love of field work made his presence at the Museum infrequent and an argument with George Byron Gordon regarding Fisher's choice of an assistant resulted in his resignation from the Museum in 1925. Fisher then traveled to Jerusalem where he served as Professor of Archaeology at the American School.

Fisher worked tirelessly, often at two sites at the same time, affecting his health. During the excavation at Dendereh, Fisher also worked at the Giza and Memphis sites. In addition to his own sites, Fisher served as scientific advisor for the first year of the Elihu Grant Beth Shemesh expedition sponsored by Haverford College in 1928.

Fisher was also known for his war efforts, working in Egypt on behalf of Near East Relief during World War I and as a representative of the Lutheran Church of America and the YMCA during World War II. In 1939, Fisher was the moving spirit in founding the Dar el-Awlad Home for Children. He was also a member of the Directorate of the German(Schneller)Orphanage during WWII.

Clarence S. Fisher died in Jerusalem in 1941, while serving as the Administrative Director of the American School of Oriental Research. He is buried at the Protestant Cemetery on Mt. Zion. Much of Fisher's data was recovered later but has never been published.

Scope and Contents

Clarence S. Fisher was born in Philadelphia in 1876 and attended the University of Pennsylvania, attaining a degree in architecture in 1897 but devoting his entire life to archaeology. His first archaeology field experience was as the architect for the initial Babylonian expedition to Nippur from 1898 to 1900. This was followed by a research fellowship in Babylonian archaeology at the University Museum. Fisher also worked as an assistant to Harvard Archaeologist, George Andrew Reisner in Egypt and Samaria. From Reisner, Fisher learned archaeological techniques and the methods of meticulous record keeping he would use in his later work.

Fisher was appointed a curator of the Egyptian section of the University of Pennsylvania Museum by George B. Gordon in 1914. He spent the next nine years in the field collecting data in Dendereh, Giza, Memphis, and Dra Abu el-Naga. Fisher's expedition to the cemetery at Dendereh re-worked a site that had been explored by Charles H. Rosher and W.M. Flinders Petrie and thought to be exhausted. Fisher's expedition produced more precise data and a wealth of objects from the burial sites. Fisher loved doing field work and returned to the Museum infrequently. Unfortunately, he did not publish most of his findings, only producing one article on the cemetery at Giza.

The Clarence S. Fisher Dendereh expedition records consist of three archival boxes of correspondence, a diary, notebooks, plans and post-excavation notes. The photographs fill an additional three boxes with the photo prints. In addition, three card files hold four-by-six inch tomb notecards and object cards. Seven large object register books are held in two large boxes on separate shelves. There are also oversize plans and drawings stored in the map case.

Much of the original order is maintained. The data needed to be organized into series and some notes stored with those labeled "manuscripts" were moved into the series for post excavation notes, which they resembled more closely. The photographs and card files maintain the original order. Condition issues include dirt, fading of materials written in pencil and some fragile paper. The collection is maintained in different types of containers.

The five archival boxes hold the correspondence, diary and notebooks, tomb notecards, one group of plan cards, the post excavation notes and manuscript notes, the field negative and photograph lists and the photograph register. Two additional archival boxes hold the larger photographs. The oversize plans and drawings are in the map case.

Two of the card files hold the object cards and a second group of plan cards. The third file box holds the small field photographs. The two large boxes contain the object registers.

The correspondence series includes communications with Museum Directors George B. Gordon and Horace H.F. Jayne and Egyptian research sponsor and financier, Eckley B. Coxe, dated 1915 and 1916. The letters from Fisher often comment on world affairs and controversies at the site. The excavation permit from the government of Egypt to conduct the excavation at Dendereh, in French, is with the correepondence. Later correspondence, dated from 1933 to 1969, concern some missing material from the Dendereh expedition. Clarence S. Fisher writes to Director Horace H.F. Jayne that he will write up his material from Dendereh and Memphis. There are requests for "missing materials" and responses

Fisher's diary has daily entries from 11/8/1917 to 3/8/1918. The contents of the graves unearthed are discussed. Some drawings accompany the narrative.

The notebooks series consists of a field book and level book. The field book is undated, with only a few pages of entries, mostly numbers. The level book has lists of levels "taken from station."

The administrative records start with the the cases book. This small tablet with the heading "contents Dendereh cases", lists number headings followed by lists of numbers. This appears to be a shipping record. In addition to the cases book, there is a group of packing lists both for storage and for objects sent to the museum. The remaining administrative materials are oversize items stored in the map case.

The data from the expedition starts with the tomb notecards and object cards series. The notecards are hand-written and six-by-eight inches in size. The data recorded include hieroglyphic, translations, and some small photographs. There is a master list included at the beginning of the data. With these cards are data on tissue weight paper that is creased and fragile. These notes were placed with the tomb note cards by the creator and this placement was maintained. The remaining object cards and plan cards are in a smaller card file. The cards are grouped using the original order and separated by Fisher's paper dividers.

In describing the plan series, it should be noted that the collection has three sets of plans organized by size; on three-by-five cards housed in a card file box, those in archival box three and oversize plans in the map case. The three-by-five "plan cards" were found with the "manuscript" materials. They were grouped as a separate part of the plan series for clarity due to their content. The original order is maintained as signified by Fisher's hand-written division cards placed before each group. The plan cards housed in the archival box have drawings, some in pencil on fragile paper, and some drawn in ink on heavy paper.

The series of post excavation notes begins with Fisher's tables of the tombs by orientation of the shaft. The tables are hand-written and the paper is fragile. This is followed by general notes that are typed with descriptions of the burial chambers. There are also notes on offering chamber development, shafts, and a tomb list with finds. This series also includes a corpus of pottery by Fisher. It features numerous pottery diagrams with identification numbers and descriptions. There are also drawings of other objects in separate folders. Important information on inscriptions is with this series. The inscriptions, from areas five, six, and seven are accompanied by a picture of the found object mounted on each page with a translation of the inscription. Photograph numbers are listed.

The manuscript notes series relates to hand-written and typed writings on the Mastaba group and Adu I of the Mastaba group. Some of the paper is fragile. There are plans and drawings possibly meant to illustrate the manuscript as well as editor's notes. Some notes, probably written by someone other than Fisher, may be an attempt to organize and possibly publish some of the material from Dendereh.

The Registers series includes the registry of the field negatives, the photograph register and the object register books. The seven object register books are housed in two large boxes. It should be noted that the photograph registers also hold a few records from Ballas (numbers 752 to 754) and Nakada (numbers 755 to 758). The object books have worn spines and some loose and torn pages.

The photograph series includes the small black and white field photographs in the file card box. Most are views of tombs and objects in situ. There are a few landscape views. The larger photographs are housed in archival boxes 243A and 243B and shelved separately. The first box was labeled as "Dendereh views" by Fisher. All views are taken in the field and are mounted with captions. This group includes the "mummy series" and pictures that appear to have been made at a later time by the museum. Among the group housed in box 243B are objects from the expedition. Of note, the photograph of the terracotta sarcophagus refers the viewer to "Fisher's diary, page five."

The Oversize plans and drawings series also holds the maps and an index. The "Dendereh Adu I" drawing may be of particular use. In ink on cloth-backed paper, it shows all of the interior rooms with numbers. The oversize lists, receipts and miscellaneous items are in three groups; receipts and expenditures from each of the two seasons and a "List of Packages Containing Dendereh Material". Be aware that other lists of an administrative nature are with the administrative materials in Box one.

**

Administrative Information

Publication Information

University of Pennsylvania: Penn Museum Archives,  August 2011

Finding Aid Author

Finding aid prepared by Jody Rodgers

Revision Description

 3/22/12

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Related Materials

Related Archival Materials note

For the Clarence S. Fisher diary from the Elihu Grant Beth Shemesh excavation records, see:

PU-Mu.1032 Elihu Grant Beth Shemesh excavation records; Box 1; folder 7.

For additional archival information on Clarence S. Fisher, see:

The Clarence S. Fisher papers Collection #020 Boston University Archives Boston, Massachusetts

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Controlled Access Headings

Form/Genre(s)
  • Card catalogs
  • Field notes
  • Maps
  • Site plans
Geographic Name(s)
  • Egypt
Personal Name(s)
  • Coxe, Eckley B., 1839-1895
  • Fisher, Clarence Stanley, 1876-1941
  • Flinders Petrie, William M.
  • Gordon, G. B. (George Byron), 1870-1927
  • Reisner, George Andrew, 1867-1942
Subject(s)
  • Archaeology--Burials

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Collection Inventory

Correspondence.

Box
1
Box

Correspondence 1915-1916.

1

Correspondence 1915-1916.

1

Correspondence 1917-1918.

1

Correspondence 1933-1969.

1

Diary.

Box
1
Box

Diary 1915-1917.

1

Diary 1917-1918.

1

Notebooks.

Box
1
Box

Field book and level book 1916-1918.

1

Photographs, 1915-1918.

Box
243A, 243B
Box

Field photographs.

EG 7

Views A49 to A202.

EG7

Views A203 to A263.

EG7

Views A264 to A329.

EG7

Views A330 to A741.

EG7

Views A744 to A1050.

EG7

Views A1057 to A1291.

EG7

Views C404 to C438.

EG8

Views C441 to C466.

EG8

Views C470 to C670.

EG8

Views C693 to C955.

EG8

Stone sculpture (1 of 2).

EG8

Stone sculpture (2 of 2).

EG8

Stone sculpture stelae (1 of 4).

EG8

Stone sculpture stelae (2 of 4).

EG9

Stone sculpture stelae (3 of 4).

EG9

Stone sculpture stelae (4 of 4).

EG9

Pottery vessels.

EG9

Stone vessels.

EG9

Offering trays.

EG9

Bronze.

EG9

Jewelry.

EG9

Ostracea.

EG9

Miscellaneous artifacts.

EG9

Cut up photos of inscriptions,etc.

EG9

Administrative.

Box
1
Box

Cases book 1916-1918.

1

Packing and division lists 1915-1935.

1

Receipts, Expenditures 1916-1917.

1

List of packages containing Dendereh material.

1

Tomb notecards and object cards.

Box
1, 5, 6
Box

Tomb notecards 1916-1918.

1

Tomb notecards 1916-1918.

1

Object cards 1915-1918 (card file).

4

Object cards 1915-1918 (card file).

5

Plans, 1915-1918.

Box
1, 2, 6
Box

Area 5.

1

Areas 6 and 7.

1

Area 8.

2

Area 13.

2

Area 15.

2

Area 23.

2

Area 25.

2

Plan cards (Index cards).

5

Post excavation notes, 1915-1918.

Box
2, 3
Box

Tables of tombs grouped by shaft. ..

2

General notes (1 of 2).

2

General notes (2 of 2).

2

Catalogue.

2

Tombs.

2

Pottery corpus.

2

Pot marks.

2

Kohl pots.

2

Scarabs.

2

Jewelry.

2

Miscellaneous object lists.

2

Miscellaneous lists.

2

Inscriptions Areas 5. 6, 7.

2

Inscriptions Area 8.

2

Inscriptions Area 13.

2

Inscriptions Area 15.

3

Inscriptions Areas 18, 23, 25.

3

Manuscript notes, 1915-1918.

Box
3
Box

Mastaba group.

3

Adu I.

3

Notes based on Fisher's work.

3

Registers, 1915-1918.

Box
3, 4 + oversize
Box

Field negative and photo lists.

3

Photograph register (1 of 3).

3

Photograph register (2 of 3).

3

Photograph register (3 of 3).

3
Oversize

Object Register (1 of 7).

8

Object Register (2 of 7).

8

Object Register (3 of 7).

8

Object Register (4 of 7).

9

Object Register (5 of 7).

9

Object Register (6 of 7).

9

Object Register (7 of 7).

9

Oversize plans and drawings, 1915-1918.

Map-case
M-18-1,-3,-5,-2a,-2b
Drawer
Adu I and Adu II floor plans.
M-18-1
Drawer

Adu I Mastaba: Ink on Green Graph Paper. Scale 1/150.

M-18-1

Adu I, Main E. Doors, Ink on Green Graph Paper. No Scale.

M-18-1

[Adu I]. Ink on Green Graph Paper. No Scale.

M-18-1

Adu I, Entrance 10, Pencil on Green Graph Paper. No Scale.

M-18-1

S.[outh] Mast.[aba] of Adu I, Pencil on Green Graph Paper. No Scale.

M-18-1

S.[outh] Mast.[aba] of Adu I, Pencil on Green Graph Paper. No Scale.

M-18-1

Adu I, Pencil on Green Graph Paper. Scale 1/150. Shows dimensions of rooms within the structure Adu I..

M-18-1

Room 1 and Room 19 and Room 23, Ink on Green Graph Paper. No Scale. This is a floor plan of rooms within Adu I..

M-18-1

Adu I, N.[orth] End of Tunnel 10, Pencil on Green Graph Paper. Scale 1/10.

M-18-1

Adu I, 14S[outh], Pencil on Green Graph Paper. Scale 1/10.

M-18-1

Adu I, 23, Pencil on Green Graph Paper. Scale 1/10.

M-18-1

Adu I, 2W[est]. Pencil on Green Graph Paper. Scale 1/10.

M-18-1

20:230 Adu II, Ink on Paper. No Scale.

M-18-1

Dendereh Adu I, 18:290 - 20:110, Ink on cloth-back paper. Of particular use. Shows all of Adu I with interior rooms numbered]. .

M-18-1

Adu I, Ink on Paper. No Scale. Note:"Room numbers inserted KDH 1951"..

M-18-1
Dendereh plans.
M-18-5
Drawer

Dendereh Pottery Sketches, Syrian Lamps from Kilu. Many Sketches on Single Sheet. Pencil on Paper. Each Subject Numbered. .

M-18-5

23:881: Plan. Pencil on Linen.

M-18-5

23:450, Floor Plan. Ink on Paper.

M-18-5

13:477, Plan. Ink on Paper.

M-18-5

13:491, Plan. Ink on Paper.

M-18-5

15:223, Plan. Ink on Paper.

M-18-5

13:284, Plan. Ink on Paper.

M-18-5

13:492, Plan. Ink on Paper.

M-18-5

8:880, Site Map. Pencil on Paper. Encapsulated.

M-18-5

Dendereh 15:120, Senezu, Plan. Printed Reproduction. Scale 1:50. Encapsulated.  On Reverse: "Section C-D". Plan; Pencil on Paper..

M-18-5

18:750, Mena, [K-R all Ink on Paper Dendereh Plans].

M-18-5

7:630, Door Jamb S., SE Corner, I. Liner, and Niche I.

M-18-5

23:381, Bebu.

M-18-5

15: 012.

M-18-5

23:881.

M-18-5

8:880.

M-18-5

23:171, Menduhotep 774.

M-18-5

Top of Mas[taba] No 9.

M-18-5

Plan, Unspecified. Pencil on Paper. On Reverse: "Abu Suten Group (6:090)". Watercolor on Paper. .

M-18-5

Dendereh Abu I (18:290-20:110). Plan. Ink on Cloth-Back Paper.

M-18-5
Dendereh Map Series of Site with Index (1 of 2).
M-18-2a
Drawer

Dendereh, Map by C. S. Fisher. Dated "27 Sept '15". Ink on Linen.

M-18-2a

Dendereh Index, Ink on Paper. Encapsulated. Scale 1:200.

M-18-2a

Photographic Print of Map of Petrie’s excavations.

M-18-2a

D5:1. Hereafter all entries are Watercolor and Ink on Paper. Scale 1:100.

M-18-2a

D5:2.

M-18-2a

D5:3.

M-18-2a

D5:6.

M-18-2a

D5:7.

M-18-2a

D5:8.

M-18-2a

D5:11.

M-18-2a

D5:12.

M-18-2a

D5:13.

M-18-2a

D5:14.

M-18-2a

D5:15.

M-18-2a

D6:3.

M-18-2a

D6:5.

M-18-2a

D7:6.

M-18-2a

D7:7.

M-18-2a

D7:8.

M-18-2a

D7:9.

M-18-2a

D7:10.

M-18-2a

D7:11.

M-18-2a

D7:12.

M-18-2a

D7:13.

M-18-2a

D8:1.

M-18-2a

D8:2.

M-18-2a

D8:6.

M-18-2a

D8:7.

M-18-2a

D8:11.

M-18-2a

D8:12.

M-18-2a

D8:13.

M-18-2a

D8:14.

M-18-2a

D8:15.

M-18-2a
Dendereh Map Series of Site with Index (2 of 2). .
M-18-2b
Drawer

D13:2.

M-18-2a

D13:3.

M-18-2b

D13:4.

M-18-2b

D13:5.

M-18-2b

D13:10.

M-18-2b

D13:15.

M-18-2b

D15:11.

M-18-2b

D15:12.

M-18-2b

D15:13.

M-18-2b

D15:14.

M-18-2b

D15:15.

M-18-2b

D18:4.

M-18-2b

D18:5.

M-18-2b

D18:10.

M-18-2b

D20:14.

M-18-2b

D20:15.

M-18-2b

D23:1.

M-18-2b

D23:2.

M-18-2b

D23:3.

M-18-2b

D23:4.

M-18-2b

D23:5.

M-18-2b

D23:6.

M-18-2b

D23:11.

M-18-2b

D25:11.

M-18-2b

D25:12.

M-18-2b

D25:13.

M-18-2b

D25:14.

M-18-2b

D25:15.

M-18-2b

Dendereh Map by Petrie, 1916-1917. .

M-18-3

Dendereh, Sketch Map of the Ancient Cemetery. By C. H. Rosher and W. M. Flinders Petrie. 1898. Printed Reproduction on Paper. Encapsulated..

M-18-3