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Leonard Woolley expedition to Italy

1160

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:
Woolley, C. Leonard, Sir, 1880-1960
Title:
Leonard Woolley expedition to Italy
Date [inclusive]:
1908-1910
Call Number:
1160
Extent:
0.2 linear foot
Language:
English
Abstract:
The expedition to Teano, Italy was proposed to the Penn Museum by C. Leonard Woolley in 1908. Woolley was sure that he could obtain the necessary permits from the Italian government. Woolley remained in Italy until 1909 uncovering a fine statue of Cupid and a lesser statue of Venus and a mask. Although the museum was to receive the best pieces found there, the Italian government reserved the Cupid for its museum and would only issue export papers for the lesser finds. On the trip, Woolley purchased the Pozzuoli marble from Lamont Young of Naples, a piece found during the construction of a house in Pozzuoli. Apparently, this purchase resulted in concerns about the use of the moneys provided by patron Mrs. Drexel for the expedition.
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Biography/History

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 which 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. He proposed the expedition to Teano, Italy to the Penn Museum in 1908. Another Woolley-proposed site in Italy was Cumae but no work was done there.

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.

Scope and Contents

C. Leonard Woolley was born in London and educated at New College, Oxford. His 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.

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.

Throughout his career, Woolley remained a freelancer who worked for various institutions but was never on staff. He proposed the expedition to Teano Italy to the Penn Museum in 1908. Another Woolley-proposed site in Italy was Cumae but no work was done there. Woolley remained in Italy until 1909 uncovering a fine statue of Cupid and lesser pieces of Venus and a mask. Although the museum was to receive the best pieces found there, the Italian government reserved the Cupid for its museum and would only issue export papers for the lesser finds.

The Woolley expedition to Teano, Italy consists of four folders of information mostly shipping and other receipts from the trip and financial records. There is very limited correspondence with the museum and a drawing of "Cistern and Conduit: Teano" by Woolley.

Administrative Information

Publication Information

University of Pennsylvania: Penn Museum Archives,  5/21/14

Finding Aid Author

Finding aid prepared by Jody Rodgers

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Controlled Access Headings

Geographic Name(s)
  • Italy
Personal Name(s)
  • Gordon, G. B. (George Byron), 1870-1927
  • Woolley, C. Leonard, Sir, 1880-1960
  • Young, Lamont, b. 1851-d.1929
Subject(s)
  • Excavations (Archaeology)

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Collection Inventory

Correspondence, 1908-1910.

Financial Accounts, 1908-1910.

Shipping/Receipts, 1908-1910.

Drawings, 1908.