Search Finding Aids
Joint Expedition to Nippur, Iraq
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.
- University of Pennsylvania: Penn Museum Archives
- Joint Expedition to Nippur, Iraq
- Date [inclusive]:
- Call Number:
- 4 Linear feet
- The Joint Expedition to Nippur was conducted by the University of Chicago Oriental Institute and the University of Pennsylvania. The collaboration lasted for three seasons until Penn withdrew in 1952. The collection consists of four archival boxes organized into four series.
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The Penn Museum had excavated at the ancient site of Nippur, Iraq from 1889 to 1900, under the direction of John P. Peters and Hermann V. Hilprecht. In 1948, the Penn Museum decided to return to the site, and teamed up with the Oriental Institute, University of Chicago, for a Joint Expedition to Nippur, under Donald McCown. Francis R. Steele was the Museum’s representative. The OI-Penn collaboration continued for three seasons, until Penn withdrew in 1952, to be briefly replaced by the American Schools of Oriental Research. Subsequently, the Oriental Institute continued to work alone until the outbreak of the Persian Gulf War in 1991. The first portion of this expedition (1948-1952) concentrated on the area of the ziggurat and the adjacent mound called Tablet Hill. The earlier Penn excavators gave the name Tablet Hill or the Scribal Quarter to that mound in the belief that all or most of the scribes at Nippur had lived in that one part of the site. However, written records of the governmental offices and numerous private businesses were found all over Nippur.
Scope and Contents
In 1948 a joint University of Chicago Oriental Institute-Penn Museum expedition resumed work at the site of Nippur, Iraq under Donald McCown. The OI-Penn collaboration continued for three seasons, until Penn withdrew in 1952. The Joint Expedition to Nippur records consist of one box of textual records organized into three series. The correspondence series contains legal documents, memos, budgets and general letters between the principals. It is arranged chronologically.
The Catalogues series comprises a register and census of tablets. The series dealing with Skeletal Descriptions includes data on male, female, and children’s remains.
The last series consists of expedition photographs, including images of architecture, skeletal remains and pottery. These are arranged by field photograph number, or topically, and are housed in three boxes.
Finding Aid Author
Finding aid prepared by Amanda Ball
Controlled Access Headings
- Nippur (Iraq)
- Coon, Carleton S., b. 1904-d. 1981
- Jacobsen, Thorkild, Director, 1904-1933 -- Correspondence
- Kraeling, Carl Herman, 1897-1966 -- Correspondence
- Kramer, Samuel Noah, 1897-1990 -- Correspondence
- McCown, Donald Eugene, 1910- -- Correspondence
- Rainey, Froelich, Director of the University Museum
- Steele, Francis Rue, 1915- -- Correspondence