University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Sheikh Hamoudi ibn Ibrahim and Ur

Hamoudi and Woolley on site 1931-2.  (Woolley Field Photos 191953)

By: Kyra Kaercher

Ur Project Blog Post June 2016 Last month I wrote about the workers of Ur, and continuing in this theme, this post will focus on the foreman, Sheikh Hamoudi ibn Ibrahim. “In the handling of the men, he [Sir Leonard Woolley] enjoyed the support of Sheikh Hamoudi ibn Ibrahim whom he had trained for the […]

Read the Blog Post


The Workers of Ur – Ur Project May 2016

Local Sheikhs at Ur, taken during the first season (1922) when Woolley was establishing himself with the locals. UPM Field Photo 190027.

By: Kyra Kaercher

Charles Leonard Woolley’s excavations at Ur (1922-1934) occurred during a time of change in Iraq. After WWI, Iraq became part of a British Mandate, with Faisal I as King. Iraq was an area filled with both sedentary and traveling tribes led by Sheikhs. In the new nation of Iraq, archaeological sites, and their remains, belonged […]

Read the Blog Post


Of Daggers and Scabbards: Evidence from Organic Pseudomorphs and X-Radiography

The image on the left shows B17506 under raking light.  The drawing on the right shows the pattern of the scabbard in blue.

By: Tessa de Alarcon

As part of the Ur Digitization Project, I have been spending time looking at the metal tools from the site.  As Kyra Kaercher has already noted in her blog post, many of the copper alloys from Ur have organic pseudomorphs.  These are sort of like fossils, in that they are organics which have been preserved […]

Read the Blog Post


Ancient Ur and Historic Iraq: Woolley’s 11th Season

Photo taken by Father Leon Legrain in Ur season 4 (1925-1926. At center is Hamoudi's son Yahia who was in charge of photography and here he carries the photo tripod. At left may be his brother Ibrahim, though evidence tends to indicate he bean work only in the following season 5.

By: Brad Hafford

Ur Digitization Project Blog, March 2016 Spotlight on Archival Documents Field Report dated December 31, 1932 Over the past few months I’ve been going over the reports that Leonard Woolley sent from the field 80-90 years ago. This analysis is helping to create pages at Ur-Online that track the yearly progress of excavation. We have collected the field reports […]

Read the Blog Post


Adventure Calls: The Life of a Woman Adventurer

191132

By: Kyra Kaercher

Ur Project February 2016 “Perhaps the presence of a lone woman with four men in camp makes a more interesting figure for some of them than the outline of ziggurats” (G. Gordon letter to L. Woolley concerning Katharine Menke Keeling, July 8th 1926). Life on a dig is always exciting, and particularly when it is the […]

Read the Blog Post


Ur Project, January 2016: A Tour of Ur

Field photo 1884 (left, 1930) and modern equivalent (right, 2015) showing Straight Street from the southeast.

By: Brad Hafford

Ur, Then and Now Comparing photos from the field and from a recent visit Field photos no. 454 and 1884 with equivalents taken in 2015 I’ve been studying the ancient city of Ur for more than a decade, but due to the struggles the nation of Iraq has endured I’d never been able to visit […]

Read the Blog Post


Ur Project: December 2015

Left: Penn Museum Number 32-40-29 (U.17820) showing a woman nursing a child, Top: Penn Museum Number B5695 (U.1211) a Pazuzu amulet or mask, and Bottom: British Museum Number 1924,0920.95 (U.1753) a Pazuzu amulet or mask.

By: Kyra Kaercher

Where are all the children? Focus on 32-40-29 (U.17820), B15695 (U.1211), 87-28-21 (U.3169), B15708 (U.1252) Children comprise between 40% and 65% of most documented social groups from foragers to industrialized nations, and as such, can be expected to have created portions of the archaeological record (Baxter 2005).  At Ur, we have many child burials, but artifacts […]

Read the Blog Post


Ur Digitization Project: November 2015

Parthian horse and rider figurine from Nippur.

By: Brad Hafford

Horse and Rider at Ur A look at U.20055 (Museum Object Number: 35-1-114) And other horse and rider figurines When did the people of Mesopotamia first start riding horses? It’s a straightforward question but it has a somewhat complicated answer. First of all, the true horse (Equus caballus) was a relatively late entry into Mesopotamia […]

Read the Blog Post


Ur Project: October 2015

Pendants, each about one inch in diameter (Bass 1966:37).

By: Kyra Kaercher

http://penn.museum/collections/object/283733Spiral pendants from the Near East Focus on 35-1-98C (no U number), B16370 (U.6800), B16794 (U.9351A). A special thanks to Dr. Sophie Cluzan (Curator of Near Eastern Archaeology at the Louvre), and Tessa de Alarcon, our project conservator, for the X-ray of 35-1-98C. The idea for this month’s blog post came while I was looking […]

Read the Blog Post


Ancient Repairs at Ur and the Power of Bitumen

35-1-127: a leg and foot of a figure with a repair at the ankle.

By: Tessa de Alarcon

One thing that we all love to find on objects in the Museum collections are ancient repairs.  These are repairs made to an object during its period of use. So, imagine that mug you use every day for your morning coffee.  One day that mug breaks and you fix it with Super glue and go […]

Read the Blog Post


The Golden Age of King Midas

© Penn Museum 2016 Sitemap / Contact / Copyright / Disclaimer / Privacy /