"Excavations at the Site of Seneferu's Pyramid" (1931)

Category: Produced Film

Length: 42:56

Film ID F16-4021
Film Description Completed Film - Work of the Eckley B. Coxe, Jr. Expedition of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, 1929-1930


"This is the only print of the Coxe Expedition of 1929-1930. Based on previously transcribed notes, the film contains scenes recording the Museum's Coxe Expedition to Meydum, Egypt. The Seneferu pyramid is located 4 miles west of the southernmost pyramid in a long line of royal tombs extending down the Nile and 50 miles south of Cairo and was built in 2900 according to the film, however more recently points to 2700 BC as a more accurate date.

Titles are off center perhaps due to use of a parallax viewfinder.

"Work of the Eckley B. Coxe, Jr. Expedition of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, 1929-1930"

Giza, Dashur and Seneferu pyramids from a train window.
Desert landscape surrounding Seneferu's pyramid.
Close up: pyramid showing its stepped core, outside casing of limestone having been removed years before.
(The core is 215 feet in height but with the outside casing it once stood 40 feet higher, as indicated in the following scale model).
Exteriors: The entrance passageway of the north face, diagrammed in a cross section of the pyramid showing that it leads to a sarcophagus chamber.
The inside, shaft and chamber (all of which appear to be empty) are photographed.
Board members Mr. and Mrs. John S. Jenks are shown on a visit to watch workmen measure and record the outside measurements.
Workmen busy excavating a great tomb nearby that may have been the tomb of Seneferu's mother and father (Cheops).
A diagram showing this tomb.
A tunnel is discovered that appears to be a fake entrance to mislead grave robbers.

Other graves are uncovered that contain stones of such great size that they need to be broken up in order to remove them.
(Reel 2)
A mummy is uncovered, removal of dirt with great care.
Mummy cases being moved.
Two staff members unwrap a mummy.
A staff Christmas party is held.
Aerial shots of the pyramid and the site.
Workmen clear the temple and the causeway while one workman does a dance.
(Reel 3)
Workmen build a road to the site to be used by the Belgian Queen, Elisabeth of Bavaria (1876–1965).
Dancing Arabian horses compete for prizes.
Payday, and a farewell party for the staff is given by the workers.
Video Category Produced Film
Film Creator Eckley B. Coxe
Topics Egypt, Meydum, Meidum, Sneferu, Pyramids, Egyptian antiquities, Mummies, Elisabeth of Bavaria (1876–1965), University Museum expeditions, Penn Museum, University Museum
Contributor(s) Paul Seidler, cameras and editing
Rights All rights are reserved by the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (Penn Museum). Any use of the footage in productions is forbidden unless rights have been secured by contacting the Penn Museum Archives at 215-898-8304, or email photos@pennmuseum.org.