Expeditions

Originally Published in 1935

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A JOINT expedition of Columbia University and the University Museum, under the auspices of the Latin-American Institute, is leaving at once to undertake the investigation of the Goajiros, an Arawak tribe dwelling in Colombian and Venezuelan territory.

View of a camp from across a river
The Expedition to Piedras Negras, Guatemala is now in its fifth season at the site of this important city of the Maya “Old Empire”
The Expeditions camp on the Guatemala side of the Usumacinta River, which here divides that country from Mexico. The buildings are constructed entirely from native materials without the use of nails. Half the camp was destroyed by fire during the 1932 season, but was rebuilt immediately.
Image Number: 15506

The Goajiros have checkmated any attempt to Christianize or subjugate them, but we have the utmost confidence in the ability of Vincenzo Petrullo, director of the expedition, to analyze unfriendly natives.

The members of the party are Dr. Petrullo, Dr. Paul Kirchoff, Mrs. Hanna Kirchoff, Mrs. Gwyneth Browne Harrington, Miss Lydia du Pont and Mr. Lewis Korn.

This expedition represents the Institute’s first opportunity to carry out the purposes of its foundation; for Columbia University and the University Museum met and laid the necessary plans on the common meeting ground of the Institute Council.

Later in the season Columbia University will send Dr. Jules Henry to Brazil on a similar ethnological investigation.

Leg of an altar depicting a decorative carved face
A leg from Altar 4: possibly a representation of a Rain God
Image Number: 19413

THANKS to a very generous grant from the American Philosophical Society, the Museum is able to carry on two phases of a project long dear to its heart: the study of migrations between the Asiatic and American continents

Dr. Frederica de Laguna will return to Alaska for a fifth season of archaeological research. She will undertake a survey of the lower Yukon, between Koyukuk and Holy Cross, a region archaeologically little known. She hopes to determine the prehistoric boundary between Eskimo and Indian territory and to recognize traces of early migrations along the river. Dr. J. A. Eardley and Mr. Kenneth Gorton of the University of Michigan and Mr. Norman Reynolds of the University of Washington will join Dr. de Laguna’s expedition. Her project has received further welcome support from the National Research Council.

Dr. Edgar B. Howard will journey to Leningrad and Moscow to arrange with Russian archaeologists for the exchange of information on the antiquity of man in America and to plan for profitable future work in Siberia on this problem.

View of an excavated acropolis showing brick foundations
General view of the “Acropolis,” showing many fragmentary remains of different structures. The niche considerably to the left of the large stump which overhangs one of the walls is the site of the Throne which is now in the Museum.
Image Number: 44647

DR. and Mrs. Erich F. Schmidt left this country on April 6 for Rayy, accompanied by the following technical staff: George C. Miles, assistant director; Van W. Knox, Jr., architect; J. A. Bornholdt, artist, and James H. Gaul, assistant.

The airplane presented to the expedition by Mrs. Schmidt will be piloted by Lewin B. Barringer of Haverford. In addition to being used for mapping Rayy and for surveying Luristan from the air, it will enable Dr. Schmidt to keep in constant touch with the Oriental Institute excavations at Persepolis, of which he is also to be director.

The March Bulletin contained an article on Rayy by Dr. Schmidt.

An excavated building still standing; a stela lying in the ground; a group of men pulling a stone altar with a rope
Building P-7, the best preserved Maya structure at Piedras Negras. To the right of the archway not only are all four walls standing, but they still retain the roof, the only roof remaining in place of any building. The entrance was hidden by debris until excavated; the hole in the wall was made by treasure hunters of an unknown period; Stela 14 in situ at the foot of a pyramid. Discovered in 1899 by Teobert Maler, it was removed by the Museum’s expedition in 1932, and is one of the four stelae now in the Museum; Moving the top of Altar 1. Sixteen of the massive stone monuments, including stelae, were removed by comparatively primitive methods; they were then boxed, sometimes in sections, hauled by ox team over a road made for the purpose, thirty-five miles to the river below impassable rapids; from there they were floated by raft through a smaller rapid to the nearest port, and thence by steamers in Philadelphia
Image Numbers: 16621, 15543, 15658

Cite This Article

"Expeditions." Museum Bulletin V, no. 6 (April, 1935): 80-81. Accessed July 25, 2024. https://www.penn.museum/sites/bulletin/1599/


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