Important Finds at Kirkuk

Originally Published in 1930

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THE excavations at Kirkuk, Iraq, have reached a particularly interesting stage, according to the latest report received from Mr. Charles Bache, the Museum’s representative at the site, and the report for the first half of January from the leader of the Expedition, Mr. Richard F. S. Starr, says: “As yet I can make no promises, but it looks as though at last we had found the temple for which we have been searching so long. ‘Temple’ is a name so often given to any building that I hesitate in using it until I have further proof, hut from the little we have uncovered it looks quite possible. Of the five rooms worked in so far none have yet been cleaned to the pavements, but from one came the unbaked clay censer of which I have spoken, from another glazed wall-nails of the finest palace type, from the third a remarkable votive pottery vessel in the form of a dog (or pig) and from the fourth the lion about which I cabled you. Although less than a quarter of this room has been cleared we have from it: a few tablets; glass beads (formerly called composition) in such profusion that it seems as though they might have been strung about the room as decoration; a bone Ishtar figurine in the round, the most elaborate and finest I have seen from this country; a glass Ishtar pendant; wall painting fragments in the debris; circular and elliptical large glass heads set into the mud brick as decoration; and the lion.

“The lion is couchant and made without legs, of pottery, and glazed with that same blue green glaze that is on the wall-nails of the palace. It is forty-five centimeters in length, the mouth is open, and the tail curves up on the hack. Its condition is perfect except for a few minor scratches and the glaze though very rotten and iridescent is perfectly firm after treatment with celluloid in solution. Artistically it is a magnificent thing. Throughout it is done with the utmost simplicity, showing neither the decadent elaboration of some of the Assyrian things nor the grotesqueness of the more primitive Sumerian. It is conventionalized and yet is not a convention, life-like yet not studied.

“As you know I have worked this year with a small crew, one hundred thirty-five as an average. The cost for labor has not been great, yet by the end of the season I expect we shall have uncovered a larger area than we have ever done before. I hope at least to work through March and possibly into April.”

Cite This Article

"Important Finds at Kirkuk." Museum Bulletin I, no. 4 (April, 1930): 10-14. Accessed July 15, 2024.

This digitized article is presented here as a historical reference and may not reflect the current views of the Penn Museum.

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