New Expeditions

Originally Published in 1930

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IT is a matter of satisfaction to be able to announce that the Museum’s important excavations at Beisan, Palestine, were resumed on September first, under the direction of G. M. Fitz Gerald, Esq., formerly assistant field director to Mr. Rowe during the 1928-29 season, the last in which the expedition worked at this site.

Beisan, called Beth-Shan in the Bible where it is referred to in a number of passages as an important Philistine stronghold, is probably the most interesting and productive site so far excavated in Palestine. Its situation at the west of the Plains of Esdraelon gave it great military value, and the Museum’s work during six previous seasons brought forth objects and information of great historic value.

This year Mr. Fitz Gerald will concentrate chiefly upon the cemetery which has so far yielded valuable results, and it is hoped that its excavation can he completed during the four months from September through December when work at Beisan is possible.
In addition to resumption of work at Beisan, the Museum has a number of other archaeological projects for the coming winter which will be of undoubted interest. An Expedition, in association with the American School of Oriental Research, Baghdad, will begin work at the important Assyrian site of Tell Billa, not far from Mosul in Northern Iraq. Dr. Speiser, field director of the Expedition, has already examined the site and assembled evidence indicating not only that there was a palace of Sennacherib at this spot, but also the presence of settlements of far earlier dates, the oldest of which present close similarities to the earliest periods of civilization in Mesopotamia and Persia. Dr. Speiser’s first reports will probably be available for the next issue of the Bulletin.

Finally, owing to the generosity of Mr. Eldridge R. Johnson and the courtesy of the Government of the Republic of Guatemala, a major project will begin work about the first of the year at Piedras Negras in Guatemala. This was one of the most important Mayan cities under the so-called Old Empire, which ended about A.D. 600. The Johnson Expedition will work, it is hoped, at least three years and endeavor not only to restore the monuments to he found at Piedras Negras, but also to produce through the excavations evidence that will throw more light on the earlier history of the Mayan peoples.

Other projects sponsored by the Museum will be announced shortly in these pages.

Cite This Article

"New Expeditions." Museum Bulletin II, no. 1 (November, 1930): 5-6. 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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