Expedition News – Fall 1959

Originally Published in 1959

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The 1959 season’s work of all three of the University Museum Expeditions to the Near East was completed by early September. In this issue of Expedition there is a report by Dr. Pritchard of the results at el-Jib where he is Field Director; reports by Dr. Young on Gordion and by Mr. Dyson on Hasanlu will appear later.

At Gordion new techniques of exploration were furthered during the 1959 campaign by the use of an excavating machine called Allis-Chalmers HD-6 to cut a trench in the upper part of a big tumulus in the cemetery. The lower part had to be completed by hand for fear that the 9-ton monster might crash through the roof of the tomb; but as it turned out the roof had long since given way under the pressure of the stones and earth piled over it, and the contents of the burial were somewhat scattered and crushed. Twenty-three bronzes were recovered, however, including two cauldrons with bull-head handle attachments, also two very fine painted Phrygian vases. In the city the expedition cleared about three-quarters of the 1957 palace area including a very large chamber furnished with appropriate lavishness; numerous handsome painted vases were found, and the remains of wooden furniture carved in relief with processions of animals and decorated with inlaid ivory plaques.

Further excavation at Hasanlu in Iran has shown that the original top of the Citadel Mound was completely encircled by a fortification wall and that the Outer Town stretches around the northern flank of the citadel. The most recent occupations have now been definitely established as Islamic and Achaemenian; one of the earliest, a painted pottery level, is of the early fourth millennium B.C.; thus we have a time span for Hasanlu of at least five thousand years. Work has been continued on the Burned Building and across the courtyard from it, to the east, a similar structure has been found. Over thirty graves have been opened and a number of houses uncovered; notably, a well-built house of the Grey-Ware Period (100-800 B.C.) with mud-brick walls and stone foundation, which the excavators have dubbed “The Artisan’s House” because it contained some fragments of moulds and crucibles. A small sounding at nearby Dalmah Tepe has produced the oldest known pottery in Azerbaijan, dating back to around 4500 B.C.

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"Expedition News – Fall 1959." Expedition Magazine 2, no. 1 (September, 1959): -. Accessed April 18, 2024. https://www.penn.museum/sites/expedition/expedition-news-fall-1959/

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