Museum News – Summer 1959

Originally Published in 1959

View PDF

Hasanlu, Iran

The members of the expedition to Hasanlu, under the leadership of Robert H. Dyson, Jr., arrived in Iran early in June. This year the Metropolitan Museum of Art is sponsoring the dig along with the Iranian Government and the University Museum. The Metropolitan’s representative is De. Vaughn E. Crawford who is acting as assistant director.

Again this year work will be continued on the central Citadel Mound with its successive seventy feet of building levels, only thirty feet of which had been cleared at the end of the 1958 season. One of the objectives is to clear and explore an ancient structure believed to have been a bronze worker’s shop, which should add considerably to our knowledge of the way of life in Iran in the early first millennium B.C.

Test excavations will be made in the south and west sections of the outer town area in an effort to determine the extent of the Bronze Age occupation. Work will be continued until the end of August.

Tikal, Guatemala

The picture story, Tikal 1959, summarizes this season’s accomplishments but tells of only a few of the people who made them possible and just what they did. Some of them have been working at Tikal since the beginning of the Project, others are new this year.

As in past seasons, Edwin M. Shook, Research Associate of the Carnegie Institution of Washington, was Field Director, with William R. Coe, Assistant Curator in the American Section of this Museum as Assistant Field Director and archaeologist. Stuart D. Scott, graduate student of the University of Arizona, as assistant archaeologist worked under Mr. Shook’s direction on the excavation of the North Acropolis and the Temple of the Red Stela; he is continuing in this area during the summer. Another assistant archaeologist, William A. Haviland, a graduate student at the University of Pennsylvania, worked with Dr. Coe in the Great Plaza and North Terrace excavations.

Vivian L. Broman, archaeologist, also did some excavating but gave most of her time to the laboratory, of which she is in charge. The several thousand objects recovered in the digging all passed through her hands, were studied, catalogued, repaired, and stored. In this work she was assisted by Mary B. Ricketson. Benedicta G. Levine acted as the director’s secretary and did the paper work for the laboratory; she also took care of the daily radio communications with Guatemala Government agencies.

George F. Guillemin, archaeologist, Chief of Tikal National Park, handled a large part of the repair and resetting of Tikal monuments. He also excavated a palace and Structure 78 in one of the Twin Pyramid Complexes. Robert F. Carr, as surveyor, has completed the plane-table survey of the central part of the site and is working this summer on mapping in the outer area. Aubrey Trik, who has done comparable work at Zaculeu and Copan, is project architect responsible for the program of reconstruction and consolidation; he spends most of the year at Tikal and one of his duties is the managing of the local labor force. Antonio Ortiz continued as foreman but now that he operates the hotel, he has less time than formerly for this work.

In April, Linton Satterthwaite, Curator of the American Section of the Museum, visited Tikal to complete his study of all the early period monuments so far found there so as to present them in as much detail and as accurately as possible in forthcoming scientific publications.

Scholars engaged in cooperative projects, which are encouraged by the Expedition, are an ornithologist, a botanist, and two ecologists. Frank B. Smithe, ornithologist, the author of the recently published Birds of Tikal, is remaining through this summer, a season which he had not previously spent in the area. Cyrus L. Lundell, botanist, Director of the Texas Research Foundation, and leading authority on local vegetation of the Maya lowlands, this year began an intensive study of the botany of Tikal and its environs. George and Ursula Cowgill of Harvard University, ecologists, made a stratified test in the swamp area in the hope of obtaining a pollen series.

New on the staff this summer are Ann Chowning, archaeologist, of the Department of Anthropology of Barnard College, who is doing a survey excavation of a new group of mounds in an area where houses for the workmen are to be built. Keith Dixon, of the Department of Anthropology, Long Beach State Teachers’ College in California, is studying the pottery and other artifacts from Miss Chowning’s excavations. They are being assisted by two student archaeologists, Peter Harrison of the University of Toronto and Philip Auerbach of Harvard University. Norman J. Johnston, architect, of the University of Pennsylvania School of Fine Arts, is working under Mr. Trik’s direction preparing drawings of such ornamental details of the structures as the quite elaborate stucco masks on the Temple of the Masks.

Cite This Article

"Museum News – Summer 1959." Expedition Magazine 1, no. 4 (July, 1959): -. Accessed April 18, 2024.

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

Report problems and issues to