Notes

Originally Published in 1915

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Mr. John S. Newbold has been elected on the Board of Man¬agers to fill the vacancy caused by the resignation of Mr. B. Talbot B. Hyde.

Mr. B. W. Merwin has been appointed Assistant Curator of the American Section of the Museum.

A small collection of rare old ornaments from Samoa, British New Guinea and Hawaii have recently been added by purchase to the collections representing the peoples inhabiting these islands. The carvings and braided fibre objects in this collection illustrate arts which were highly developed, but which have now become extinct.

The Chinese collections have been augmented by the following
acquisitions purchased since the beginning of the year.

A pair of large stone Fu-lions from the entrance to a Chinese temple and dating from the early Ming Dynasty.
A pair of large famille verte palace jars (Kang-hsi).
One cloisonné vase from the Arthur I. Hoe Collection.
One large bronze drum of the Han Dynasty.
A boat-shaped bronze bowl embellished with dragons in relief on either side. This piece is dated in the Sung dynasty.

Two very rare Tibetan images have recently been acquired by purchase. These excellent examples of the religious art in Tibet are cast in bronze which is afterwards worked by hand and very heavily gilt.

A small but interesting collection of weapons from the South Pacific, from India and from North Africa has been presented to the Museum by Mrs. William Pepper through her son, Dr. William Pepper. Mrs. Pepper has also presented a piece of Serbian embroidery.

The Eckley Brinton Coxe, Jr., Expedition to Egypt began work early in the year on the great cemetery at Giza at the base of the second pyramid. Several important pieces of sculpture were discovered, including an offering table containing an inscription giving the names of the builders of the first and second pyramids, together with the name of another king of the fourth dynasty of whom nothing is known.

Mr. Fisher, the chief of the expedition, also made a trip into the Sudan, where he spent five weeks making maps. In the mean¬time, the Egyptian Government granted the Museum a concession for excavating the site of Memphis. The part of the ancient city which will be excavated by the expedition is that part which includes the site of the Royal Palace of the New Empire. Work was begun on this site early in March and will be carried on by Mr. Fisher with a full force of workmen as late into the summer as the climate will permit.

Mr. C. W. Bishop arrived in Japan early in March. He has been occupied since then in travelling throughout the Empire, visiting the various temples and studying the various public and private collections to which he has had access through the courtesy of both the Japanese officials and the owners of important collections.

Mr. George G. Heye has continued his archaeological investigations in the West Indies. Mr. M. R. Harrington has made excavations in a number of caves and village sites in the east end of Cuba. These sites have yielded an abundance of pottery, stone celts, rude implements of flint and of shell, wooden dishes and the remains of a wooden seat. The excavations have also brought to light artificially deformed skulls.

Prof. George A. Barton of Bryn Mawr College has continued his work upon the collection of Babylonian tablets in the Museum. His volume on the administrative documents of the earliest periods has just been published as Volume IX, No. 1, of the Babylonian Series.

Miss Adela C. Breton has been at the Museum since Christmas studying Central American MSS. in the Brinton Collection.

The collections in the Mediterranean Section have been recatalogued and the exhibits have been entirely rearranged in the cases by Dr. Edith H. Hall, the Assistant Curator of the section. These exhibitions are now properly displayed and their usefulness has been greatly increased both for students of Graeco-Roman archaeology and for visitors to the Museum generally.

A great deal of attention has been attracted by statements made in the public press relative to some missing laws of the Hammurabi Code which have been discovered on a tablet in the Museum. Many inquiries have been received relative to this discovery. In answer to these inquiries the following statement is made.

In the volume entitled “Historical and Grammatical Texts,” by Dr. Arno Poebel, published as Volume V of the Babylonian Series of the Museum, there is included a large tablet in many fragments which contains a number of the laws of Hammurabi. Dr. Poebel’s translation of this tablet was not ready when the volume went to press and consequently this translation has not been published. In the JOURNAL for June, 1913, Dr. Poebel already announced this discovery and stated the fact that among the laws preserved on the tablet are two which are missing from the code as it is preserved on the great stela in the Louvre. These are the two laws to which special interest attaches at the present time. Dr. George A. Barton has furnished the literal translation of each of these laws. The first refers to debt and reads as follows.

“If a man borrow grain or money from a merchant and for the payment has no grain or money, whatever is in his hand in the presence of the elders he shall give to the merchant in place of the debt. The merchant shall not refuse it; he shall receive it.”

The second law refers to partnership and reads as follows.

“If a man give money to a man for a partnership, the gain and profit that accrue is before the gods, together they shall do business.”

Cite This Article

"Notes." The Museum Journal VI, no. 1 (March, 1915): 59-61. Accessed February 22, 2024. https://www.penn.museum/sites/journal/9736/


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