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ADDITIONAL RECORDS RECOVERED FROM THE MEDINET HABU EXCAVATIONS

By W. Emily Teeter, Associate Curator of the Oriental Institute Museum
The University of Chicago

(This article originally appeared in The Oriental Institute News and Notes, No. 164, Winter 2000, and is made available electronically with the permission of the editor.)


The Oriental Institute has received another group of "lost" field records documenting the 1926 to 1933 excavations at Medinet Habu. In mid-August, Dr. Professor Dietrich Wildung, Director of the Staatliche Museen Berlin, advised us that additional records had been located in their archives. The documents were delivered to New York by Professor Karl-Heinz Priese, Director in the Staatliche Museen Berlin, and then brought to Chicago by Oriental Institute Museum Director Karen L. Wilson. They will be stored in the museum archives along with the rest of the materials that were transferred from Berlin in 1993 (see News & Notes 140, Winter 1994, and News & Notes 142, Summer 1994).

Among the materials are two important field registers. Volume VII (1929) includes many objects granted through division to the Oriental Institute, and volume XI (1931/32) documents the excavation of the ruined Temple of Aye and Horemheb, including the discovery of the Aye foundation deposits. The recovery of these two registers means that we are now missing only one-and-a-half volumes of the field registers. These are volume VIII which records the later part of the 1929/30 season, and the lower half of volume V (early part of the 1929/30 season) which, for unknown reasons, was roughly hacked into two pieces.

An intriguing stack of papers and photographs was received with the field registers. One folder contained miscellaneous field photographs of architectural fragments. The papers proved to be sections of an unfinished catalog of the small finds written by Rudolf Anthes during the years leading up to World War II. Approximately two-thirds of this manuscript was received in 1993, and the new documents complete it. The newly recovered chapters include documentation of ushabtis, bronze figurines, metal vessels, amulets, heart scarabs, the tomb of Harsiese, and an index of the private tombs. The Anthes catalog is a very important document for future publication of the small finds from the site because it includes objects in Cairo and Chicago as well as others whose locations are presently unknown. As the only comprehensive record of the small finds, it has provided the framework for a series of forthcoming volumes cataloging the artifacts from the site. The first volume of the renewed publication project, Scarabs, Scaraboids, Seals, and Seal Impressions (OIP 118), was written by Emily Teeter with a contribution on Late Antique material by Terry Wilfong of the Kelsey Museum. The volume, which is in press, was funded by a generous gift from the late Joan Rosenberg. The next volume dealing with baked clay and faience figures is in preparation.

Revised: April 28, 2011

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