Archaeological Archives, Department of Art and Archaeology, Princeton University
Princeton University Archaeological Expeditions to Syria 1904-1905 and 1909
1The Research Photographs collections consist of unique photographic and textual documentation generated by over 100 years of archaeological work conducted by Princeton University. In addition to the primary corpus of photographs, glass plate and film negatives, and drawings, there are supplementary materials such as journals, field notebooks, trench reports and other ancillary records. The extensive archaeological archive includes photographs from excavations sponsored by Princeton University and from excavations for which Research Photographs retain the original negatives. Together these collections form a singular archive manifesting Princeton’s continued participation in and sponsorship of excavations, a tradition that began in 1899 with Howard Crosby Butler’s expeditions to Syria and continues with the excavations at Balis in central Syria and Polis, Cyprus.
2The earliest expedition for which the department retains records is the Brünnow and Domaszewski expedition to the Roman province of Arabia. In 1895, 1897 and 1898 Rudolf-Ernst Brünnow, his friend and colleague Alfred von Domaszewski, and the epigrapher Julius Euting explored the area that today comprises parts of Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Israel, and Palestine. Over one thousand photographs were taken of Mshatta, Amman, Bosra, Petra and other sites to provide illustrations for Die Provincia Arabia which was published in Strasbourg from 1904 to 1909. The department retains drawings, original glass negatives and an accompanying set of mounted photographs. The collection also holds the complete set of the earliest panoramic photographic documentation of the now-dispersed facade of the eighth-century C.E. palace at Mshatta, Jordan. (1 Mshatta, carved stone facade of the palace, 1898 (Brünnow and Domaszewski Expedition Archive, negative no. 430)
1. Mshatta, carved stone facade of the palace, 1898 (Brünnow and Domaszewski Expedition Archive, negative no. 430)
3The archive is an invaluable record of monuments in the Middle East as they were more than 100 years ago, before natural disasters and human intervention had taken their toll.
Howard Crosby Butler Archive :American Archaeological Expeditions to Syria 1899-1900
Princeton University Archaeological Expeditions to Syria 1904-1905 and 1909
4Howard Crosby Butler (class of 1892), Princeton professor of art and archaeology and architecture, directed the first expedition sponsored by the university. As a Princeton undergraduate, Butler had become interested in the explorations of Syria conducted by the Marquis de Vogüé in 1860–1862. Butler’s mission was to revisit and report on areas of Syria first explored by his mentor the Marquis de Vogüé. Funded by a group of New York businessmen, Butler organized the American Expedition to Syria in 1899. Guided by de Vogüé’s maps and notebooks the expedition moved from site to site in the Levant, measuring, drawing and photographing monuments.
5Four years later in 1904 Butler organized the Princeton University Archaeological Expeditions to Syria. The aim of this expedition was to study, in greater detail, the monuments visited by the American Archaeological Expedition to Syria and to explore additional sites in the region. (2 Zerzita, portico of a house, view from the south, 1905 (Princeton University Archaeological Expeditions to Syria, negative no. 1016)
6In March of 1909 Butler headed a third campaign to complete the archaeological survey of southern Syria begun in 1904. Throughout three expeditions, Butler’s team explored numerous ancient sites in northern and southern Syria, photographing and documenting a wide range of public and private buildings, inscriptions, sculpture, and other objects dating from the first century B.C. E. to the beginning of the seventh century C.E. Many of the monuments documented by Butler a century ago have long since disappeared; his photographs and drawings provide a rare glimpse of the lifestyle in one of the most important eastern provinces of the Roman and Byzantine empire. In addition to the primary corpus of photographs, the archive retains the original negatives, drawings, and journals.
2. Zerzita, portico of a house, view from the south, 1905 (Princeton University Archaeological Expeditions to Syria, negative no. 1016)
7In 1910, Butler accepted an invitation from the Ottoman government to excavate at Sardis. Butler was eager to explore this important archaeological and historical site that had never been fully and systematically excavated. Supported by prominent New York philanthropists and art collectors, including members of the Board of Trustees of the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Butler established the American Society for the Excavation of Sardis in 1909.
8Setting out in February of 1910, Butler and his party journeyed by train from Smyrna to the village of Sart (modern Sardis) and then on horseback to the site, arriving in March of 1910. Buried by an earthquake in 17 C.E., Sardis was marked by two colossal Ionic columns rising from the slopes Mt. Tmolus. Excavations began on the bank of the Paktolos River and moved east towards the columns where they uncovered the foundations of a great temple, dedicated to Artemis in the 4th century B.C. E. (3 Sardis, Temple of Artemis, east end of cella, 1911 (American Society for the Excavation of Sardis, negative no. A.100)
9Concurrently, excavations were begun in the tombs on the Necropolis across the Paktolos. The highlight of the 1912 campaign was the complete unearthing of the Temple of Artemis. The fifth campaign opened early in February 1914 under the direction of T. Leslie Shear, professor of Art and Archaeology, who undertook the examination of the Royal Tombs.
10Butler intended to resume excavating the next year but the advent of World War I and the ensuing Greek-Turkish conflicts delayed his return. In March of 1922, three years after the war ended, Shear returned to Sardis and served as acting director until Butler arrived in April. When they finally made their way to the site, Shear and other members of the advance team found that during the war years many of the finds had been stolen or destroyed and the excavation house had been gutted. The team spent most of what would turn out be the final season cleaning up broken debris, repairing the dig house and assessing the other damage. Butler never finished his work at Sardis; traveling through Europe on his way back to the states, he died suddenly in Paris on August 13, 1922 at the age of 50.
11The archive contains original negatives and prints from the Sardis excavations.
3. Sardis, Temple of Artemis, east end of cella, 1911 (American Society for the Excavation of Sardis, negative no. A.100)
12Within a few years after Butler’s death in 1922, Princeton began informal discussions with the French authorities about an excavation at the ancient and medieval site of Antioch, which was then part of the French mandate. In 1928 Charles Rufus Morey chair of Princeton’s Department of Art and Archaeology and a distinguished scholar of Late Antique and medieval art, formally proposed the excavation and exploration of Antioch. Morey believed that the project would be a natural extension of Butler’s Syrian expeditions and would also be consistent with Princeton’s current interest in the Late Antique and medieval periods.
13The opportunity to excavate came in 1930, when the High Commissionary of France and Syria finalized the concession, which granted Princeton excavation rights for a six-year term beginning on 1 January 1931. Efforts to raise the funds to finance the ambitious excavation continued throughout 1931. In December 1931, the Committee for the Excavation of Antioch-on-the-Orontes was formed. Its members, all of whom had contributed funding, were the Worcester Art Museum, the Baltimore Museum of Art, the Musées Nationaux de France, and Princeton University, which directed the expedition and assumed responsibility for the publication of its results. The field staff, organized in the fall of 1931, consisted of director George W. Elderkin of Princeton, field director Clarence S. Fisher of the American School of Oriental Research in Jerusalem, and assistant field director William A. Campbell.
14Between 1933 and 1936, four campaigns were carried on at Antioch and its suburb Daphne. When the original concession expired in July 1936, the Committee for the Excavation of Antioch met and decided to ask for a renewal of the concession for the maximum period of six years. The Department of Syrian Antiquities granted the request and the subscribing institutions extended their support, thereby ensuring the continuation of the excavations.
15The final excavations of the season, as well as the campaign, took place in September of 1939. The prevailing sentiment was that time was running out. Rich donors, still suffering the effects of the Depression, were not funding excavations. In Europe and in the Middle East war was looming. The most immediate crisis was the secession of Hatay province, where Antioch was located, from Syria to Turkey, a country with strict laws governing the export of antiquities. Ultimately the mosaics, and all the other finds, were divided on a share basis among the various subscribers, including the Turkish government. Work was finally suspended with the outbreak of World War II.
4. Seleucia Pieria, House of the Drinking Contest, overview with mosaics in situ, 1939 (Antioch Excavation Archives, negative no. 5274)
16The results of the eight seasons (1932–1939) of excavation at Antioch were in many ways quite unexpected. The excavators had hoped to uncover remains of the renowned civic monuments described by ancient authors: the imperial palace, the forum, the famous churches, and other major urban structures. Instead, the most significant and spectacular finds were the mosaics, nearly 300 in all, ranging in date from the second to the sixth century C.E. This rich assemblage of pavements was recovered from both public buildings and private houses in Antioch, in the port city of Seleucia Pieria (4 Seleucia Pieria, House of the Drinking Contest, overview with mosaics in situ, 1939 (Antioch Excavation Archives, negative no. 5274) and especially in the affluent suburb of Daphne, which yielded some of the most magnificent examples. With their repertoire of superb techniques, their striking decorative and realistic effects, and their extensive range of subjects, the Antioch mosaics provide fascinating documentation of the evolving artistic tastes and cultural interests of the inhabitants of one of the greatest cities of the classical world. The archive includes more than 5500 photographs and negatives, inventories, field notebooks, excavation diaries, drawings and other records.
17Eleven years after the final Antioch campaign, the university began to explore the possibility of undertaking another excavation. The impetus for the investigation was, in part, the arrival of Erik Sjöqvist, former director of the Swedish Institute in Rome and secretary to the late King Gustavus VI Adolphus of Sweden, who became a member of the Department of Art and Archaeology in 1951. Sjöqvist spent the summer of 1953 investigating sites in the eastern Mediterranean where he had been trained as a student. He consulted with his colleague Richard E. Stillwell, who had excavated at Antioch and served as director of the publications and the decision was made to explore Serra Orlando in the hilly interior of central eastern Sicily, the site of ancient Morgantina. Sjöqvist and Stillwell concluded that Morgantina fulfilled two crucial objectives: 1) the study of the effect of Greek colonization on the indigenous population and 2) the training of graduate students in the classical archaeology program.
18Princeton excavated at Morgantina from 1955 to 1963 and 1966 to 1967, under the joint directorship of Professors Erik Sjöqvist and Richard E. Stillwell, until Sjöqvist became ill and Stillwell retired. From 1968 to 1972, Hubert L. Allen *69, continued the excavations under the auspices of the jointly sponsored Illinois-Princeton Morgantina Expedition. William A. P. Childs’64, *71 who served as trench master in 1966, returned as field director in 1978 and 1979. In 1989, Malcolm Bell ’63, 72*, then professor of classical archeology at the University of Virginia, took over the supervision of the excavations. Work at the site continues today under the direction of Malcolm Bell and Carla Antonaccio *87 of Duke University.
19In addition to traces of settlements dating to the Bronze Age, the excavations of Morgantina revealed the remains of two separate cites that were inhabited sequentially. The first was founded in the sixth century B.C.E. by Greek colonists who built houses, erected small shrines, and buried their dead in chamber tombs cut into the hillside. In the second half of the 4th century, the city was moved to an adjacent plateau and this prosperous new foundation eventually included a monumental agora (5 Morgantina, Area I, Agora, 1958 (Princeton Archaeological Expedition to Morgantina, 1955-1963 and 1966-1967) theater, market building, sanctuaries, and elegant houses with colonnaded courtyards.
5. Morgantina, Area I, Agora, 1958 (Princeton Archaeological Expedition to Morgantina, 1955-1963 and 1966–1967)
20The archive holds color slides and black /white photographs, architectural drawings, trench notebooks and field books.
21The department’s tradition of archaeology in the eastern Mediterranean continues at Polis located on the northwest coast of Cyprus. Since 1983, a team of archaeologists under the direction of Professor William A.P. Childs of Princeton University has worked in the area of Polis Chrysochous to uncover the ancient city of Marion/Arsinoe. Many remains of the Archaic and Classical settlement have emerged gradually over the years, and in the search for Marion parts of the Hellenistic, Roman, and Medieval city of Arsinoe have come to light as well.
22Marion, as suggested by its extensive necropoleis, sanctuaries, and city wall, had been a flourishing city until 312 B.C.E., when Ptolemy I, Soter, destroyed it and moved its population to Paphos. Ptolemy II, Philadelphus rebuilt the city around 270 B.C.E. and named it after his sister and wife, Arsinoe.
23The new city was smaller than Marion but it also flourished due to its close proximity to the copper mines. Arsinoe continued to exist in the Roman, early Christian, early Byzantine, and early Medieval periods, although it seems to have suffered some destruction by the Arab invasions of the seventh century C.E. It was not until the late medieval period that the town came to be known simply as Polis, the city on the Chrysochou River.
24Excavations conducted by Princeton at the site have unearthed numerous features of the ancient town, including deposits with Chalcolithic and Bronze Age pottery, a sanctuary and an ashlar block “palace” of the Archaic period, a Late Classical temple furnished with life-size terracotta statues, portions of the massive city wall, a Roman villa, two Early Christian basilicas (6 Polis Chrysochous, view of sector EF2 from the west, 2003 (Princeton Archaeological Expedition to Polis) and portions of the Byzantine and Lusignan town.
25The archive holds color slides and black /white photographs, architectural drawings, trench notebooks and field books.
Table des illustrations
|Titre||1. Mshatta, carved stone facade of the palace, 1898 (Brünnow and Domaszewski Expedition Archive, negative no. 430)|
|Titre||2. Zerzita, portico of a house, view from the south, 1905 (Princeton University Archaeological Expeditions to Syria, negative no. 1016)|
|Titre||3. Sardis, Temple of Artemis, east end of cella, 1911 (American Society for the Excavation of Sardis, negative no. A.100)|
|Titre||4. Seleucia Pieria, House of the Drinking Contest, overview with mosaics in situ, 1939 (Antioch Excavation Archives, negative no. 5274)|
|Titre||5. Morgantina, Area I, Agora, 1958 (Princeton Archaeological Expedition to Morgantina, 1955-1963 and 1966–1967)|
Pour citer cet article
Shari T. Kenfield, « Archaeological Archives, Department of Art and Archaeology, Princeton University », Anabases, 11 | 2010, 219-226.
Shari T. Kenfield, « Archaeological Archives, Department of Art and Archaeology, Princeton University », Anabases [En ligne], 11 | 2010, mis en ligne le 01 mars 2013, consulté le 23 mars 2017. URL : http://anabases.revues.org/893 ; DOI : 10.4000/anabases.893Haut de page
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