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Khafajah and Kara Tepe, Iraq expedition records

PU-Mu. 1023

Excavation at Khafajah was initially directed by Henry Frankfurt and Pinhas Delougaz of the Oriental Institute; the Joint American Expedition, under the field direction of E. A. Speiser, continued excavation in conjunction with the work in progress since 1931 at Tepe Gawra (700 miles north of Khafajah). During the second season, 1937-1938, P. Delougaz was the field director. Excavation did not occur at Khafajah in 1938 because of political conditions. Karatepe is mentioned only briefly in the General Correspondence. The Penn Museum was involved with this site during the 1930s.

Summary Information

Creator(s)Bache, Charles, 1902-1942
Jayne, Horace Howard Furness, 1898-1975
Speiser, E. A. (Ephraim Avigdor), 1902-1965
Date(s)[inclusive] 1936-1938
Call NumberPU-Mu. 1023
Physical DescriptionExtent: 0.32 Linear feet
Language(s)eng

Biography / History

Excavation at Khafajah, a site located fifty miles northeast of Baghdad, was initially directed by Henry Frankfurt and Pinhas Delougaz of the Oriental Institute in Chicago between 1930 and 1937. In the same year, the Joint American Expedition, under the field direction of E. A. Speiser, continued excavation in conjunction with the work in progress since 1931 at Tepe Gawra (700 miles north of Khafajah). In theory, excavation was to take place between December and February when the weather was favorable. The excavation at Tepe Gawra would continue during October and November and in the spring. During the second season, 1937-1938, P. Delougaz was the field director and C. Bache, field director at Tepe Gawra, assisted him. Excavation did not occur at Khafajah in 1938 because of political conditions.

Karatepe, located ten miles from Tepe Gawra in northern Iraq, is mentioned only briefly in the general correspondence (C. Bache) for the Tepe Gawra and Tell Billa excavations. Penn Museum involvement with this site was during the 1930s. At present, the Near Eastern collections at the museum contain sixty-seven objects (accession numbers 36-7-1 to 36-7-67) from Karatepe (1934-1935). Records are limited to a small group of photographs depicting excavations with captions, and an oversized plan. Other material relating to this site may still be located with the records of other joint Assyrian Excavation ventures. Records for Tepe Gawra, Tell Billa, Karatepe, and Khafajah overlap because excavations were carried out by the Joint Assyrian Expedition which consisted of staff from the Penn Museum and the American School of Oriental Research (A.S.O.R.), Baghdad. The two major excavations were Tepe Gawra (1931-1938), and Tell Billa (1930-1938), although at Tell Billa the most intensive season occurred before 1933.


Scope and Contents

Documentation of these excavations is not extensive. For Khafajah, field records include many photographs of the twenty-four alabaster and limestone statuettes and their fragments which were found in the course of the 1937 excavation. Also from the 1937 excavation are object cards with a very brief description. The records of Tepe Gawra and Tell Billa must also be consulted, especially the general correspondence. The Directors’ correspondence (Jayne, 1929-1940, under Khafajah, P. Delougaz) should be checked.

Where possible, a chronological order was imposed on the Near East records. Photographs were retained with the documents when they directly referred to content. Otherwise, the photographic collections hold material relating to excavations, objects, and travel photographs. Large maps and drawings are kept in the oversize map cases, when available, and smaller watercolors, drawings and maps are in the Print Cabinet.


Administration Info

Publication Information: University of Pennsylvania: Penn Museum Archives, July 2009

Finding Aid Author: Finding aid prepared by Kathy Moreau

Use Restrictions: Although many items from the archives are in the public domain, copyright may be retained by the authors of items in these papers, or their descendants, as stipulated by United States copyright law. The user is fully responsible for compliance with relevant copyright law.


Controlled Access Headings

Corporate Name(s)

Form(s)/Genre(s)

Geographic Name(s)

Personal Name(s)


Collection Inventory

General Correspondence (inclusive: 1936-1938)

Series Description

Letter, telegram, financial statements and shipping notices to the Director of the University Museum and the American School for Oriental Research. Publicity notice. Arranged chronologically.

[Tepe Gawra and Khafajah correspondence, 1936-1938], Box 1
P. Delougaz/Jayne correspondence w/ 25 picture [missing nos. 8, 10, 14, 19, 20, 21, 10177182], Box 1

Indexes and Catalogues, [ca. 1936-1938]

Series Description

Locus Cards, some with drawings. Cards with sketches. Arranged chronologically.

[Object Cards] ca. 1936-1938, Box 1
Kara I, Karatepe and Khafajah [only Karatepe] pictures, Box 1