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Erich F. Schmidt excavation records from Tepe Hissar, Iran

PU-Mu. 1026

From 1931-1933, The University Museum sponsored Erich Schmidt's excavations and survey at Tepe Hissar and sites around the city Damghan, both in Northwestern Iran, near the Caspian sea. These sites were unique because they were the first American excavations in Iran, but more particuarly because of the long time span represented in the archaeological record. Remains from the Bronze Age to the Islamic era were collected, but Schmidt focused his investigation on the Bronze Age and Sassanian eras.

Summary Information

Creator(s)Schmidt, Erich Friedrich, 1897-1964
Date(s)[bulk] Bulk, 1931-1932
[inclusive] 1929-1944
Call NumberPU-Mu. 1026
Physical DescriptionExtent: 25.0 Linear feet General Physical Description note: The records are contained in manuscript boxes, index card boxes, records storage boxes, photographic albums, and flat files of various sizes, which hold maps, drawings, and prints that are oversize.
Language(s)eng

Biography / History

Archaeologist Erich F. Schmidt was born in Germany in 1897. He studied political science at Friedrich Wilhelm University in Berlin after serving in the German army in World War I. In 1923, Schmidt came to the United States, completing a Ph.D at Columbia University in 1929. While at Columbia, Schmidt joined the staff of the American Museum of Natural History. Schmidt’s position with the museum introduced him to William B. and Gertrude H. Thompson, who were to become his long-term benefactors, and to Fiske Kimball, Director of the Pennsylvania Museum of Art, which co-sponsored the Damghan Project. Schmidt became professor, and eventually professor emeritus, at the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago. At the time of his death in 1964, Dr. Schmidt was writing the third volume in a series on Persepolis.


Scope and Contents

Records concerning excavation at Tepe Hissar were grouped into subseries: general correspondence; reports and publications; field notes; drawings and plans; burial sheets; indexes and catalogs and financial records. For the most part, the original order has been maintained.

The general correspondence series includes as major correspondents Horace H. F. Jayne, the Director of the University Museum; Erich F. Schmidt, the Field Director of the Iranian Expedition; Arthur Upham Pope, the Director of the American Institute for Persian Art and Archaeology; Wilton M. Krogman of the Western Reserve University School of Medicine, Cleveland, Ohio; Mrs. William Boyce Thompson, the principal patroness of the Iranian Expedition, and E. Herzfeld. Schmidt's correspondence files appear to be arranged alphabetically by the last name of the correspondent, but the letters are sometimes signed only with a first name.

Schmidt's correspondence with colleagues and friends during his association with the University Museum is mixed with correspondence and financial records from Alishar Huyuk, a site in Turkey, which Schmidt excavated in the 1920's for the Oriental Institute, Chicago. These records were kept within the latter correspondence, so as not to disrupt the original order.

The field registers/catalogs and survey/architect notebooks should be used together to provide information concerning the provenience of objects. A Road Diary dated February, 1931, similar to one kept in the Fara subgroup, describes visits to sites of Schmidt and his crew in the vicinity of Fara and the trip from Baghdad to Damghan. The excavations focused on the burials in the mounds of these sites, and each one was documented with individual "X blanks" sheets, which illustrated and described the position of the remains, and the burial goods associated. Schmidt and his surveyor worked to reconstruct the structures built over many eras, but some of the survey documents were damaged by water and may not be useable.

The drawings and plans are notable for watercolors of some of the burials, of ceramics and other objects, and of the burned building. These are located in the print cabinet or flat files. In addition, there are ink drawings of Damghan scenes done by Ivan Gerasimoff (the painter of the watercolors), who Schmidt reports (1937:9) drew every recorded object.

Included within the indexes and catalogs subseries are two sets of photograph negative cards. One is arranged by object type and within this by field number and another duplicate set, arranged by photographic negative (P.E.) number. The numerically ordered set has the current Museum negative number written on the right corner of each card.


Administration Info

Publication Information: University of Pennsylvania: Penn Museum Archives, 1983

Finding Aid Author: Finding aid prepared by K. 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.


Related Materials

Additional information concerning individual skeletons is available from the skeleton cards, arranged by University Museum accession number, but with a cross listing which relates the Hissar plot and burial numbers of each skeleton with the University Museum's accession number. Carbon copies of these are in the University Museum Registrar's Office.

Photographs recording Schmidt’s trips in Iran are in the photograph collections and are referenced in the Photograph Negative Card Catalog (c.f. Near East/Iran/T. Hissar/Indexes and Catalogs). For further information regarding the Hissar expedition, Schmidt's publications, particularly "Excavations at Tepe Hissar, Iran, 1931-1933" (1937), are very valuable. A more personal account of the experiences of the expedition staff is provided by a memoir of a staff member, L. Erskine White, "An Archaeological Journey to Persia", located in the reports and publications series.

In some cases, records concern Hissar and one or more of the sites in the Damghan area. Material which was easily separated out from the Hissar material was grouped into a separate series, named after the Damghan area sites: the Damghan Citadel, Tepe Muman, Tari(kh), Khaneh, Nareshan and Shir-e-Shian. Not all records were able to be separated, therefore all researchers of these sub-sites should check the Tepe Hissar records, particularly the field notes under field journals, in the course of their research.

A few documents pertaining to Tepe Hissar are located in the Director's Files of Horace Jayne (1929-1940). Subject headings include, for example, C. Warden 1932-1936, Persia State Department, Wallace Murray, and the Persian Institute. These refer to financial matters and the passage of the new antiquities law in Persia (ca. 1930). It must be stressed that the majority of the material which pertains to Tepe Hissar is located in the Near East Record Group.

For additional information concerning the change in antiquities laws in Persia and the preliminary research in regard to the Hissar project see the subseries Tureng Tepe under General Correspondence and the Director's Files Jayne (1929-1940) under F.R. Wulsin.

Additionally, records of the further expeditions of the Persian Expedition, which came to be sponsored by the Oriental Institute, can be accessed in their archives at the University of Chicago. They have records from Schimdt's excavations in the royal center of Persepolis, but also at the two prehistoric mounds of Tall-i Bakun, an Achaemenid tower and tombs of the Achaemenid kings at Naqsh-i Rustam, and portions of the Sasanian/Islamic city of Istakhr. In addition, Erich Schmidt led two air-reconnaissance and ground expeditions into the mountains of Luristan in 1935-36 and 1937, and The Oriental Institute has these negatives, as well. A description of their holdings may be found at: http://oi.uchicago.edu/research/projects/per/#Introduction


Controlled Access Headings

Form(s)/Genre(s)

Geographic Name(s)

Personal Name(s)

Subject(s)


Collection Inventory

Correspondence (inclusive: 1929-1944)

Scope and Contents note

Letters, telegrams, and other correspondence related to finances, invoices and shipping documents, and Schmidt's files in alphabetical order. In English, French, German and Farsi. Arranged chronologically.

Persian Expedition, 1929 Director's Office,
Persian Expedition, 1930 Director's Office, Box 1
Schmidt/Kimball, Pennsylvania Museum of Art, 1931 February-1932 December, Box 1
Schmidt/Kimball, Pennsylvania Museum of Art, 1931 February-1932 December. Photocopies., Box 1
Schmidt: Letters to/from Horace Jayne, 1930 May-1932 December, and 1933, Box 1
General Correspondence, 1931-1933, Box 1
Schmidt Letter-Reports from the Field to Horace Jayne, 1931 November-1932 December, Box 1
1943-1944, includes correspondence regarding missing Fara/Damghan documents and negatives, Box 1
Jayne/W. M. Krogman, 1935-1938, Box 2
Schmidt Files A & B, 1927-1930, Box 2
Schmidt Files H & G, 1928-1930, Box 2
Schmidt Files K, 1927-1930, Box 2
Application for Persian Expedition, 1930,1933, Box 2
Division and Shipping, Box 2
Statement Concerning 1932 Division, Shipping Lists, Box 2
E. White and F. Kimball(?) Sassanian Stuccoes ?, Box 2
Correspondence, magazine & newspaper clippings, 1930-1936, Box 2
Schmidt Personal Papers ca. 1930, Box 2
Architectural and Burial Descriptions, includes DF and CF areas, Box 3

Field Notes (inclusive: 1931-1932)

Scope and Contents note

Field Journals and Road Diaries, survey/architect notebooks,cross-section books, architectural descriptions, notes, fieldbook of quadrants and plots. Also Field Catalogs and Registers, 1931-1932, and Photograph Register, 1931-1932.

Misc. Hissar Notes, CF area-Dyson, Box 3
Loose pages of a Field Notebook: Lists of Objects by Quadrant and Plot, Box 3
Architectural and Burial Descriptions, includes DF and CF areas, Box 3
Architectural Description, Box 3
Notes regarding Sources of Raw Materials and Correspondence concerning Tin Analysis, Box 3
Survey of Prolluvial Placers, Box 3
Misc. Notes, Box 3
Chart of Rel. Chronology, Box 3
Tepe Hissar, Survey Book, Box 4
Damghan Survey Book, Box 4
Tepe Hissar, Survey Book, Book 3, Box 4
[Survey and Field Notebook- includes Tarikh Khaneh], Box 4
Tepe Hissa- Survey Book 2, Box 4
Damghan, Survey Book, Box 4
Fara and Damghan Survey Book, Box 4
Survey Notes- includes Lists of Plots, Box 4
Hissar Field Catalog, Box 5
Tepe Hissar and Damghan Citadel, Tepe Muman, Tari Khaneh, Tepe Nareshan, and Tepe Shir-e-Shian, Box 5
Photograph Register, Tepe Hissar- Test Sites in the Damghan Area, Box 5
E.L. White Survey and Plot Notebooks, Box 5
Burial Sheets, Box 5

Burial Sheets (inclusive: 1931-1932)

Scope and Contents note

Handwritten and typed burial sheets, arranged by quadrant and/or plot and thereunder by skeleton number. Each burial sheet records an individual burial, field nmbers of the associated burial goods, and the period. A skeleton number is an X and a numeral.

X Blanks CF, Burial Sheets CF, North Flat Quadrant, Box 6
X Blanks CG, Quadrant (1 of 2), Box 6
X Blanks CG Quadrant (2 of 2), Box 6
X Blanks CH, Quadrant (1 of 2), Box 6
X Blanks CH, Quadrant (2 of 2), Box 6
X Blanks DF, Quadrant (1 of 2), Box 6
X Blanks DF Quadrant (2 of 2), Box 7
X Blanks, typed copies, DF Quadrant, Box 7
X Blanks, DG00-DG22 (1 of 3), Box 7
X Blanks, DG00-DG22 (2 of 3), Box 7
X Blanks, DG00-DG22 (3 of 3), Box 7
X Blanks, DG36-DG53, Box 7
X Blanks, DG66-DG96 (1 of 2), Box 8
X Blanks, DG66-DG96 (2 of 2), Box 8
X Blanks, typed copies DG Quadrant, Box 8
X Blanks DH Quadrant (1 of 2), Box 8
X Blanks DH Quadrant (2 of 2), Box 8
X Blanks, typed copies DH Quadrant, Box 8
X Blanks, typed copies EF, EG Quadrants, Box 8
X Blanks EG, EH, FF Quadrants, Box 8
X Blanks, typed copies, FF Quadrant, Box 8
X Blanks GI97, Box 8

Drawings and Plans (inclusive: 1931-1933)

Scope and Contents note

Watercolor and ink drawings of burials, arranged by lot number; ink drawings of artifacts arranged first by material, object type and then by period; ink drawings of Damghan scenes; and architectural reconstruction. Some object drawings are separated further by provenience and/or by season.

Maps and Plans, Box 9
Sassanian Building, Architectural Details, Box 9
Hissar Drawings, Burned Building Objects, Box 9
Sherd Drawings, Box 9
Drawings of Finds, Pot Lids HII, III, Box 9
Hissar-Pottery Objects, Box 9
HI-Pottery Objects, Box 9
Misc. Pottery HI, II, III, Box 9
Pottery Whorls HI, II, III, Box 9
Pottery Cones, Bicones HII, III, Box 9
Pottery Discs HI, II, III, Box 9
Min. Pots HI, II, III, Box 9
Pottery Figurines HI, II, III, Box 9
Stone Figurines HIII, Box 9
Hissar- Figurines, Box 9
Alabaster Discs HIII C, Box 9
Alabaster Columns, etc. HIII C, Box 9
Alabaster H III C, Box 9
HI- Whorls, Box 9
Stone Whorls, Hinge Stones HIII, Box 9
Stone Flakes, HI, II, III, Box 9
Stone Arrows HI, III, Box 9
HI Stone Objects HI, Box 9
Stone Objects Drawings and Photographs, Box 9
Misc. Stone HI, II, III, S1, Box 9
Stone Polishers, HI, II, III, Box 9
Pestles, Grinders, Whitstones, Stone Tools HI, II, III, Box 9
Stone Weights HIII b, Box 9
Stone Perforators, Hammers HI, II, III, Box 9
Stone Celts HI, II, III, Box 9
Bone Awls HI, II, III, Box 9
Drawings of Finds, Horn, Bone HI, II, III, Box 9
Bone, Pins II, III, Tubes I, III, Bone or Seal Frags. ?, Box 10
HI Seals, Box 10
Seals HI, II, III, Box 10
Shell, HIII, Unpublished drawings, Box 10
Beads HI, Box 10
Beads HII, Box 10
Beads HIII [H1682-H5272], Box 10
Ornaments, Photos., Box 10
Ore and Iron HI, III, I S1, Box 10
HI Metal, Box 10
Copper Chisels, Hissar II, III...Unpublished, Box 10
Copper Blades HI, II, III, Unpublished Drawings, Box 10
Copper Weapons HII, III, Box 10
Copper Double Spirals HIII, Box 10
Copper Points HI, II, III, Box 10
Copper Needles HI, II, III, Box 10
Copper Finger Rings, HI, II, III, Box 10
Copper Vessels HII, III, Box 10
Copper Pins HI, II, III, Box 10
Copper Tubes HIII (Only), Box 10
Copper Wands HIII, Box 10
Copper Bands HIII, Box 10
Copper Tacks HI, II, Box 10
Copper Earrings HII, III, Box 10
Copper Bracelets HII, III, Box 10
HII, III Sassanian Palace (1 of 2), Box 11
HII, III Sassanian Palace (2 of 2), Box 11
Lead HIII, Box 11
Silver HII, Box 11
Silver HIII, Box 11
Silver Vessels HIII, Box 11
Gold Hissar II, III, Box 11
Unpublished Drawings, Box 11
Spare Drawings, Box 11
Drawings X Blanks DF, Box 11
Drawings - X [skeleton] positions, Box 11
Work in the Settlements of Hissar I (Plots DH34-36, 43-46) [Misc. Drawings], Box 11
Drawings of Objects, burial chart- Misc., Box 11

Indexes and Catalogs (inclusive: 1931-1933)

Scope and Contents note

Object cards, arranged by object type and field number; photograph/negative cards and duplicate sets(one set arranged by object type and the other by photograph [P.E.] number); skeleton cards arranged by University Museum accession number, mortuary data and statistics; potsherd catalog (1931); pot descriptions, arranged by field number; photographs with captions; and drafts of negative cards (arranged by object type). Object card catalog may be an incomplete set. Hissar photograph numbers start with number P.E. 473. Because P.E. 1-472 are negatives of Fara (Iraq) photographs, the Fara Photographic Register is the first section of the Hissar Register.

Damghan Pottery, Draft of Photograph and Negative Cards, Box 12
Damghan Metal Object, Draft of Photograph and Negative Cards, Box 12
Damghan Beads, Whorls, etc., Draft of Photograph and Negative Cards, Box 12
Damghan Coins, Stone and Bone Objects, Draft of Photograph and Negative Cards, Box 12
Damghan Seals, Plasters, Draft of Photograph and Negative Cards, Box 12
Draft of Cards for Damghan Scenes, Box 12
Draft of Photograph and Negative Cards of Burials, Box 12
T. Hissar/Damghan, Box 12
PE 1200, Photographs and Captions, Box 12
PE 1000 Photographs, Box 12
PE 900 Photograhs, Box 12
PE 600, Box 12
Animal and Human Figures, Photos., Box 12
Hissar Burned Building, Photographs and Captions, Box 12
T. Hissar Vessels, Photograph and Caption, Box 12
T. Hissar Travel and Expedition Photographs, Box 12
Pot Descriptions, Drawings H4751-H4997, Box 13
Potsherd Catalogue and Drawings, Box 13
Building I through IV Pottery, Box 13
Painted Pottery, Box 13
Gray Pottery, Box 13
Architect's Notes and Index of Photos by Areas, Box 13
Alabaster Description, Box 13
Mortuary Data and Statistics, Box 13
Burial Statistics, Box 13
Mortuary Schemata; Sections and Plans, Box 13
List of Specimens Without Field Numbers and Discards, Box 13
List of Categories of Object Cards for Card Catalog, Box 13
Objects for Distribution to Members, Box 13
Hissar/Tureng Tepe Exhibit, Box 13
Pottery Descriptions: H1-599, Box 14
Pottery Descriptions: H600-999, Box 14
Pottery Descriptions: H1000-1391, Box 14
Pottery Descriptions: H1516-1993, Box 14
Pottery Descriptions: H2043-2497, Box 14
Pottery Descriptions: drawings H2502-2999, Box 14
Pottery Descriptions: drawings H3004-3499, Box 15
Pottery Descriptions: H3501-3999, Box 15
Pottery Descriptions: drawings H4000-4498, Box 15
Pottery Descriptions: drawings H4500-4750, Box 15
Pottery Descriptions: drawings H5002-5260, Box 15
Object Cards Arranged by Field Number, H1–H975, Box 16
Object Cards Arranged by Field Number, H976–H1951, Box 17
Object Cards Arranged by Field Number, H1952–H2927, Box 18
Object Cards Arranged by Field Number, H2928–H3903, Box 19
Object Cards Arranged by Field Number, H3904–H4837, Box 20
Skeleton Cards 33-16-1 to 33-16-238 and 33-23-1 to 33-23-247, Box 22
Negative Cards: PE 473-1110, Box 23
Negative Cards: PE 1111-1900, Box 24
Negative Cards: PE 1901-2011 (and supplement), Box 25
Negative Cards Arranged by Object Type, Box 26
Negative Cards Arranged by Object Type, Box 27
Negative Cards Arranged by Object Type, Box 28
Negative Cards Arranged by Object Type, Box 29
Duplicate Negative Cards: PE 473-1124, Box 30
Duplicate Negative Cards: PE 1125-2032, Box 31
Duplicate Negative Cards: PE 2033-2611, Box 32
Object Cards Arranged by Field Number, H4838-H5289
Shir-i-shian 1–10, Box 21
Damghan Citadel 1–83, Box 21
Tepe Muman 1–66, Box 21
Tari Khaneh 1–22, Box 21
Tepe Nareshan 1–41, Box 21

Financial Records (inclusive: 1930-1933)

Scope and Contents note

Expense books, receipts, and related correspondence and payroll book and sheets. Arranged chronologically.

Schmidt Bank Books, Box 33
Payroll Books, Box 33
Financial Notebooks, Box 33
Receipts (1 of 11), Box 34
Receipts (2 of 11), Box 34
Receipts (3 of 11), Box 34
Receipts (4 of 11), Box 34
Receipts (5 of 11), Box 34
Receipts (6 of 11), Box 34
Receipts (7 of 11), Box 35
Receipts (8 of 11), Box 35
Receipts (9 of 11), Box 35
Receipts (10 of 11), Box 35
Receipts (11 of 11), Box 36
Final Financial Reports of Expeditions, Box 36
Persian National Bank, Box 36
Receipts and Other Monetary Matters (1 of 3), Box 36
Receipts and Other Monetary Matters (2 of 3), Box 36
Receipts and Other Monetary Matters (3 of 3), Box 36
Persian Expedition-Correspondence with Thomas Cook & Son, Baghdad, Box 37
Administrative Documents, Box 37
Administrative Documents, Box 37
Administrative and Financial Documents, Box 37
Administrative and Financial Documents, Box 37
Worker's Pay (1 of 2), Box 38
Worker's Pay (2 of 2), Box 38
Worker's Pay Sheets, Box 38

Reports and Publications (inclusive: 1931-1937)

Scope and Contents note

Formal reports from the field, handwritten and typed drafts and manuscripts, some with photographs within texts, report and related correspondence concerning the Hissar skeletons, summaries of the progression of excavation and expedition memoirs. Arranged topically and thereunder chronologically.

Notebook, Rough Drafts of Field Reports 1-4, Box 39
Report II, Drawings HII (1 of 2), Box 39
Report II, Drawings HII (2 of 2), Box 39
Report III "From Fara to Damghan", typed MS, Box 39
Report III, Fara to Damghan, Box 39
Report III, Drawings HII (2) (1 of 2), Box 39
Report III, Drawings HII (2) (2 of 2), Box 39
Report III with Photographs, Box 39
Report IV, Box 39
Damghan1-Report, includes Tarikh Khaneh and Tepe Hissar, Box 40
Damghan, Tari Khaneh, and Tepe Hissar Field Report, Box 40
Damghan and Tari Khaneh, incomplete report, Box 40
Report V,The Sassanian Palace Tepe Hissar, Box 40
Report V, The Sassanian Palace of T. Hissar, Testing Tepe Muman, Box 40
Tepe Hissar Midseason Report II Schmidt, Box 40
Report VI, Box 40
Burial Report, Box 40
Figures and General Views, Box 40
Correspondence and Report concerning Hissar Skeletons (1 of 2), Box 40
Correspondence and Report concerning Hissar Skeleton (2 of 2), Box 40
An Archaeolgical Journey to Persia, Box 41
Summary of excavation for publicity, radio, Box 41
Rough Drafts of Reports, Box 41
Schmidt's Original MS. of Excavations at Hissar. . . (1 of 2), Box 41
Schmidt's Original MS. of Excavations at Hissar. . . (2 of 2), Box 41
The Sassanian Palace of Tepe Hissar, Box 41
Hissar Publication, Manuscript, Photographs, Box 41
Manuscript Galleys, Hissar Publication, Box 41
List of Illustrations from: Excavations at Tepe Hissar, Iran, Box 41

Damghan Area Sites: Damghan Citadel, Nareshan, Tari(kh), Khaneh, Tepe Muman, and Shir-e-Shian (inclusive: 1931-1932)

Scope and Contents note

General correspondence, survey and field notes, pottery descriptions, sherd catalogs, drawings of burials and finds, reports with photographs, and drafts of photographic/negative cards. Arranged by site and thereunder topically.

Excavation Journal, Damghan Citadel, Box 42
Excavation Journal and Travel Diary, Box 42
Damghan Citadel, Tepe Muman: Draft of Photograph and Negative Cards, Pottery. etc., Box 42
Damghan Citadel: Sherd Catalog, Box 42
Damghan Citadel: Potsherd Catalog, Box 42
Damghan Citadel: Pottery Description, Box 42
Damghan Citadel: Drawings of Finds, Sherds, Box 42
Nareshan: Burials and Finds, Box 42
Nareshan: Pottery Descriptions, Box 42
Tepe Hissar: Finds Nareshan, Box 42
Tari Khaneh: General Correspondence, Box 42
Tari Khaneh: Survey and Field Book, Box 42
Tari Khaneh: Finds, drawings, Box 42
Tepe Muman: Report from the Field with Photographs, Box 42
Tepe Muman: Potter Descriptions, Box 42
Tepe Muman: Potsherd Catalog, Box 42
Tepe Muman: Finds Muman 1-66, Box 42
Tepe Muman: Potsherd Catalog, Box 42
Shir-i-Shian: Burial and Finds, Box 42

Photographs

Scope and Contents note

Albums made of small prints of every photograph from the expedition. The photos are numbered P.E.(for Persian Expedition)and a number. In some cases, their Penn Museum archives negative number will be written by the image in the notebook, but most do have one of these numbers, whether the image is labelled or not. Negatives for most of these images exist, though often they are copy negatives, as the originals were nitrate film. Several images in the large-format album were from negatives held by the Oriental Institute. P.E. 1-472 are images of Fara (Iraq), and their captions are in the first section of the Hissar Register.

Photograph Album, 473a–940, Volume 1
Photograph Album, 941–1597, Volume 2
Photograph Album, 1598a–2175, Volume 3
Photograph Album, 2176–2611d- Supplement PES1, Volume 4
Photograph Album, miscellaneous, Volume 5