Elihu Grant Beth-Shemesh excavation records
Located approximately 12 miles west of Jerusalem, this site was originally excavated in 1911 and 1912 by Duncan Mackenzie for the Palestine Exploration Fund. Under the sponsorship of Haverford College, Haverford professor Elihu Grant undertook excavation at this mound from 1928 to 1931 and again in 1933. When the Bet Shemesh (Ain Shems) artifacts, known as the Haverford Collection, were purchased by the University Museum in 1962, the field notes, notes on pottery, plans, drawings, photographs, and correspondence relating to these finds were also acquired.
|Creator(s)||Grant, Elihu, 1873-1942|
|Date(s)||[bulk] Bulk, 1928-1933|
|Call Number||PU-Mu. 1032|
|Physical Description||Extent: 5.2 Linear feet|
Biography / History
Dr. Elihu Grant, Professor of Biblical Literature at Haverford College from 1918 to 1938 and Director of the Haverford Graduate School beginning in 1923 became interested in Palestine and archaeological excavation on reading the reports of the excavations of R.A. Stewart Macalister at Gezer, Israel conducted from 1902 to 1909. His reading was augmented by his own tenure as Superintendant of the American Friends Schools in Remallah and Jerusalem.
Elihu Grant was born in Stevensville, PA in 1873, the oldest son of William Grant and Amanda Bird. His younger brother, William T. Grant achieved success as the owner of the W.T. Grant Company. Elihu was ordained a Methodist minister in 1900 and taught Biblical Literature at Smith College following his return to the U.S. from The American Friends School in Palestine. While at Smith, Grant became a Quaker and continued his life-long interest in the area of Palestine and its people. Between 1928 and 1933, Grant directed four archaeological campaigns at Beth Shemesh. On the first two expeditions, he was assisted by Clarence S. Fisher and on the final phase by Alan Rowe, both of the Penn Museum.
Grant's discoveries from the first year were lauded in Time Magazine as heralding "a Bronze-Age culture." Grant published his findings in four volumes which, at the time, were the first complete publication of a recent Palestinian excavation. Grant's legacy also includes the establishment of the Beth Shemesh Museum at Haverford College housing some of the objects from the expedition.
His other scholarly publications include , published in 1907 and co-authored with Irving Francis Wood in 1914.
Dr. Grant was associated with the American Schools of Oriental Research and held several positions, among them, Honorary Professor at the School in Jerusalem from 1929 to 1934, Trustee of the Schools from 1935 to 1938 and Annual Professor at the School in Baghdad for the 1937-1938 school year.
Grant retired from Haverford in 1938. Described by his colleagues in the Bulletin of the American Schools of Oriental Research upon his death in 1942, as having a "shy and retiring personality, not always understood by his associates and friends," Grant was remembered as a professor admired by his students for his "broad learning, his beautiful facility of expression, his deep and genuine sincerity and his inspired teaching."
Scope and Contents
Dr. Elihu Grant, Professor of Biblical Literature at Haverford College from 1918 to 1938 and Director of the Haverford Graduate School beginning in 1923 became interested in Palestine and archaeological excavation on reading the reports of the excavations of R.A. Stewart Macalister at Gezer, Israel from 1902 to 1909 augmented by his own tenure as Superintendant of the American Friends Schools in Remallah and Jerusalem.
Beth Shemesh(Ain Shems,located approximately 12 miles west of Jerusalem, was originally excavated in 1911 and 1912 by Duncan Mackenzie for the Palestine Exploration Fund. Between 1928 and 1933, Grant directed four archaeological campaigns at Beth Shemesh. On the first two expeditions, he was assisted by Clarence S. Fisher and on the final phase by Alan Rowe, both of the Penn Museum. Grant's discoveries from the first year were published in Time Magazine. The complete findings were published by Elihu Grant and G. Ernest Wright in a series entitled , published between 1929 and 1939. Beth Shemesh artifacts are a part of the collection at the Palestine Museum. A few objects are held at Bryn Mawr College and others, mainly fragments, are in a collection at Haverford College.
The Elihu Grant Bet-Shemesh excavation records consists of ten boxes of correspondence, notebooks, object and field notes, photographs, drawings, registers, a pottery corpus plus oversized items. Correspondence and notebooks fill one box, as do photographs and the 1933 field notes. There are three boxes of object notes and drawings. The pottery corpus fills two boxes. A card file box holds the object card registry and a large flat box, the hand-written registers from 1928 through 1933.
Elihu Grant's original order is maintained although some effort is needed to discern the different systems applied during the years of the exploration. Grant himself indicated in published by Haverford College in 1939, that the "numbers of strata are not the same in the respective campaigns 1929, 1930, 1931 and 1933." A difference is also seen in the labeling of the objects and organization of the object and field notes from year to year. The material from 1928, mostly object notes from the burials (T1, T2, T3), are labeled with the tomb number and object number with occasional modifications to the location, such as "tunnel leading to", and "Southeast of the Wall". Most 1928 object notes indicate a level II location; both Arab and Byzantine burials.
In 1929 and 1930 Grant used a grid system like that used by Albright in Tell Beit Mirsim to indicate the object's location. All finds are recorded by day, locus and square. In 1929, the grids used letters QRSTUVWXY and numbers twenty-five to thirty. Data from 1929 appears to reflect mostly level II and level III locations. Room numbers 71 to 130 correspond to letter and number designations on the grid, thus Grant lists both grid location and room number on most cards for 1929. The 1930 objects appear to be from levels II, III and IV with a grid system also used. The grid and room locations appear to be used interchangeably on these records.
In 1933, the only year in which field notes are separated out from the other data, all levels, II, III, IV and V, are represented in the notes. Each level housed rooms whose numbers also appeared on the cards. Level II included rooms 300 to 398; level III, rooms 399 to 476; level IV, rooms 477 to 488; and level V, rooms 489 to 596. Grant also developed registry numbers for the 1933 objects; "33.month.object number."
Grant's object notes and drawings are on either pre-printed five-by-eight cards or pieces of graph paper cut to this size. The cards are used interchangeably despite their headings of "progress card", "field notes", "survey card" or graph paper without headings. The actual field notes are on cards six-by-nine inches in size with the heading "Ain Shems". These cards date from 1933 and are housed in Box five.
Grant used the Albright system of pottery classification for the pottery finds. In the system, there are thirteen main groups allotted Roman numerals I through XIII. Categories within the group are designated by a capital letter following the Roman numeral. Additional subcategories can be shown with the addition of a small arabic numeral after the capital letter. The pottery plates from the corpus reflect this system of categorization.
The correspondence series has three folders, the first containing letters dated from 1928 to 1936 and correspondence with Johns Hopkins University, the University of Chicago, Brown University and the American School of Oriental Research in Jerusalem. There is also correspondence regarding olive presses and the chemical analyses of "encrusted residue in a jar" from Bet-Shemesh.
The notebooks of Elihu Grant are hand-written with dates and pages missing. Some writings detail findings, names of workers, descriptions of the area and a list of photographs taken by Najeeb Albina. One group is labelled as a "Beth Shemesh diary" by Fisher. There are some object lists and records and notes on the topics of "level II", "an Arab burial", "other extra mural", "the pottery fragments", among other untitled pages. The soft-cover notebooks contain object lists and some pottery identification data.
The Progress and object notes series holds the cards labelled as "very important evidence for stratification and line house of 1928; detailed notes." The cards contain drawings of many areas of the excavation. The remainder of the progress and object notes are from different areas and on varying sizes of paper, some in fragile condition. The original order is maintained. The most extensive notes come from the 1929 expedition. Some of the notes and object drawings are separated by dividers that are original. With others, there are no dividers and the researcher will need to carefully check the cards for location information.
The field notes series details notes from the 1933 expedition. This data is the most extensive observed about the site. There are diagrams of the burial strips and detailed notes about the burials on cards with additional drawings. Several diagrams of the room locations for level II are present and additional notes give details about the various rooms on level II. There is some data on paper sheets, in fragile condition, that may all come from the 1929 expedition but only one sheet indicates this date.
The series, Pottery Corpus, contains not only the corpus but also data from the "Pottery project." The "pottery project" described by Grant as "freshly made up sheets and no comparisons with other material have yet been made." In most instances, however, they resemble the data on pottery already included in the corpus.("Project: Include every published piece in the corpus.") The pottery project and corpus feature a drawing of one object per page with a location and brief description. A few objects have numbers but the majority do not. The pottery corpus itself has a preface that includes a list of room designations in various levels, laboratory notes and an outline of the pottery classification system. The original order is maintained for all of the corpus. The object field register cards arrived in random order and no changes have been made. They are in a small card file box representing "all small objects exclusive of actual pottery." Except for the earliest cards, which have no date, the cards are dated and have an object number and location indicated. If the object has been photographed, a negative number is provided. A minority of cards have the letter "H" in front of the number. These may refer to objects kept at Haverford College. The records indicate that Haverford holds "mainly fragments" and the object cards with the letter "H" almost always are fragments or pieces of objects. The box also holds an alphabetical index of object types from the collection.
The series designated for the registers is contained in a large flat box with the field registers from the 1928, 1929, 1930, 1931 and 1933 expeditions. The registers are placed with the earliest on top beginning with the 1928 register. The upper pages of the top register are curled, ripped and flaking from age. The underlying registers are in somewhat better condition. Grant relies on similar systems of organization for the 1928, 1929, and 1930 lists; the objects are listed in number order from 1 to 1767. The 1931 expedition begins again with number one and numbers the objects in sequence to 248. In 1933, the objects begin with number one but use Grant's system "year.month.object number" to replace the single numbering system. For 1933, the sequence is: 33.3.1 to 33.3.203 33.4.1 to 33.4.571 33.5.1 to 33.5.170 This yields a total of 944 objects from that year. Each page of the register lists the object number, a description, the material, size, provenance and a reference, if appropriate. At times, there are comments written on the pages, probably by Elihu Grant.
Grant separated the object drawings and the grid and section drawings. What are labeled as object drawings by Grant resemble the object note cards in content. Some drawings or portions of them have been cut from the cards but the written data remains in these instances. The larger drawings, some by Mary Louise Baker, are original object drawings, drawings of pottery and other objects for publication. The media include pencil, ink and watercolor. There is a group of section drawings and plans, some original and some photocopies.
The photograph series spans the 1928 through 1933 expeditions. A copy of a postcard from the expedition is titled, "Elihu Grant Excavation Ain Shems, Beth Shemesh, 1930" and pictures Grant and members of his team. There is a group of loose prints of published pottery and some miscellaneous prints from the 1930 and 1933 expeditions. Smaller photographs are mostly views of scenery, with some people and some water views.
Grant's photographic album, in nine folders, is designated as volumes I, II, and III. The album contains views of the site, objects in situ and views of personnel and the camp. It totals 184 pages.
The collection also includes oversized items filed in the print cabinet or map case. These items include drawings and plans. Within the group are original object drawings, drawings of pottery and other objects for publication, grid and section drawings. The media include pencil, ink and watercolor. Some plans are photocopies only.
Publication Information: University of Pennsylvania: Penn Museum Archives, April 27, 2011
Finding Aid Author: Finding aid prepared by Jody Rodgers
Revision Description: 3/15/2012
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.
The objects that are described in this collection mostly reside at the Penn Museum, although a study collection of about twenty items are at Bryn Mawr College. Haverford College holds 115 or so objects -- mainly fragments. Only four have field numbers. They were all donated by a David Dunn, circa 2001.
A copy of a letter from Machteld Mellink to someone else at Bryn Mawr about the study collection resides in the files of the Keeper of the Near East section.
Controlled Access Headings
- Haverford College.
- Card catalogs
- Field notes
- Bet-Shemesh (extinct city)
- Fisher, Clarence Stanley, 1876-1941
- Grant, Elihu, 1873-1942
- Rowe, Alan, 1892-1968
- Archaeological expeditions
- Excavations (Archaeology)
Correspondence (bulk: Bulk, 1928-1936) (inclusive: 1928-1964)
|Correspondence- General, Bulk, 1928-1933||Box 1|
|Correspondence- Fruit Presses 1932,||Box 1|
|Correspondence- Chemical Analysis 1928-1932,||Box 1|
Notes and Notebooks (inclusive: 1928-1934)
|Notes Elihu Grant 1928-1932 (1 of 3),||Box 1|
|Notes Elihu Grant 1929-1931 (2 of 3),||Box 1|
|Notes Elihu Grant 1930 (3 of 3),||Box 1|
|Notebooks Object Lists 1929,||Box 1|
|Notes Clarence S. Fisher 1929,||Box 1|
|Notebooks Source List and Object lists,||Box 1|
|Notes Beth Shemesh in Literature- I.F. Wood 1929-1931,||Box 1|
|Notes Haverford accession 1934,||Box 1|
Progress and Object notes (inclusive: 1928-1930)
|Progress cards 1928,||Box 1|
|Object notes- T1 scrap 1928,||Box 1|
|Object notes- miscellaneous 1928,||Box 1|
|Object notes 1929,||Box 1|
|Progress cards 1928,||Box 2|
|Object notes- lists 1928,||Box 2|
|Object notes-T1,T2,T3 1928,||Box 2|
|Object Notes- T1 scrap 1928,||Box 2|
|Object notes- T3 1928,||Box 2|
|Object notes miscellaneous 1928,||Box 2|
|Object notes loose 1928-1931,||Box 2|
|Object notes 1929 (1 of 7),||Box 2|
|Object notes 1929 (2 of 7),||Box 2|
|Object notes 1929 (3 of 7), .||Box 2|
|Object notes 1929 (4 of 7), .||Box 2|
|Object notes 1929 (5 of 7),||Box 2|
|Object notes 1929 (6 of 7),||Box 2|
|Object notes 1929 (7 of 7),||Box 2|
|Object notes 1930,||Box 3|
Field notes (1933)
|Field notes (1 of 5),||Box 4|
|Field notes (2 of 5),||Box 4|
|Field notes (3 of 5),||Box 4|
|Field notes (4 of 5),||Box 4|
|Field notes (5 of 5),||Box 4|
Pottery corpus (inclusive: 1928-1931)
|Pottery project 1928-1931 (1 of 2),||Box 5|
|Pottery project 1928-1931 (2 of 2),||Box 5|
|I Early and mid-Bronze 1928-1931,||Box 5|
|IIA Carinated bowls 1928-1931,||Box 5|
|IIB Carinated bowls 1928-1931,||Box 5|
|IIC Carinated bowls 1928-1931,||Box 5|
|IID Carinated bowls 1928-1931,||Box 5|
|IIE Carinated bowls 1928-1931,||Box 5|
|IIIA Jugs and pitchers 1928-1931,||Box 5|
|IIIB Jugs and pitchers 1928-1931,||Box 5|
|III (C,Z) Jugs and pitchers 1928-1931,||Box 5|
|IVA Jugs, juglets 1928-1931,||Box 5|
|IVB Jugs, juglets 1928-1931,||Box 5|
|IV (C,D,E,F) Jugs, juglets 1928-1931,||Box 5|
|V (A,B,C) Jars 1928-1931,||Box 6|
|V (D,E,G,H) Jars 1928-1931,||Box 6|
|VII Painted pottery 1928-1931,||Box 6|
|VIII Philistine ware 1928-1931,||Box 6|
|IX Flasks 1928-1931,||Box 6|
|X Strainers 1928-1931,||Box 6|
|XIA,B Pots 1928-1931, .||Box 6|
|XIC,Z Pots 1928-1931,||Box 6|
|XII Imports 1928-1931,||Box 6|
Object field register 1928-1933
Container: Box 7
Registers (inclusive: 1928-1933)
|Object register 1928,||Box oversize|
|Object register 1929,||Box oversize|
|Object register 1930,||Box oversize|
|Object register 1931,||Box oversize|
|Object register 1933, .||Box oversize|
Object Drawings (inclusive: 1929-1933) The object drawings are on five-by-eight cards. Some have been cut out from the card, leaving just the text. There are some labels indicating site.
|Drawings loose 1929,||Box 3|
|Drawings cisterns 1929,||Box 3|
|Drawings NW cemeteries 1929,||Box 3|
|Drawings tomb I 1929,||Box 3|
|Drawings rooms 300 to 399 1933 (1 of 2),||Box 3|
|Drawings rooms 300 to 399 1933 (2 of 2),||Box 3|
|Drawings rooms 400 to 500 1933,||Box 3|
|Drawings "unusable" 1933,||Box 3|
|Drawings "strips" 1933,||Box 3|
Plans (inclusive: 1928-1933)
|Level I grid,||Folder M-41-1|
|Level II grid,||Folder M-41-2|
|Level III grid,||Folder M-41-3|
|Level IV grid,||Folder M-41-4|
|Level V grid,||Folder M-41-5|
|Levels I to V, 1928 to 1933,||Folder M-41-6|
|Southern tower, Northwestern excavation, tomb 17, .||Folder M-41-7|
|Large plans, . Six drawings, ink on blue architects linen. Level I, II, Arab strips one to ten, A-E, 300-398 (48.5 x 86.5) Level III, rooms 399 to 476. (48.5 x 86.5) Level IV, rooms 477 to 488, IVA rooms 487 to 561. (44.0 x 86.5) Level IVA Supplementary. (49 x 86.5) Level V, sections II,III,IV, IVA. (58 x 84.5) Level V, 483A to 518+. (45 x 84.5)||Folder M-41-8|
|Blueprints and plans, . Five blueprints and four drawings. Blueprints: "Ain Shems, showing exact condition of site before excavation", scale 1:400, encapsulated. (75.0 x 115) Southwestern elevations, level II. (71 x 78) Southwestern elevations, level III. (71 x 78) Southwestern elevations, level IV , two copies. (71 x 78) Drawings, ink on architects linen: The shaft of tomb II. (70 X 88) Plan and sections of tomb I, 2 cm =.5 m. (70 x 70) Contour map, 1929, "contours every meter", 1:500. (88 x 86) Encapsulated drawing, unlabelled. (99 x 90)||Folder M-41-9|
|Miscellaneous plans, . Five drawings on heavy linen: Southwest plan of excavation-outside main wall; Ink on linen-backed paper; (1:100) (51.0 X 65.0) Unspecified tomb section; (2) pencil on linen-backed paper; wall plans on reverse. (60.0 x 45.5) Unspecified grid plan with elevations; Ink and pencil. (60.0 X 45.5) Grid plan in the vicinity of caves 17, 18, 20, with elevations, ink. (60.0 X 45.5)||Folder M-41-10|
|West Central strips, 1930. Four drawings, level II, level III, level IV, level V (encapsulated). All are copies on heavy brown paper, scale 1=100. (39 X 129.5)||Folder unnumbered|
Photographs (inclusive: 1929-1933)
|Photographs-Views of Ain Shems,||Box 7|
|Photographs-pottery 1929,||Box 7|
|Volume I 1928 (1 of 3),||Box 7|
|Volume I 1929 (2 of 3),||Box 7|
|Volume I 1929 (3 of 3),||Box 7|
|Volume II 1929 (1 of 3),||Box 7|
|Volume II 1929 (2 of 3),||Box 7|
|Volume II 1930 (3 of 3),||Box 7|
|Volume III 1931 (1 of 3),||Box 7|
|Volume III 1931 (2 of 3),||Box 7|
|Volume III 1933 (3 of 3),||Box 7|
|Object drawings, 1928-1933.||Folder P-23-6|
|Publication drawings-objects, . Eleven drawings:||Folder M-41-12|
|Ring (three views) M.L. Baker, watercolor on paper, 11/21/28 (14.5 x 10),||Oversize P-23-6|
|Figurine of Astoreth (two views) watercolor on paper, undated. (18.5 x 17),||Oversize P-23-6|
|One-handled pot, red with holes, watercolor on paper, undated. (25.5 x 30.5),||Oversize P-26-6|
|Fragment of bowl, pencil on paper, note: "no perspective, no scale.".(25.5 x 38),||Oversize P-26-6|
|Section drawings, .||Folder M-41-11|
|Section (AB) through the hill, 3 copies; watercolor and ink on linen, ink on architects linen, ink on linen (view of lower portion); Scale 1:50. (31.5 x 46) (25.0 x 40) ( 25.0x 48.5),||Oversize M-41-11|
|Plan and section tomb III, 2 copies; ink on linen+ink on paper, Scale 1:25. (31.5 X 43),||Oversize M-41-11|
|View of TII, ink and pencil on linen. (31.0 X 49.0),||Oversize M-41-11|
|Map showing location of all figurines and plaques, colored pencil on paper. (20.0 x 27),||Oversize M-41-11|
|Unidentified drawing of objects in situ, pencil on paper. (21.0 x 38),||Oversize M-41-11|
|Scarabs, ink on linen, "448D". (30 x 23.5),||Oversize M-41-12|
|Pots and bowls, ink on linen, "Fig. 2A". (29 x 38.5),||Oversize M-41-12|
|Fragments, "wish bone handle ware", watercolor on paper. (36 x 61.5),||Oversize M-41-12|
|Four drawings of bowl rims, unlabelled, numbered. (66 x 50.5),||Oversize M-41-12|
|Scarab drawings, numbered 1 to 50, ink on linen+copy with annotations. (42 x 52),||Oversize M-41-12|
|Pottery, ink on linen. (55 x 88.5),||Oversize M-41-12|
|Bowls and pitchers,ink on linen, numbered for publication. (42 x 65.5),||Oversize M-41-12|
|Chalices and flasks, ink on linen, numbered for publication. (42 x 65.5),||Oversize M-41-12|
|Pottery fragments, decorated bowl, ink on linen, numbered for publication. (42 x 65.5),||Oversize M-41-12|
|Ten objects, numbered for publication, copy. (35.5 x 56),||Oversize M-41-12|