Season 1 Field Report | Season 1 Field Report
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|Arnold Walter Lawrence||Youngest brother of T.E. Lawrence ('Lawrence of Arabia'), A.W. Lawrence was asked to fill the assistant position at Ur after the original field assistant from Penn, Paul Hunter, had fallen ill and been sent home before ever reaching Iraq. Lawrence arrived at Ur about mid-way through the first season. A.W. Lawrence was primarily a Classicist and rose to be a leading authority on classical sculpture and architecture. He then took a position in Classical Archaeology at Cambridge University (1940s) and became Director of the National Museum of Ghana, which he founded in the 1950s.|
|Charles Leonard Woolley||Prominent British archaeologist whose excavation work includes digs at Roman Corbridge, Carchemish for the British Museum, Ur, and Al Mina and Tell Atchana in Syria. Knighted in 1935 for his contributions to the discipline of archaeology. , Trained as an archaeologist at Oxford University and excavated in Roman Britain (Corbridge) briefly, then in the Sudan under British-born American archaeologist David Randall-MacIver, who was a curator at the Penn Museum. Woolley then conducted excavations at Carchemish near the current Syrian/Turkish border from 1911-1914. In World War I, Woolley's knowledge of the Middle East was extremely valuable and he worked for British Intelligence. Even before the War he was essentially spying on the German railroad that was under construction near Carchemish (the Berlin-Baghdad Railway). Relatively early in the war, however, Woolley was captured and spent two years in a Turkish POW camp. Woolley was chosen to lead the expedition to Ur as early as 1920 when the two museums began to discuss the details of a joint excavation. He began work at the site late in 1922 and completed excavations in 1934, working long hours and accomplishing a great deal. He was knighted in 1935 for his work at Ur. He went on to run excavations at Al Mina and Alalakh in Syria. In his lifetime he gave many lectures and wrote many articles and books but never held an academic position. He died in 1960 and was lauded by generations of scholars around the world for his contributions to the field of archaeology., Leonard Woolley was the third of eleven children of a Church of England clergyman, George Herbert Woolley, and his wife Sarah. He attended St Johns, Leatherhead, and New College, Oxford where he studied Classics and theology. It was the warden of New College, W.A. Spooner, who advised him to take up archaeology after graduation. In 1905 Woolley was appointed assistant to Arthur Evans, Keeper of the Ashmolean Museum, in Oxford. Woolleys early career took him to Nubia in 190711, and after that he went as director of the Carchemish expedition sponsored by the British Museum. One of his assistants was T.E. Lawrence (better known as Lawrence of Arabia). Woolley and Lawrence collaborated in assisting the Palestine Exploration Fund in its programme of making a definitive map of the Holy Land. This work was published in 1915 as The Wilderness of Zin. After the outbreak of the First World War in 1914, Woolley was posted to Cairo where he acted as an intelligence officer. He was promoted to the rank of major in 1916 before being captured by the Turks and imprisoned at Kastamonu. He tried to return to Carchemish after the War but the political situation was too unsettled. In 1921, he excavated at Tell el-Amarna in Egypt with T.E. Peet, sponsored by the Egypt Exploration Society. In 1922, Woolley was made director of a joint expedition at Ur funded by the British Museum and The University of Pennsylvania Museum. It is with this site that his name will always be associated. He spent twelve years there, until 1934. Within two years of his arrival, Gertrude Bell had established the Iraq Museum in Baghdad which had a statutory right to first choice of all objects excavated. So rich were the finds from the site, however, especially from the Royal Cemetery, that both the British Museum and Penn Museum also contain fabulous objects from Ur in their collections. Woolleys strengths were his painstaking approach to excavation; for example, excavation of the Royal Cemetery was delayed until he believed his local workforce was sufficiently well-trained to tackle the intricate disclosure of these opulent tombs. He also monitored and instructed his own staff, in particular Max Mallowan who early on acquired the habit of keeping careful field notes, making drawings, preparing monthly reports for sponsors, and most important, publishing in full each seasons work and finds as soon as possible after the seasons end. Woolley had a way with words and both his non-specialist books and lantern slide lectures were very popular with the public. His weakness was a familiarity with the Old Testament which led to unfounded connections between it and the work in hand, as for example, his belief that Ur was the birthplace of Abraham. Woolley also believed he had found evidence of The Flood. After Ur, Woolley moved to Tell Atchana in northern Syria, digging there before the War in 193739, and after it, from 1946¬49. He was knighted for his services to archaeology in 1935. During the Second World War, Woolley worked for the Military Intelligence Directorate to assess and protect art and museum collections throughout Europe. He reported to Winston Churchill personally. In this work he was most ably assisted by his wife Katharine. After Katharines death and the end of his active archaeological career at Atchana, Woolley retired to Ashford in Kent. After an unsuccessful relationship, he retired to Dorset where he was looked after by a devoted housekeeper and her husband, thus enabling him to write up his archaeological work.|
|F. G. Newton||Responsible for the original ground plan of the Ziggurat and the detailed elevations of its existing ruins|
|Sheikh Hamoudi Ibn Ibrahim||Little is known about Hamoudis origins. Even his dates of birth and death are unknown. He is first known from the Carchemish excavations before the First World War, where he was in charge of organising and controlling the expedition workforce. Hamoudi also made himself indispensable in other ways, including administering medicine, and is credited with saving Lawrences life when he contracted typhoid fever. In June 1913, Lawrence and Woolley took Hamoudi to England, and they visited Oxford. The visit left a deep impression on Hamoudi. In 1914, Woolley and Lawrence shut down the site at Carchemish and both men were soon involved in military concerns. Woolley returned to Carchemish in 191920, but was unable to resume excavation because of the political situation. When Woolley was appointed Director of the joint British Museum/University of Pennsylvania Museum expedition to Ur in 1922, Hamoudi was appointed foreman. Described then as an elderly man, he brought with him two sons who worked under their father in organising the workforce. There are several photographs of Hamoudi at Ur, including some which show him in the same line as the Woolleys and the rest of the team. He was clearly a much-valued member of that team. At the start of every season, he would meet Woolley in Baghdad to discuss the ordering of stores of food and excavation essentials, then arrange for their transport to Ur. He also took instructions about work to be carried out to the expedition house before Woolley and his wife arrived. Mallowan frequently mentioned Hamoudi in a diary kept during 1925 and 1926. In October 1926 he reports buying presents (sundry decorative articles) in Paris on his way to Ur for Hamoudi and his (by then) three sons working at Ur: Yahia, Ibrahim and Isa. Undergoing an emotional crisis after the death of one of his closest friends, Mallowan went to talk things over with Hamoudi, that tower of philosophy. Hamoudi went on to be part of Mallowans digs in northern Syria at Chagar Bazar and Tell Brak. Agatha (Christie) related how he and two of his sons reported for duty at 5 a.m. while the Mallowans were still fast asleep in their hotel room. In 1949, when Mallowan was about to begin excavating at Nimrud, he found that Hamoudi had been awarded the Kings Medal for Service in the Cause of Freedom (KMS) for his services to British interests during the War. How long after this Hamoudi died is not recorded. Katharine Woolley made a bronze head of Hamoudi, which was once in the collection of the Horniman Museum, but the Museum does not have it now, and have no recollection of what happened to it. It was much admired at the time and considered to have been a good likeness.|
|Sidney Smith||An expert in ancient languages, Sidney Smith was the epigraphist at Ur in the first excavation season, 1922-1923. After the death of Gertrude Bell in mid-1926, he served as Honorary Director of Antiquities in Iraq (actually, Richard Cooke held this position 1926-1928; Smith held it from 1928-1931). He was then appointed Keeper of Egyptian and Assyrian antiquities at the British Museum and held the post from 1931-1948. He was also Professor of Semitic Languages and Civilizations at the University of London. Leonard Woolley is said not to have gotten along with Sidney Smith very well. When Woolley was working on publications at the British Museum after Smith became Keeper, he worked in a room outside the department in order to avoid him.|
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