Season 3

The third season at Ur led by Sir Leonard Woolley.  1924-1925

Objects: 03: 1924-1925 Export: JSON - XML - CSV

Object U Number Museum Number (UPM Date Reg Number) Museum Number (BM Registration Number) Museum Number (UPM B-number) Description (Catalog Card)
(none) 30-12-394 (none) B18113 (none)
(none) (none) 1927,1003.279 (none) (none)
2019 (none) (none) (none) Not Assigned
2200 (none) (none) (none) Not Assigned
2437 (none) (none) (none) Not Assigned
2501 (none) 1927,1003.8 (none) Inscribed tablet. Brown limestone. Fragment. Incomplete Semitic text. Obverse: 7 lines. Reverse: weather worn. Ink-drawing. Neo-Babylonian.
2502 (none) (none) (none) Cylinder seal. Inscribed. Glass paste. Bluish white. Broken. Fragments missing. Two lines nearly illegible: ( )-bi-a; ( ) -il. Figures worn, indistinct. Neo-Babylon - Persian Period.
2503 (none) (none) (none) Cylinder seal. Not inscribed. greyish soapstone. Weather worn. Presentation to a seated goddess. Worshipper led by the hand. Flat crescent. Pillar-shaped altar [shown in drawing] (double). 24 x 33mm. Babylonian. About BC 2500. [drawing]
2504 (none) (none) (none) Cylinder seal. Fragment. Brown limestone. Fragment. One worshipper - one standing figure - of a god: Between them the crescent [shown in drawing] on a short support. About BC 2300
2505 (none) (none) (none) Doubtful cylinder seal. greyish limestone. Unpierced fragment. A few lines of figures or signs [shown in drawing]. Period ? [drawing]
2506 (none) (none) (none) Earring. Gold. Crescent lunar type. Heavy - hollow metal. [drawing 1:1]
2507 (none) (none) (none) Earring. Gold. Crescent lunar type. Heavy - hollow metal. [drawing]
2508 (none) 1927,1003.64 (none) Spindle whorl. Black steatite. [drawing 1:1]
2509 (none) (none) (none) Amulet. White shell. Lion? Or bull? Roughly carved. [drawing 1:1]
2510 (none) 1927,1003.249 (none) Finger ring. White shell (much decayed) Oblong bezel with flower rosette and traces of leaf on either side. [drawing 1:1]
2511 (none) (none) (none) Mask. Terracotta. Pierced for suspension, grotesque bearded head. [drawing]
2512 31-16-938 (none) (none) Mask. Terracotta. Pierced for suspension, grotesque head, much broken. [drawing 1:1]
2513 (none) 1935,0113.48 (none) Figurine. Drab clay. Nude female, head and torso only. [drawing 1:1]
2514 (none) (none) (none) Figurine. Buff clay. Nude female, mitred and with necklace. Legs missing below the knee. [drawing 1:1]
2515 (none) 1927,1003.156 (none) Figurine. Buff clay. Seated goddess facing left: pleated skirt: right hand raised left hand holding bottle: headdress missing. [drawing 1:1]
2516 (none) (none) (none) Figurine. Red clay. Male with necklace, head and torso only, headdress missing. [drawing 1:1]
2517 (none) 1935,0113.49 (none) Figurine. Drab clay. Nude female, head and trunk only. [drawing 1:1]
2518 (none) (none) (none) Bronze safety pin. Pin missing, back only. [drawing]
2519 (none) (none) (none) Weight. Basalt. Inscribed. [inscription] : igi 6 gal = 1/6. Type I
2520 (none) 1927,1003.36 (none) Clay cone. greyish color. Inscribed. Fragment. Half of second column. Restoration of temple and ?? III Ur Dynasty. Ink drawing.

Locations: 03: 1924-1925 Export: JSON - XML - CSV

Location Context Title Context Description Description (Modern)
Dublalmah | LL First investigated by Taylor in 1853, the dublalmah was originally a gateway onto the eastern corner of the ziggurat terrace. It expanded into a larger building in the Isin-Larsa/Old Babylonian period. It had multiple functions, religious and administrative, through the centuries. An inscribed door socket of Amar-Sin found here refers to the building as the great storehouse of tablets and the place of judgment. It was thus essentially a law court, possibly with tablets recording judgments stored within. In Mesopotamia, an eastern gateway--in sight of the rising sun--was typically seen as a place of justice, and gateways were often places where witnesses or judges might hear claims. After the Ur III period the door onto the ziggurat terrace was sealed up and the dublalmah appears to have become a shrine, but it retained its name and probably its law court function. Kurigalzu made significant restorations to the building in the Kassite period and Woolley marveled at the well-constructed fully preserved arched doorway of this Late Bronze Age time. By the Neo-Babylonian period, the structure had essentially merged with the functions of the neighboring giparu. (none)
EH Site | EH Area EH is located within the Neo-Babylonian temenos wall south of the giparu. There are many other area designations given to parts of this space (such as DP and LR), but EH overall refers to the interior extent of the SW temenos wall from the south corner almost to the Nebuchadnezzar gate and extending east to the line of Pit F. Walls in the area were scattered and difficult to follow, so Woolley established a grid covering at least 55x100 meters in 5x5 squares. The grid is not well documented but publication shows that Woolley began numbers to the east, increasing to the west, and letters to the south, increasing to the north; square 1,A therefore sits in the SE corner -- 11,T in the NW. The abbreviation EH stands for E-Hur-sag but the building of that name does not lie within this excavation zone. Woolley did not believe that the building to the east of this area (partially dug by H.R. Hall in 1919) was the e-hur-sag, the palace of Shulgi, despite bricks with the inscription of the building being found there. Instead he called that building Hall's Temple (HT) and sought the palace in many other places inside the temenos. He eventually conceded that HT was indeed the e-hur-sag and published EH without reference to the abbreviation's original meaning. The area Woolley called EH was the area Hall called the 'tomb mound' because it was relatively high ground in which he found a number of graves. Woolley showed that these were the remains of graves beneath the floors of houses dating from the Isin-Larsa to Kassite periods. EH in this time was likely an extension of the domestic area EM. In the Ur III period there appear to have been larger public buildings here, but their remains were spotty at best. Tablets from this area and area EM show that the residents of the domestic quarter in the Isin-Larsa/Old Babylonian period were likely temple workers. (none)
ES The abbreviation ES almost certainly stands for Enunmah South, though it may also have to do with the building called Emuriana, referenced in a disturbed Kassite door socket found in the area. Legrain lists ES as the Egigpar of Nabonidus, SW end, and ES, or at least ESB did extend into the later remains of the Dublalmah, which at that time was part of the NeoBabylonian Giparu. The abbreviation ES first appeared in season one as a supplement to Trial Trench B (TTB.ES) when the trench was expanded to reveal the extents of the building found to be called E-nun-mah. In season 3, the abbreviation shortened simply to ES, used for the majority of the enunmah building. The Enunmah changed in layout and likely in usage through the many centuries of its existence. Initially a storage building called the ga-nun-mah, it seems to have been used as a temple, the e-nun-mah, in the Neo-Babylonian period. Some lists of excavation abbreviations equate ES with the Dublalmah site. This is because the southern Enunmah is just east of the Dublalmah. Area ESB is still more closely associated with the eastern edge of the dublalmah and likely into it. (none)
ESB This is the excavation area south of area ES, beyond the southernmost wall of the enunmah and just east of the dublalmah (likely it extends further west than the reference image shows). It was in this area that a door socket of Kurigalzu mentioning a building called the emuriana was found and Woolley attempted to uncover this building here. The socket was not found in its original position, however, and Woolley eventually felt that the emuriana building was never in this location or that it had been completely destroyed. What he found in the area was mostly related to the enunmah and/or the NeoBabylonian Giparu or were scattered walls that were very difficult to follow. Indeed, this area of the temenos zone, from the eastern edge of the dublalmah to the northeast wall of the NeoBabylonian temenos wall, was badly denuded. Area ES/ESB was sometimes equated with the dublalmah because it was initially thought that building may have extended here and it was included as part of the NeoBabylonian Giparu. (none)
Giparu | KP The excavation area given the abbreviation KP was eventually found to be the site of the ancient building known as the giparu (alternatively e-gig-par or gig-par-ku). Mostly dedicated to the goddess Nin-gal, Nanna's consort, it was also in various periods the residence of the entu priestess. The abbreviation KP, however, stands for King's Palace because Woolley initially thought this might be the site of Shulgi's palace, the ehursag. The giparu was a very long-lived building, though it underwent many changes over many centuries. Most striking were the changes in the Neo-Babylonian period when Woolley shows it combining with the dublalmah to the east. He believed that by this point the building was not sufficient to house the Ningal temple and the entu priestess together, and thus the so-called Palace of Belshaltinannar was constructed outside the temenos specifically to house the priestess herself. At times Woolley refers to the giparu as the Great Ningal Temple, which can be confusing as the Kassite and Neo-Bablyonian Ningal temples had moved onto the ziggurat terrace to the north of the giparu (Area HD). Furthermore, parts of the giparu were excavated under area abbreviations other than KP in season 3 when the full extents of the building were only just coming to light. The northern portion originally carried the abbreviation HDB and the southeastern portion, SF. (none)
Giparu | HDB The excavation area abbreviation HDB refers to the southern extension of area HD, thus it is beyond Hall's Dump, or south of the pile of back-dirt on the southern ziggurat terrace. Many of the artifact cards that have this context designation mention 'lower rooms' and it is apparent that the southern extension HDB uncovered walls at a lower elevation because they were off of the ziggurat terrace. This makes HDB actually the northern part of area KP (the giparu), also begun in season 3. Only one season 4 artifact has the abbreviation HD, and it sits among many other cards from KP. (none)
Giparu | SF The excavation area abbreviation SF refers to the southeastern portion of the giparu (KP). This building was very large and in season 3 its full extents were not yet known. It was being excavated from the north (HDB) and the south (SF) simultaneously, thus it initially received different abbreviations. SF may stand for South Face or South Front, though this is nowhere recorded. Legrain records "Gipar-ku, SE part" for this context. The shape of the giparu changed through the centuries and SF runs to join with the dublalmah to the east, as that building merged with the giparu in the Neo-Babylonian period. (none)
PS The excavation area abbreviation PS probably stood for Palace Stores and refers to the series of magazine-like rooms surrounding the Great Nanna Courtyard. Woolley originally coded the region of the courtyard as PD, standing for Palace of Dungi, since he felt it might have been a palace. The series of rooms surrounding the courtyard may well have been for storage, but Woolley came to realize that the building itself was not a palace. The abbreviation PS appears on several season 3 catalog cards, but no explanation of its meaning occurs. Legrain lists PR as the magazines around the courtyard, but this was probably a mis-typed reference to PS since PR does not appear as an abbreviation on any of Woolley's cards. (none)
Temenos Wall | TW The excavation area abbreviation TW stands for Temenos Wall, a wall that surrounded the ziggurat terrace and its extended sacred space in the northern central portion of the city of Ur through much of its history. The wall may have begun in the Early Dynastic period, as Woolley found some indication of what he believed to be its earliest foundation. There was clearly an Ur III period version that ran south of the giparu and then further southeast to encompass the ehursag. This was the general line of the wall through the Isin-Larsa/Old Babylonian and into the Kassite period, though the Kassites made some changes in the northern portion. Finally, the Neo-Babylonians changed the wall greatly, expanding the area encompassed to the north and south and adding several gateways. The foundations of this later, quite massive, wall often destroyed earlier remains. Woolley explored parts of the temenos wall in many seasons and frequently used the TW abbreviation for the wall in any of its building periods. Other excavation area abbreviations include parts of the temenos, particularly NCF, PDW and BC. The temenos wall built by Urnamma was 6 meters thick and built of mud brick with a baked brick facing. Most of the baked brick had been removed, probably for later building. The Nebuchadnezzar and Nabonidus temenos wall had chambers within it and sported six gates into the temenos area. This area was known as e-gish-nu-gal (Woolley read this e-gish-shir-gal). At least one later interpretation conflates TW with the phrase Town Wall, but the wall surrounding Ur was always referred to as the city wall, (CLW). (none)
Ziggurat Terrace | ZT The excavation area abbreviation ZT stands for Ziggurat Terrace. It was used for any portion of the terrace on which the ziggurat stood, though other more specific abbreviations were also used. For example, the abbreviation PDW refers to the northern side of the terrace, west of the Great Nannar Courtyard (PD), and HD refers to the southern part of the terrace. Early references using the abbreviation ZT refer specifically to excavations along the terrace retaining wall itself. Later references, however, mention specific areas on top the terrace such as the so-called 'boat shrine.' The abbreviation also refers to deep clearing of the terrace fill, particularly on the north side in later excavation seasons, though the abbreviation Zig.31 was most often used for this. Woolley uncovered large areas of the retaining wall that supported the platform known as the ziggurat terrace. He found that it was decorated with large wall cones. These cones bore an inscription of Urnamma but there is evidence that the terrace in some form existed in the Early Dynastic period as well. The Urnamma retaining wall was slanted to support the terrace, was 1.7 meters high, 34 meters wide, and was decorated with 5-meter-wide buttresses about 4 meters apart. The inscribed cones dedicate the terrace to the moon god, Nanna, and show that it was called e-temen-ni-gur, which translates as, "house, foundation platform clad in terror." (Woolley read this e-temen-ni-il). (none)
Ningal Temple | HD The excavation area abbreviation HD stands for Hall's Dump. When H.R. Hall investigated portions of the ziggurat in 1919, he left a great deal of back-dirt to the south of the structure. Woolley worked for several seasons clearing the rest of the ziggurat and in season 3 he removed Hall's back-dirt dump. It had covered most of the southern ziggurat terrace, and moving it revealed a temple to Ningal of the Neo-Babylonian and Kassite periods as well as a series of rooms of these late periods probably used for storage. In the earlier periods, the southern terrace was largely free from structures. (none)
PDW The excavation area abbreviation PDW derives from the fact that the area lies to the west of the area designated PD, the Great Nanna Courtyard. Area PDW is on the ziggurat terrace itself, but includes only the north and northeast portion of the terrace since the Great Nanna Courtyard does not extend to the southern ziggurat terrace. The southern terrace was excavated under the abbreviation HD. Some of the finds from either side of the terrace may also be coded ZT. Legrain lists PDW as specifically the deep trench within the Ur-Nammu terrace, but this is almost certainly a reference to PAT, later called Pit K, a pit dug within PDW. Area PDW included the investigation of the Bastion of Warad Sin at the northern corner of the ziggurat terrace and essentially part of the northern temenos wall. This structure was possibly a defensive gate that led onto the terrace in the Isin-Larsa/Old Babylonian period, expanded somewhat in the Kassite. It had thick walls and a potential sally-port gateway. Other structures uncovered here included the Ur III shrine to Nanna and its Neo-Babylonian counterpart as well as various potential storage rooms. Two deep pits were begun here in season 3 and completed in season 8, see area abbreviations Pit K and Pit L. Much other work was done on the northwest terrace in later seasons, particularly 9 and 10. See excavation area abbreviation NCF. (none)
Pit K | Ziggurat Pit A | PAT Excavation area abbreviation PAT was also called Ziggurat Pit A. It was expanded and renamed Pit K in season 9. The pit was located within the area of PDW, on top of the northwest portion of the ziggurat terrace and cut down into its filling. Woolley had hoped to find early buildings beneath the terrace but only uncovered fill of broken bricks and Ubaid period pottery. He dug a second pit to the west on the line of the terrace wall (see Pit L). Woolley is unclear on the exact placement of either pit and the only plan published does not correspond well with his notes. In a field report dated Feb. 1, 1931, he speaks of removing the Neo-Babylonian sanctuary of Nannar and making this the site of his deep pit. This building sat on the northeastern side of the terrace, just north of the ziggurat's central staircase. In publication UE4, however, Woolley states that the pit was located in the center of the northwest portion of the terrace (the plan shows it falling in the UrIII shrine of Nannar). At this point Woolley also states the pit was dug in 1932, but all field records indicate it was dug in January, 1931 (and begun as PAT in 1925). In the season 9 excavation it is clear that Woolley intended to excavate a deep trench on the terrace that included both PAT and PBT. He laid out an area measuring some 20x40 meters that included the smaller pits. This excavation uncovered the early and quite dense terrace wall, so Woolley continued as two pits, Pit K and Pit L, falling essentially on either side of it. Pit K was farther southeast and measured 11x20 meters, stepping in to become 9.5 meters at a depth of 7 meters from the surface. It continued down to sea level, about 14 meters below the surface. These measurements are obtained from the stratigraphic profile published in UE4, but it is admittedly difficult to interpret. The only scale on the image is the vertical and this scale appears to have been exaggerated to show the strata while including the entire horizontal extent on the page. When the portion of the ziggurat included on the drawing is scaled to meet its appropriate horizontal, the Pit K profile is shown to be approximately 11 meters NW-SE at the top. Two season 8 artifacts have the context Ziggurat Pit A (with a note that this was renamed Pit K). Field notes do not indicate excavation of the pit in season 8 and the artifacts are very late in the season 8 sequence. Woolley may have been cleaning out the old pit in preparation for the following season expansion. (none)
Pit L | Ziggurat Pit B | PBT Ziggurat Pit B (PBT) was expanded and renamed Pit L in season 9. The pit sat on top of the northwest portion of the ziggurat terrace and cut down into the terrace itself. Woolley is unclear on its exact placement and the only plan published does not correspond well with his notes. In the Antiquaries Journal for 1925, he states only that this pit was dug west of the first (PAT) along the line of the terrace wall and included the find U.2826. This artifact, a shell plaque, carries on its catalog card only the location abbreviation PDW. The pit had to be located northwest of PAT (Pit K), but that pit is also difficult to pinpoint. In the season 9 excavation it is clear that Woolley intended to excavate a deep trench on the terrace that included both PAT and PBT. He laid out an area measuring some 20x40 meters that included the smaller pits. This excavation uncovered the early and quite dense terrace wall, so Woolley continued as two pits, Pit K and Pit L, falling essentially on either side of it. Pit L was farther northwest and measured initially 15x20 meters, but it was split up again (according to the stratigraphic profile in UE4) and the main portion of Pit L measured only 5 meters NW-SE. At approximately 8 meters down from the surface, it was truncated again to about 2.5 meters NW-SE and continued down to sea level another 6 meters down. These measurements are obtained from the stratigraphic profile published in UE4, but it is admittedly difficult to interpret. The only scale on the image is the vertical and this scale appears to have been exaggerated to show the strata while including the entire horizontal extent on the page. See Pit K for more information. (none)
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Media: 03: 1924-1925 Export: JSON - XML - CSV

Media Media Title Title Label Author Omeka Label
Season 3 Field Report Season 3 Field Report (none) Woolley, Leonard (none)
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People: 03: 1924-1925 Export: JSON - XML - CSV

People Full Name Biography
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 John’s, 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. Woolley’s early career took him to Nubia in 1907–11, 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. Woolley’s 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 season’s work and finds as soon as possible after the season’s 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 1937–39, 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 Katharine’s 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.
Iraqi Workers (none)
J. Linnell Assisted on the general archaeological side and kept the card index of objects, worked on the Ziggurat
Khalil of Jerablus (none)
Leon Legrain Father Legrain was born in France, ordained as a priest there in 1904, and studied at the Catholic University of Lille and at the Collegium Appolinare in Rome. Assyriology professor at the Catholic Institute in Paris until WWI, he was then an interpreter in the war. He became curator of the Babylonian Section of the University of Pennsylvania Museum in 1920 and retired in 1952. A specialist in cuneiform, he was the epigraphist at Ur during the 1924-25 and 1925-26 field seasons. He published widely on texts and engraved seals, both in his time before the Penn Museum and after. He published seals and sealings from Ur (Ur Excavations volume 10), some of the tablets (Ur Excavations Texts volume 3) and was slated to publish a volume on the figurines from the site. His research and even an unpublished catalogue for this volume are in archives at the Penn Museum and now available on this website. Even after his two years at the site of Ur, Legrain played an integral role in the excavations. Not only did he research, publish, and display artifacts in the Penn Museum, but he was also the Museum's representative in the division of objects from Ur conducted almost every year in London. Legrain's letters about this process are very interesting, often in a more personal tone than Woolley's. In fact, many of his colleagues declared that Legrain was particularly entertaining and jovial, if cynical. His photographs at Ur are some of the only images we have of daily life, with many pictures of local Iraqis.
Sheikh Hamoudi Ibn Ibrahim Little is known about Hamoudi’s 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 Lawrence’s 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 1919–20, 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 Mallowan’s 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 King’s 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.
Yahia ibn Hamoudi Hamoudi's eldest son; acted as junior foreman, clerk, and staff photographer
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