In the late 1800s, the University of Pennsylvania began excavating the ancient city of Nippur, located in present-day Iraq. This marked the first American expedition in the Middle East. Over the period of a decade, the excavation team unearthed a remarkable collection of nearly 30,000 cuneiform tablets. Archaeologists & Travelers in Ottoman Lands tells the stories of three men whose lives intertwined during the Nippur excavation, as well as the story of Penn’s first excavation. Osman Hamdi Bey, director of the Imperial Museum in Istanbul (now called the Istanbul Archaeological Museum) was the gatekeeper for all excavations in the Ottoman Empire. Also an accomplished painter, Hamdi Bey created a painting of the excavations at Nippur. This painting, along with another Hamdi Bey painting in the Penn Museum’s collection, will be featured in the exhibit.
September 26, 2010 – June 26, 2011
Penn Museum: University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology