The checklist reproduces only those elements of the exhibition not found in the preceding pages. All of the text of the catalog except the introduction is included in the exhibition. Chapters of the catalog correspond to cases in the exhibition. For the sake of clarity some sections of the exhibition have been excerpted from the text of the catalog for inclusion in the checklist. Additional text panels, many concerning the discipline of archaeology, as well as brief identification labels for each object displayed, are reproduced here.


PART ONE:Archaeology and the Near East

1. The Near East: Ancient and Modern

A Brief Near Eastern Chronology

Sumer beg. 5th millenium BC
Akkad beg. 5th millenium BC
Ur beg. 4th millenium BC
Babylon after 2129 BC
Hittites beg. 2nd millenium BC
Persian Empire ca. 555-330 BC
Antigonid Empires 4th c.-1 BC
Seleucid Empire 4th c.-1 BC
Parthians 1-2 c. A.D.
Roman Empire 1-4th c. AD
Sassanians 3-6th c. AD
Byzantine Empire 6-11th/15 c. AD
Arab Caliphates 7-12th c. AD/AH 1st-5th c.
Crusader Kingdoms 11-12th c. AD
Seljuks 11-15th c. AD
Ottoman Empire 15th c.-1918 AD
Republic of Turkey c. 1924 to the present

Archaeological Evidence: Coins

Archaeologists work with all manner of data: artifacts such as coins and pottery, and written and photographic records of archaeological investigations. The above-mentioned types of archaeological data as well as some of the tools used to gather that information are shown and described as a means of providing a glimpse into the archaeological mind.

The coins displayed here provide tangible evidence of Near Eastern ancient and mediaeval eras, of their political powers, and of the important personalities which controlled those powers. In general, coins provide much-needed information concerning political power and economic dominance. Rulers name and portray themselves on coins, often giving themselves the most ostentatious, the most unequivocally expressive titles and symbols of power. The dates and locations of the production of coins tell a great deal about the concentration and distribution of wealth, and about international routes of trade. Coins are the bits of official metal painstakingly acquired and sent out by tax-payers, to tax-collectors, on the way to provincial and metropolitan treasuries. Discoveries of coins enable archaeologists to determine the level of prosperity of a given area as well as to date stratigraphic contents of the sites in which the coins were found.

2. Travel in the Near East: From Caravan to Railroad

"From northern Mesopotamia and northern Syria caravans crossed Armenia and Anatolia to Constantinople. This historic highway -- the last of the three great mediaeval trade routes to be opened to modern transportation -- was traversed by the Bagdad Railway. The locomotive provided a new shortcut to the East."
(Edward Mead Earle, Turkey, the Great Powers, and the Bagdad Railway. A Study in Imperialism (New York, Russell & Russell, 1966, 3-4)

Engine cab of the Berlin-Bagdad train

Archaeological evidence: Photography

Photography has played a very important role in archaeological documentation since its introduction into the documentary record towards the end of the 19th century. An obvious means of presenting far-off lands to armchair travellers, photography became a recording tool for scientists of all stripes. F.W. Kelsey and his contimporaries in archaeology immediatle recognized the contributions photography could make not only for documentation, but also for research and teaching purposes.

A new professional in the discipline of archaeology, the expedition photographer recorded new discoveries from the moment of their appearance, and documented each step in the field. George R. Swain was the photographer for this and other Univerity of Michigan expeditions to the Near East. Accompanied by Easton T. Kelsey, the son of Francis W., he took many hundreds of photographs. Some were laboriously produced seven-by-eleven inch negatives of exceptionally clear quality; others were quickly snapped shots made with a Kodak; all were meticulously catalogued and described. (Due to the deterioration of their negatives, all photographs have been reshot and reprinted.) The detailed photographic records of Swain and Kelsey have been of inestimable help in reconstructing the expedition. Their descriptions provide the basis of the labels used for the photographs in this exhibition.

An independently-affiliated motion-picture maker, Carl Wallen, accompanied the Expedition on a part of its journey. Unfortunately, none of the films made by Wallen on the expedition have been recovered although mention is made of them in the diaries of Kelsey and Swain.

3. Archaeology in the Near East: From adventuring to Science

Archaeological tools

The finely machined tools displayed here date from the early decades of this century and exemplify the quick adaptation of technology from other professions to the new scientific discipline. The transit theodolite, for example, was used by land surveyers and the archaeologists to measure angles of the topography.

4. Popular interpretations of Archaeological Discoveries

Archaeological evidence: Clay wares

Since pre-historical times, the universal material of clay -- kaolin-laden earth -- has been molded into useful shapes, then hardened to form relatively permanent structures. Ceramic objects were and still are often used as vessels for containing liquids because fired clay is not porous, and used as lamps because clay is non-flammable, and as inexpenxive small toys and figurines because clay is cheaply and easily mass-produced by means of molds.

Thanks to the efforts of Flinders Petrie, pottery is recognized as being essential to the basic archaeological task of assigning dates. The clay, the shapes of clay vessels and lamps, and markings on them often indicate where a pot was made. Moreover, shapes fit into chronological sequences for which dates can be assigned. In addition, the distribution of pots with similar shapes, or profiles, over a wide area, for example, is a frequent indicator of far-reaching trade (usually of the contents of pots rather than the pots themselves; only fine ceramic wares were traded for their own value); the concentration of a wide range of shapes of pottery within a small area, on the other hand, might tell of long-term inhabitation of that area.

* * *
A Personal Interpretation of an Archaeological Discovery:
Christian Lamps of Clay from Carthage

Early Christian lamp
From Carthage
Raised decoration on sunken rim, fish on discus
Late Roman-Early Byzantine, ca. 4th c. AC
(KM 22481)

Dry, academic concerns such as pottery fragments have never captured the imagination of the public. Instead, the imagined inner lives of the people who used them enrich their otherwise limited visual appeal. In the poem reproduced below, for example, humble artifacts of clay, small and inexpensively mass-produced lamps from late Roman Carthage (Tunisia), inspired a vision of the illuminating force of the emergence of Christianity. Poems inspired by archaeological discoveries were a convention in the magazine Art and Archaeology, routinely included following each article.


Through what lone visions did your clear flames shine,
O darkened lamps of dim, forgotten years?
What have ye seen of silent midnight tears
Falling before Love's sad and voiceless shrine;
What aged prayers, that towards a light divine
Trembled across the threshold of the spheres;
What flattering breath of song that no heart hears
Stirred the dim shadows of your strange design?
Ah, now for me the lights of dreams ye hold
Safe from the world! Your cressets of white fire
Through darkened windows of the west aspire
To vast new lights and shadows of pale gold,
Bright, far and strange, yet tender with the old,
Soft ways of peace, and all the heart's desire!

(Edith Dickens in Art and Archaeology 21 (1926): 66; following the article "Carthage: Ancient and Modern" by F.W. Kelsey, pages 55-66)

5. The New Breed of Near Eastern Archaeologist: James Henry Breasted

Breasted's controversial contribution to archaeology

The die-hard classicists, and those teachers of ancient history who had been trained in the tradition that the cultures of Greece and Rome were the result of some divine spontaneous combustion, found it difficult, often impossible, to accept the author's revolutionary reappraisal of the importance of the orient in the development of civilization. It was only to be expected, too, that fundamentalists everywhere, especially in the southern States, should resent his evolutionary approach to history, an attitude which received curiously antithetical expression in 1925 at the famous "Monkey Trial" of a young biology instructor named J.T. Scopes who had committed the crime of teaching evolution in Tennessee. Clarence Darrow, who defended him, cited Ancient Times in substantiation of the truth of such teaching; while William Jennings Bryan pilloried the book as a consummate example of the kind of iniquitous falsity which he insisted was destroying American religious faith.
(from Charles Breasted, Pioneer to the Past. The Story of James Henry Breasted, Archaeologist. New York, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1943, p. 230)

* * *

One Perception of an Archaeological Narrative:

-- The final conflict at Armageddon becomes the battle at Megiddo

Science and adventure mingled in the new breed. Just as for archaeological discoveries, personalities in archaeology gained popularity for their associations with adventure (witness the fictional charismatic American archaeologist of this period, Indiana Jones).

Breasted's popularity outside academia, although based primarily on his publications, was phenomenal as is shown in the quotations collected here.

Breasted was lionized by military commanders because of his studies of ancient battles. The battle of the Egyptians versus the Hittites at Armageddon caught the attention of Great Britain's Lord Allenby (who had under his command T.E. Lawrence, "Lawrence of Arabia," once a student of Near Eastern archaeology -- specializing in Crusader castles, and excavating at Carchemish -- before called to military service):
"You know, for you have very fully written of it," Allenby said, "how Thutmose III crossed Carmel Ridge, riding through the pass to meet the enemy in a chariot of shining electrum. We had your book with us, and we had just read the account of it, so we knew the dates: Thutmose went through on the 15th of May over 3,000 years ago, and on the same day I took Lady Allenby for the first time to see the battlefield where we beat the Turks, and like Thutmose III, we also went through in a chariot of shining metal -- for our machine had wheels of aluminum and was all covered with polish[ed] metal. So she saw the scene of our victory on the anniversary of the earliest known battle there, and also approached it in a chariot of glittering metal. I wanted her to see it, for as I have told you before, I took my title from there -- Allenby of Megiddo. . ." (quoted in Charles Breasted, Pioneer to the Past. The Story of James Henry Breasted, Archaeologist. New York, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1943, pp. 311-2)

* * *

Ancient History of the Berlin-Bagdad Railway

Breasted's scholarship intrigued another influential commander: the American, Theodore Roosevelt.

Moreover, Colonel Theodore Roosevelt said: "I'm convinced the War will be won in the Near East -- by blasting the Germans' Berlin-to-Bagdad dream. After reading your Ancient Times, I was impelled to re-read the description in your History of Egypt of the strategic importance of Kadesh in the control of northern Syria, and of Ramses II's battle with the Hittite king, Metella, who almost defeated him, and really ought to have done so. I studied detailed maps of the whole region, and it seemed to me obvious that if control of Kadesh once spelled control of northern Syria, then surely that seizure today of Alexandretta, followed at once by a northeastward thrust cutting off the Bagdad railway, would simultaneously strike the Germans and the Turks at the most vulnerable point in their flank, isolate their southern forces, and by achieving control of Syria and Palestine, destroy the Berlin-to-Bagdad plan."
(Charles Breasted, Pioneer to the Past. The Story of James Henry Breasted, Archaeologist. New York, Charles Scribner's Sons, 1943, pp. 233-4)

6. A Classical Scholar in the Near East: Francis Willey Kelsey

PART TWO Kelsey's Expedition and Armenia

7. Kelsey's 1919-1920 Expedition

Europe         September 1919 to December 1919 
Turkey         December 1919 to January 1920 
Syria          January 1920 
Palestine     January to February 1920 
Egypt          February to March 1920 
Greece         May to June 1920 
Europe         June to October 1920 Ann Arbor      
Return to US: October 1920

8. Europe

9. Turkey, "Constantinople"

10. Turkey, Cilicia

11. Syria and Palestine

12. Egypt

13. Greece

14. Kelsey and Armenia

Dynasty of Artaxias      190-2 BC
Foreign Dynasty 2 AC-53 AD
Arsacid Dynasty 53-429 AD
Persian Marzpan 430-634 AD
Byzantine Governors 591-705 AD
Arab Domination 654-861 AD
Bagratid Dynasty 885-1045 AD
Cilician Kings 1080-1375 AD

15. Armenian Culture


This church on Lake Van was built in 915-21 AD under the patronage of King Gagik of Vasparakhan and remained in continuous use for a millenium until after the First World War, suffering no substantial change except for gradual deterioration. Like most Byzantine churches of the Near East the plan of the Church of the Holy Cross at Aght'mar is cruciform; however, many aspects of its construction are particularly Armenian. The plan at ground level is quatrefoil in shape with semi-circular niches filling the diagonals. At cornice level, the niches are covered over by squinches which are shaped as sections of cones, and seem to have been introduced in Armenian architecture as a means of adapting a square to a circular shape. (Squinches, another particularly Armenian architectural support system constructed of intersecting arches, furnished sophisticated geometrical solutions to structural problems. In fact, the great vault builders of the mediaeval Christian Near East appear to have been Armenians. As much is indicated by the fact that the Armenian architect Trdat was called to Constantinople in 989 when the western arch and half-dome of the cathedral of Hagia Sophia collapsed.) On the upper level of the church at Aght'mar is a high polygonal drum surmounted by a dome, its conical shape typical of Armenian architecture.

Slight elongations to the east and west enhance the clarity of the symbolic cross shape and emphasize the location of the sanctuary within the eastern bay. The building was endowed with additional meaning by its decoration. Although the interior frescoes are not preserved, the sculptures carved in high relief on the exterior are in excellent condition.

16. Kelsey's Extra-Archaeological Activities in Cilicia
17. Kelsey's View of the Incidents in Cilicia

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