EXPLORE BY YEAR
— 1930s —
My dear Director Burrows:
I have just received this letter from Director Horsfield, a copy of which I am sending you. From the concluding paragraph it looks as though letters addressed to Professor Rostovzeff and myself have been put in contrary envelopes.
April 12, 1932
My dear Professor,
I am glad you have seen the letter I sent to the President as there was indeed a misunderstanding the cause of which I do not understand. That there was a long delay in the decision about the Mosaics from the Churches was true, but that is now happily at an end. They are at the disposal of the Expedition. I am now waiting to hear from Professor Clark Hopkins from Doura-Europos whom Professor Burrows tells me is coming to see them before they are shipped. The smaller objects found by Fisher are all in his store at Jerash, except the coins which are in the Jerusalem School. There has so far arisen no question as to the division of these things. There has arisen question with the Government as to the division on a 50/50 basis, which was agreed to by the late Chief Minister, but this stands so the British Resident informs me; as such a decision taken by a former Government Head has the same force with a new one, that is, he cannot refuse to carry out an engagement already sanctioned. Therefore I am awaiting the demand of the Head of the Expedition to act.
The letter which you wrote on my demand stating your views about the town mosaics was of the greatest use to me in persuading the Government to accept the advice I tendered. I am fully appreciative of all the financial difficulties. I know that we have got to wait for better times- which one hopes will not be to far ahead- before the better times- which one hopes will not be to far ahead- before the works here can really go forward on the scale that the place merits.
I am very glad you have written to me and that you attach no blame to any delay of action I have taken – I have done and shall do all I can to forward the aims of the Expedition; if I seem dilatory, it is because I have to persuade my Arab Government to take advice, to overcome suspicions as to what is being done, for it is generally thought we are in search of a gold treasure; a common delusion and, one which the Government caters to in certain cases by granting permission to various persons to dig for buried treasure- not on antiquity sites- hidden away by the retiring Turkish army. Vain hopes from which nothing has ever come.
With my kind regards to Mme Rostovzeff and to yourself.
(signed) G. Horsfield
Department of Antiquities
Aug 19th. 1932.
Dear Dr. Glueck.
The other day when I was talking to you in Jerusalem I mentioned a review of Garstang’s book Joshua-Judges which I now enclose you. I have torn it out of its cover as the rest of the publication is of no interest: it contains the substance of what we discussed.
Let me repeat to you again my thanks for the plate of the map of Jerash which you have so kindly offered to lean to me.
Nov: 12. 1934
My dear Dr Glueck,
I am thrilled to the core wild. your news about Edomite El Beiyara, Busiva etc. Do you remember we found together what seemed to be the same sherds at Elji near that piece of marbles? But what were the coase Nabatean sherds? Just the cooking pots we found in the tombs, I suppose?
George has told you about our projects expedition to Petra with Dr Albright – to be done with the remaining funds of the Mond Expedition. We shall hear a survey of the map of El Biyara of our surroundings. (That was what tempted Dr Albright) the store circle will be completely excavated, but may yield only negative evidence- George is also clearly out the Tomb of the Leon of the Khazuel for the Government. I shall be there about 18 days.
How I wish you were still here with so much to talk about! All the American School seems to be coming to Petra to join on- Stinespring, Detweiler, Dr Kraeling etc. 8 of them. It should be a grand time.
Ali Abu Ghosh as just found a stele in Moab near N’aour. A gigantic hand coming out of a circle of thunderbolts with a mass of writing- Greek I think it potentially readable. And there is another square enclosure, built of strong as large as [Medeieiyah], near Madebra- Iron age we think.
Would you look at an article in Journal of Palestine Oriental Society. XIV. Nos 1-2. “E Ein [unbekaunte Deukeunal] in Edom”. See whether you went there?
When this expedition with Albright is over I shall have all the data with which to rewrite & finish our blooming book- thank Goodness, though, that it was postponed. I was so absorbed in business & domesticity this summer in England that I never gave it a thought.
I miss Mrs. Glueck too and fear we shall never all meet out her again. I hope she is soaring ahead with her work.
Of course I have read Bulletin 55 and the Moabite article in the American Journal and am looking forward to more. We are at this moment awaiting the [Frobeumis] expedition to Kilwa, due here this morning.
I hope some of the enclosed photographs will be useful. El Beyara ([?] Journal. fig.7) was taken on a half-plate which is in England, from the stone circle.
With every good with to you both and thanks for your letters.
Department of Antiquities
Jerash, TransJordan via Palestine.
Nov. 12th. 1934.
My dear Dr. Glueck,
I was very happy to have your letter of Oct. 2nd. and to hear all your news. It is very good to be back again in civilization after all your trials and tribulations. I expect that you think it was worth it now, when you have the leisure to reflect on your adventures.
My wife has decided that she wants to dig out the bronze age circle at Petra and has asked Dr. Albright to do it for her, so an expedition is going there on Dec. 1st. At the same time Dr. Albright will further explore the top of Umm el-Biyara, making a few soundings and a plane table survey which will be useful to you. I have insisted that his presence at Petra should also be used to dig a sounding or two at Tawilan so that you may also have a more definite knowledge of the site than can be got from a mere survey of the surface. The information will be available for you later and I hope will assist you in your hunt for the necessary funds to excavate it.
Since my return here I have hardly seen Head as he has been out in the blue on his new job. He has left me n notes of the last part of his journey with you but as soon as I can get hold of him I will ask for them and send them along I am sorry if this is an inconvenience to you but now he is beyond my jurisdiction and you know how difficult he is when you want anything done at once. I can assure that he is very busy and his new job is no sinecure.
With regard t0 the Air Force photographs I have told Dr, Albright to speak to the office in Jerusalem and if they have been done he will get them for you. I thought this would be the better way as you asked for them from the O.C. there.
I enclose you a copy of a note my wife has taken from the J.P.O.S. as concerning a site you are interested in. it is a new one to me and easy Abu Ghosh says to get at from Tafileh. I shall try and go there on my way back from Petra, where I shall be at the same time as the Mond expedition, having been ordered to clean out a tomb or two for the Swedish Royalties who are coming in December.
I am sending you two photographs of the Balua Stela. The white on the inscription of the smaller one is dried milk put on in an attempt to bring it out — a failure.
Now you ask me what my arguments are for not accepting Akaba-Aiela as the port of Ezion-Geber. Let me ask you a question first’ “What language is Ezion-Geber.?” What does it mean? We only know it from the Bible so it is the old name at the time of Solomon. It is quite obvious that there never has been a port at Akaba, an open roadstead which with a tiny pier served during the late war as a base. If one accepts Phythian-Adams hypothesis that Ezion-Geber is Menaiyeh then it must be thought that the ships, which were small in size, were pulled up on the shore of the Gulf of Akaba or lay to there for loading. Hull says the name means “Back bone of a giant” ? If these names are not to be taken to mean Aiela then the place must be looked for somewhere else perhaps at Jeziret Faraoun, the island of Graye which is covered with ruins. I have never been there G.A Smith says it is the best harbor in the Gulf north of Dahab. Lawrence seems to think they are Arab or Crusading i.e. the ruins. At any rate it is the only place nearby that can be called a harbor and all ships in the Gulf go in terror of the south wind, which raises high seas and drives great waves up into the village of Akaba. Near the island of Graye I think are the most southerly copper workings you found.
I feel that m ideas about the place and its site are very vague but it I feel convinced that it is not Aiela and am prepared to plunk for the island which seems to me the really logical solution.
I have been a long time answering your letter as the questions you raise are still in the air.
I have seen Head and he told me that he had written direct to you as to his plans and prospects, but I do not think you can rely on him to accompany you on your travels as he has passed into quite another administrative branch, where he is fully occupied. I hardly ever see him in these days.
His post here is unfilled, but may be shortly: but I do not think I shall be able to give you the whole time assistance of my staff that I did before, as I shall be on leave in June, July and August and I must have a representative at H.Q. in Amman. When you have worked out details of your plans let me know as I am anxious to assist you if I can.
Here we have done nothing so far this year as funds were finished by the end of last year, but I intend to go south for a few days after Easter, to do a bit more work at Jabel Rum. I flew to Ma’an and back the other day and have found a new site near Kasr el Bint at the top of Wadi Hesa. It is an enormous circle a camp? – with a ruin in the middle. I do not know if I shall be able to find it on the ground. I have no idea what it is. The Officer Commanding, Air Force, pointed it out to me and it looks important.
My wife struggles on with her great work. Our latest literary find at Petra is a mention by Jerome 5th cent. A.D. of the Tomb of Miriam as existing at Petra in his day- so we have all the “evidence” present for a “Kadesh”, of Tradition. My wife hopes to explore Aaron’s Tomb as Peake Pasha is having repairs done there. I want pottery evidence and if she goes, she will bring back sacks full- I hope.
We both are looking forward to seeing you but don’t come too late as we have urgent private affairs which are calling us to England as soon as we can get away,
With kind regards to Mrs. Glueck,
Yours very sincerely,
The survey of Eastern “Palestine” – Palestine has caused [counssul] why not T.T. is a useful work. Congratulations. We are looking forward to the next vol.
April 3. [no year]
Dear Dr. Glueck,
I have been a long time acknowledging your great work, which I am very proud of. Recently we have has a new idea what the great altar platforms- Bir Birbash- [Mesittuch]I think they are the Tribunal platforms other Roman legions from which the general harangued the troops, and that the great plain around Bir Birbash was used for maneuvers- based on [Leggun]. [Mesitbeh] would have been based on [?] we have sent the stuff to Italy and are in communication with other Scholars to find out whether those have survived in Africa or other outposts of the Roman Empire. I am at the moment rather enjoying working at the Provincia Arabia chapter and leading it on to the [Bporis]
Albright’s article on the Sanctuary at Petra that turned out as good a find as we could have hoped for, and we both still think the outside [niy] wall may be Edomite.
We shall be leaving here about the 3rd week in June, I think. It would be sad to miss you, so I hope you will come first as soon as you possible can.
Your next volume on Edom will interest me even more than Moab and I am laying to get an advance view of your map with 280 sites.
Please give my love to your wife.
The reason for calling the monograph explorations in “Eastern Palestine” instead of using the word “Transjordan” is in keeping with Conder’s “Survey of Eastern Palestine.” I assure you no slight was meant to Transjordan where I have always been received with the utmost friendliness and to the government of which I am gratefully indebted.
I am very much interest in the new site Kasr el Bint which you viewed from the top of Wadi Hesa. If you have any photographs available of the site and of some of the territory on it I should like very much to have copies of them. I am eager to hear about the results of Mrs. Horsfield’s examination of Aaron’s Tomb.
To my great regret, I find that in all probability I will not be able to go abroad this summer but I am confidently hoping to go abroad next year again, in which case with your kind permission and continued cooperation I hope to engage in further work in Transjordan.
Will you please send me the full name of Kirkbride who was with you on the Arabah trip? I want to send him a copy of our publication.
With heartiest greetings to you and Mrs. Horsfield in which my wife joins me, I am
May 14, 1935
Mrs. G. Horsfield,
Department of Antiquities,
Dear Mrs. Horsfield:
I am very sad that I will not be able to see you and Mr. Horsfield this year. You are leaving early and I am afraid that I will not be able to come at all this summer, but I am planning to come over this next year. The excavation you and Dr. Albright conducted at Petra and the report of them are exceedingly interesting and important. Petra, we already know definitely from Umm el-Biyarah in Tawilan, was originally Edomite. I shall publish some of the pottery forms from both places in the Edom report. The draft of the Edom report is about finished with the exception of pottery material which I shall begin to work up as soon as the school term ends here, at the beginning of June. As soon as the map is completed I shall send you an advance copy of it together with a list of the sites properly designated as Edomite or Nabotean or otherwise, as the case may be.
I am very much interested in the suggestion that the altar platforms may be tribunal platforms of the Roman legions. However, we did find Nabotean pottery near one of them, I believe, and some of the stones were cut in the Nabotean manner.
Didn’t Frobeinus get to Kilwa?
With best wishes to you and Mr. Horsfield in which my wife joins me, I am
Very sincerely yours,
P.S. My wife has just completed her first year internship at the hospital and will take another year of residency there. If I go over to Transjordan next year perhaps she will come and join me in the summer.
Department of Agriculture
Forest & Mines
Amman 6th August 1935.
Professor Nelson Glueck,
The Hebrew Union College,
As things turned out rather differently from what I had anticipated when I wrote you in March I must offer my apologies for the prolonged delay in letting you have the measurements of certain sites which I now attach herewith: some of the sites, however, quoted in your list were not measured owing to their irregular formation etc.
Perhaps it is a godsend in a sense that this delay has occurred as during a recent tour of inspection of the forests in the Tafileh and Shobek districts I happened to pass a night in Buseirah village when I took the opportunity of making a further search of this site and was rewarded for my efforts in obtaining a representative collection of Edomite sherds- collected on the western slopes- in all about six dozen including six typical painted pieces: in addition I have succeeded in “finding” three more Edomite sites in between Dana and Petra. From a causal survey of the Edomite site of Buseirah I would say, without a doubt, that it is easily the most extensive and strongly fortified of those visited: I mention this in case you would like to reconsider your decision about Tawilan being the ancient Bozrah.
I shall be grateful if you will cause a copy of the 1934 Annual and also the 1935 publication when it comes out to be sent to Major AS. Kirkbride, O.B.E., M.C., Office of British Resident, Amman.
You will; I am sure, be more than interested to hear that a large area of Marble outcropping has been discovered east of Meshetta and already the experts – getting rather crazy about it: I am told there are traces of ancient quarrying but have not yet seen the site myself – I myself found an ancient mine shaft- some three kilos south west of Kh Ras el Wad overlooking the Hesa- where the stone is either alabaster or gypsum: specimens are being sent to Blake but I’m inclined to think it might be alabaster as it was worked in the Byzantine period and probably earlier and might have been used for sculpture.
In conclusion may I say once more that the memories of our trips together are still very vivid and I still look forward to the time when I shall see you again in Transjordan and hope that things can be engineered for me to accompany you.
With my heartiest greetings to you, your wife and mother-in-Law and best wishes for your future success.
— 1940s —
Oct. 12th, 1943
Dr. Nelson Glueck,
Director School of Oriental Research,
Dear Dr. Glueck:
Will you let me tell you how very much I have enjoyed your reports from Jerusalem, especially the last one with your description of coming home to Jerash [?] and finding the old Roman forum full of people watching the cinemas showing defeat of ancient conquerors with the moon looking down and sharing your own astonishment, a most delightful picture.
The mention of Jerash is of particular interest to me because years ago Dr. Benjamin Bacon talked to me about it. He saw it when it was pure desert, as I understand it, and a few columns standing above the surface of the ground some three or four feet high only. He traced what must have been one of the ancient buildings and was most enthusiastic about having it excavated.
Due to his enthusiasm I began a Fellowship at Yale Divinity School for such work, and a little later, in 1928 I think it was, established the Two Brothers Fellowship to continue the work, this is named in memory of my two brothers who in 1877 went all over the Holy Land with donkeys. One brother was just out of college and the other just entering into it, and all their lives I saw what in influence that journey had upon them.
Then in1907 I made a pilgrimage myself so that I was quite prepared to enter into Dr. Bacon’s enthusiasm, and as it happened, the holder of the first Two Brothers Fellowship was assigned to work in Jerash. I have his original reports with his own photographs of the very first excavations, or what were among the very first ones, so that you can fancy I was especially interested.
And then in this last report of yours with its description of Cairo and Shepherd’s Hotel and the changes that the war has made, was a very delightful appeal to anyone who had seen Cairo and Shepherd’s Hotel in the days of its old glory. I was there twice – once in 1907 and once in 1931, and so had some background for your delightful descriptions.
I wonder if in the Yale Library you have come across a little book that I wrote called “A Brief Pilgrimage in The Holy Land”. At the time of my journey there I was president of Wellesley College and in the winter following gave a series of addresses on the pilgrimage at some of the evening services. Those evening services, alas! are entirely abolished. One of the latest bulletins of Wellesley College mentioned Sunday evening and a discussion in one of the College halls on the economic state of the world. A person who has been brought up as I have been cannot help regretting that the time on Sunday evening is not apportioned to something more spiritual than to talk about economic conditions. It seems to me unless we get the spiritual basis right, any such talk of world affairs and world adjustment will be entirely futile.
You see, you have given me a very delightful train of thought and I am especially grateful as for the last six months I have been largely confined to my bed and have been able to see very few people. So I want to congratulate you on getting home to your own family, and to send you my most cordial thanks.
President Emeritus of Wellesley College