Explorations at Nippur.
At a meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America, which was held at New Haven last week, Dr. Talcott Williams, of Philadelphia, gave a summary of the work which had been done at Nippur by the expedition which was sent out by the University of Pennsylvania. He said in part:
When the expedition started it consisted of Dr. Haynes, who acted as director, Clarence F. Fisher, a graduate of the School of Architecture of the University of Pennsylvania, and Valentine Geere, an English architect. Although they arrived at Port Said in November of 1897, they were greatly delayed, and only reached Nippur in October of 1898.
The first four months were devoted to an exploration of the southwestern part of the ruins and during that time the excavations were carried to a depth of sixty feet. As a result, 4,773 tablets and a large number of other objects of archaeological interest were obtained.
In June the heat became so intense that the work was transferred to the eastern part of the temple area, where the excavations which had been suspended in '96, were renewed. The level of Ur Gur was first reached and later a large piece of the Naram Sin pavement was exposed. The statues found were all broken, which goes to confirm the idea that probably in the third century B. C. the temple was sacked. Besides the statues many valuable inscriptions were found on pieces of marble and brick.
In the search for coffins, 431 graves were opened. The coffins were of the same type as have already been found, and contained jars, bottles and personal ornaments.
Dr. H. V. Hilprecht left Philadelphia this fall for Nippur and on his arrival there will take charge of all the field work. This is the third expedition which the University of Pennsylvania has sent to Nippur.