Wednesday, 19 December 2012

Asia and the Middle East (World Archaeology at the Pitt Rivers Museum)

Image: Cuneiform school exercise or model account (PRM Accession Number 1900.64.2), dating from the Ur III period (c.21002000 BCE), probably from the site of Telloh, Iraq, detailing an account of temple livestock.

My next book - an edited volume titled World Archaeology at the Pitt Rivers Museum: a characterization will be published in March 2013. The book is the product of a research programme that I ran at the Pitt Rivers Museum between 2009 and 2011. It offers an overview - what we have called a 'characterization' - of the whole of the archaeological collections of the museum, from around the world. The chapter that I wrote on Asia and the Middle East (Chapter 21) is published below. Further details on the book are here. The introduction to the book is online on this blog here, or on here.
Cite this paper as: Dan Hicks 2013. Asia and the Middle East. In D. Hicks and A. Stevenson (eds) World Archaeology at the Pitt Rivers Museum: a characterizationOxford: Archaeopress.

21 Asia and the Middle East

Dan Hicks

21.1 Introduction

The Pitt Rivers Museum (PRM) holds c. 14,624 objects from Asia that are currently defined as ‘archaeological’. The largest collections within this Asian material are represented by the c. 5,449 artefacts from India, the c. 3,524 artefacts from Israel, the c. 1,602 artefacts from Sri Lanka, the c. 1,099 artefacts from Jordan, the c. 510 artefacts from Japan, and the c. 363 artefacts from the Palestinian Territories. These collections are explored over the next five chapters (Chapters 22–26), and are introduced in this chapter.

The material from the Middle East is considered first (21.2 below). A brief overview of the c. 3,524 objects from the Palestinian Territories, Israel and Jordan is provided in section 21.2.1, before a full account of them is set out in Chapter 22. The subsequent sections outline the c. 323 objects from Iraq (21.2.2), the c. 227 objects from Saudi Arabia (21.2.3), the c. 132 objects from Syria (21.2.4), the c. 92 objects from Lebanon (21.2.5), the c. 19 objects from Iran (21.2.6), and the 5 objects from Yemen (21.2.7).The material from the South Asia is considered next (21.3): a brief overview of the c. 7,029 ‘archaeological’ objects from India and Sri Lanka (21.3.1) is provided, before a full account of them is set out in Chapter 23. The c. 235 objects from Pakistan are considered in section 21.3.2, and the 4 remaining objects from the rest of South Asia (from Nepal and Afghanistan) are described in section 21.3.3. Section 21.4 considers South-east Asia. A brief overview of the c. 601 ‘archaeological’ objects from Malaysia and Myanmar (21.4.1) is provided, before a full account of them is set out in Chapter 26. The rest of the section considers the c. 80 objects from Thailand (21.4.2), and the remaining 11 objects from the rest of South-east Asia (from Vietnam and Indonesia) are considered in section 21.4.3. The East Asian ‘archaeological’ collections are introduced next. Brief overviews of the c. 510 objects from Japan (21.5.1), and the c. 253 objects from China (21.5.2) are provided, before they are discussed at more length in Chapters 24 and 25 respectively. The remaining objects from East Asia – c. 51 objects from North Korea and South Korea – are described in section 21.5.3. Elsewhere in East Asia, there are no ‘archaeological’ objects from Mongolia or Taiwan. The collections from Central and Northern Asia are introduced in section 21.6. These comprise wholly of the c. 42 objects from Russia. Elsewhere in central and Northern Asia, there are no ‘archaeological’ objects from Georgia, Uzbekistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Kyrgyzstan or Kazakhstan. Brief conclusions are drawn in section 21.7.

As well as the material discussed below, there are c. 24 ‘archaeological’ objects recorded as from ‘Asia’, but with no country of provenance listed. These comprise 2 carved stone figures from the PRM founding collection (1884.59.17, 1884.59.25), a stone figure transferred from the Ashmolean Museum in 1886, possibly from the Tradescant Collection (1886.1.163),  a specimen of elephant tooth purchased by the PRM from Rowland Ward Ltd in 1952 (1952.1.3B), a Roman coin of Pontius Pilate donated by Anthony John Arkell (1971.15.1554), 4 ceramic vessels collected by Denis Buxton (1966.32.68–69, 1966.32.72, 1966.32.74), 13 flint flakes (2008.107.1–13) and 2 ceramic sherds (2009.170.1).

21.2 Middle East

21.2.1 Palestinian Territories, Israel and Jordan
The PRM holds c. 3,524  ‘archaeological’ objects from Israel, c. 1,099 from Jordan, and c. 364 from the Palestinian Territories. These c. 4,986 artefacts are considered by Bill Finlayson in Chapter 22. All but 221 of these objects are stone tools. The other objects comprise of just c. 103 ceramic objects (many of which are undated ceramic lamps), c. 79 bone tools and pendants, c. 18 copper alloy objects, and c. 21 further shell and metal objects.
Just one object from these countries is from the PRM founding collection: a stone arrow-head simply recorded as from ‘Palestine’ (1884.135.176). The earliest dates of collection for these countries include an undated fragment of polished marble from the Mount of Olives, collected by R.H. Inglis in 1834 and transferred from the Ashmolean Museum in 1886 (1886.1.268), and an assemblage of c. 20 archaeological ceramic vessels and figures ‘brought back from Palestine, 1885–1887’, donated to Ipswich Museum by Mercy Watson, and purchased by the PRM with a large collection of other material from Ipswich Museum in 1966 (1967.29.32–35, 1967.29.59–62; cf. 21.2.5 below). A small collection of 4 stone flakes from Galgala, Jordan was donated from the estate of John Lubbock (Lord Avebury) in 1917 (1917.36.18).
As Finlayson observes in Chapter 22, the vast majority of the collection from this region is made up of large assemblages from major field projects, most notably the c. 2,885 objects collected by Dorothy Garrod from Israeli sites at Wadi Natuf (Shukbah [Shuqbah] Cave) and Mount Carmel (Mugharet-el-Wad, Mugharet-es-Skhul, Tabun) (1930.63, 1931.70, 1966.2.168–169), and the c. 531 objects collected by Francis Turville-Petre during fieldwork conducted through the British School of Archaeology in Jerusalem from Israeli sites including Mugharet el Emireh, Mugharet el Kebarah (Mount Carmel) and Deishun (1923.29, 1925.48, 1929.55, 1932.65). Garrod and Turville-Petre had both read for the Diploma in Anthropology at Oxford University in 1921, where their close relationship with the PRM began. Similarly, of the c. 1,099 archaeological artefacts from Jordan, some 1,063 were collected by Alison Betts during fieldwork at Ibn el Ghazzi and in the Arabian Desert (1984.21, 1986.8). Since these collections were often divided between numerous institutions, the research value of this material needs to be assessed in collaboration with those other museums. Building such collaborations is a major priority for future research into the PRM’s Middle Eastern archaeological collections.

21.2.2 Iraq
The PRM holds c. 323 archaeological objects from Iraq. Some 24 of these formed part of the PRM founding collection:  4 Neo-Babylonian cuneiform tablets  (1884.98.912, Figure 21.1), 8 stone seals (1884.140.451, 1884.140.456, 1884.140.459–462, 1884.140.470–471), 11 undated ceramic lamps 1884.116.56–66), and a cast of a stone tool from the British Museum (1884.125.151). The seals are unstudied and undated. The cuneiform tablets date from c. 626539 BCE, and were purchased by Pitt-Rivers in April 1878 from a Sotheby’s sale of William Chadwicke Neligan’s collection. After their deposition in the PRM, translations of the tablets were published by A.H. Sayce, an Oxford-based Assyriologist (Sayce 1889).[1] All 4 tablets are private business documents, and seem to belong to the so-called Egibi archive: a family archive covering 120 years (606482 BCE), extending into the Achemenid period.
The Museum holds 3 more cuneiform tablets, a brick fragment bearing an inscription, 2 bone cylinder seals, and 9 casts of cuneiform tablets and cylinder seals. Two of the cuneiform tablets, from the Ur III period (21002000 BCE), were purchased by the PRM in 1900 from George Fabian Lawrence, and are probably from the site of Telloh (1900.64.12). One (1900.64.1) is a four-column account of barley from the 44th year of Shulgi, the second king of the Ur III Dynasty. The other (1900.64.2) is a small account of temple livestock (Figure 21.2). Due to its unfinished appearance and many irregularities this text is most likely a school exercise or model account: such texts are rare from this period even considering our c.100.000 known texts in collections across the globe from this 100-year period. A third cuneiform tablet – known as the ‘Singashid Tablet’ – is recorded as from Uruk, and was donated in 1966 from the estate of Denis Alfred Jex Buxton (1966.32.76). These 3 tablets are unpublished. Another artefact bearing an inscription – a Neo-Babylonian brick fragment (1891.60.2) - mentions Nebuchadnezzar II, and was transferred from the OUMNH in 1891, but its earlier history is currently unknown. Two bone cylinder seals, collected by Helen Maria Dennis in the early 20th century, were donated in 1968 (1968.9.1–2). There are also 9 casts of tablets and seals: one donated by Cuthbert Edgar Peek (1892.26.2), 7 from the collection of E.B. Tylor (1917.53.698, 1917.53.795–801, 1917.53.808), and one donated by Winifred Susan Blackman (1920.45.1).
The largest single component of the PRM’s archaeological collections from Iraq comes from the site of Kish: a Bronze Age site located c. 80 km south of Baghdad on the floodplain of the River Euphrates, which was the focus of a joint project between the University of Oxford and the Field Museum, Chicago – known as the Weld-Blundel Expedition because it was backed financially by Herbert Weld Blundell – that ran from 1923 to 1933 (Langdon 1924, 1930; Langdon and Watelin 1934). Criticized as ‘badly excavated…badly recorded and…badly published’ (Lloyd 1969: 48), the results of the excavations were partly published by Mcguire Gibson and by Roger Moorey in the 1970s (Gibson 1972; Moorey 1978). More recently, the Field Museum has developed a digitized archive of the excavations.[2] The material recovered from Kish was divided between the Iraq Museum in Baghdad, the Field Museum, and the Ashmolean Museum (e.g. Langdon 1928), but c. 123 objects from the site came to the PRM.
The PRM material from Kish dates mainly from the Neolithic or Early Chalcolithic periods (6th–5th millennia BCE). Accordingly, all of the material from Kish comprises stone tools, apart from a cast (discussed below), a ceramic sickle (also discussed below), and a single copper nail probably of early Bronze Age date (mid 3rd millennium BCE), recorded as ‘from the rim of a chariot in grave Y529’ (1943.3.45). Henry Balfour’s archaeological interests in flintwork (Curator 1891–1939) were certainly a central factor in the PRM’s acquisition of this material. Also very significant, however, was Thomas K. Penniman’s participation in the 1928–1929 excavation season at Kish, shortly after completing his Diploma in Anthropology at Oxford. The Oxford University Gazette records that Penniman was given a room and ‘other facilities’ in the Department of Human Anatomy, then located in the University Museum of Natural History (OUMNH) from 1929 ‘for the purpose of mending the skeletal material which he excavated at Kish ... and of preparing a report on the graves excavated during that season.’[3]Penniman took up the position of Curator of the PRM after Balfour’s death in 1939. 
Most of the Kish flintwork – c. 105 objects – came to the PRM in two donations by Herbert Joseph and the Weld-Blundel Expedition in 1926 and 1932. These donations comprised material of Neolithic or early Chalcolithic date (6th millennium BCE): c. 22 serrated ‘sickle-edged’ flint flakes (1926.46.3–7, (1932.64.1–18), 2 further flint tools with serrated edges ((1932.64.67–68), 42 awls (1932.64.19–60), 6 further flint scrapers and discs (1932.64.61–66), and a further unquantified assemblage of flintwork (1926.46.7–9, 1932.64.69–78). The PRM also holds 2 objects from the site of Jesmet Nasr, c. 16 miles to the east of Kish, collected by the Weld-Blundel Expedition: a flint core (1926.46.2), and an object described as a ‘ceramic sickle (jawbone shaped), for edging with serrated flint-flakes set in pitch or other adhesive’, probably dating from the 5th or 4th millennium BCE (1926.46.1).
Some 17 further artefacts from Kish were donated by Penniman himself, in 4 separate donations: a collection of 9 chert cores and blades donated (1944.11.2), and recorded as ‘from factories in Y area, 3–6 metres below modern plain level’; the copper nail mentioned above; 2 flint borers (1943.3.46–47); and 4 serrated fragments of flint saws or sickle blades from ‘between Jesmet Hasr layer and Dynastic or Royal Tomb stratum, Chalcolithic date’ at ‘Tal Ingharra’, one of which is set in bitumen (1929.21.1, 1941.10.54–56). In the first years of his Curatorship. Penniman oversaw the purchase by the PRM of a cast of a rare terracotta head recorded as ‘from red stratum, Harsagkalamma’, made in Oxford around 1930 (1941.12.1 B). A duplicate exists in the Ashmolean (Moorey 2004: 68–9), but the original was kept in National Museum of Antiquities in Baghdad. Penniman is recorded on the PRM catalogue as the ‘co-excavator’ of the original object, with Louis Charles Watelin. Penniman later donated c. 51 photographic negatives from the 1928–1929 excavations (1971.16.1–2, 1998.282.25.1–2), as well as copies of some of the pages of his fieldnotes and correspondence (Figures 23.3 and 23.4).[4] The location of the full set of fieldnotes is currently unknown. Penniman’s unpublished autobiography[5] includes an account of life at the site, but limited information about the finds.
Also from Kish is a single ceramic sherd, transferred from the Ashmolean Museum in 1950 (1950.5.25, Ashmolean Museum number 1930.236a). Arthur Evans is (perhaps incorrectly) identified as possibly the field collector for this object.
Apart from the material from Kish, there are a number of smaller donations. These include c. 11 flint and obsidian tools collected at Ur by Arnold Walter Lawrence (1923.10.1–11); 5 stone cores from Makertou, collected through the Anglo-Persian Oil Company in 1923 and donated through the British Museum (1925.5.1–5); and 2 undated ceramic lamps collected by Henry Balfour (1932.88.499, 1932.88.516). There is also a collection of c. 23 Neolithic and Bronze Age ceramic sherds transferred from the Ashmolean Museum in 1950: from the sites of Tell Arpachiyah (1950.5.20), Eridu (1950.5.22), Ur  (1950.5.23), Samarra (1950.5.24), Jemdet Nasr (1950.5.26), and Ninevah  (1950.5.27). A further assemblage of c. 5 ceramic sherds from Jesmet Nasr was acquired through an exchange with Newbury Museum, per Herbert Henery Coghlan, having previously been obtained through an exchange with Chicago Natural History Museum (1951.11.1–5). A fragment of a ceramic sickle – also from Jesmet Masr – was donated from the estate of Leonard Halford Dudley Buxton in 1959 (1959.2.49).[6] A Bronze Age ceramic vessel from southern Iraq was also from Buxton’s collection (1966.32.52), as well as the clay tablet mentioned above (1966.32.76). There are 3 pieces of 8th-century BCE iron tripod from Nimrud, which were donated from the British Museum in 1953 for metallurgical analysis (1953.6.1). Seven sherds of Chinese Tang Dynasty ceramics were obtained through an exchange with the National Museum of Iraq in 1957 (1957.5.2–8). Finally, there is also an undated ceramic tobacco pipe bowl collected from a cave in the Bradost Mountains by the Oxford University Expedition to Iraqi Kurdistan (1957.7.6); and 6 Palaeolithic stone tools collected by Dorothy Garrod from Tarjil, Kirkuk, which came to the Museum through the purchase of collections from the Ipswich Museum in 1966 (1966.2.152).

21.2.3 Saudi Arabia
There are c. 227 ‘archaeological’ objects from Saudi Arabia. However, this is only a rough estimate, since all but 3 of these objects are from an unquantified assemblage of material collected by Richard Francis Burton from the site of ‘Midian’ – a name used by Burton to describe a mountainous area to the south-west of the Gulf of Aqaba, on the east coast of the Red Sea in western Saudi Arabia (Burton 1878). An estimated 101 stone flakes collected by Burton from ‘Midian’ came to the Museum as part of the PRM founding collection (1884.132.90, 1884.132.164). The PRM’s primary documentation does not record when or how these objects came into Pitt-Rivers’ own collection. However, it is probable that they were collected in archaeological activities conducted during Burton’s participation in the ‘Second Khedevial Expedition’ of 1878–1879, the main purpose of which was to find gold. Details of the expedition were published in the Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London (Burton 1879a) and in his two-volume The Land of Midian (revisited) (Burton 1879b). In the first volume of The Land of Midian (revisited) (Burton 1879b), Burton appears to describe collecting this assemblage of stone tools at the site of Maghair Shu’ayb:
‘The principal ruins of ancient settlements, and the ateliers, all of them showing vestiges of metal-working, numbered eight: these are, beginning from the south, Tiryam, Sharma, ‘Aynunah, the Jebel el-Abyaz, Maghair Shu’ayb, Makna’, Tayyib Ism, and El- ‘Akabah. Maghair Hhu’ayb, the Madiama of Ptolemy, is evidently the ancient capital of the district. It was the only place which supplied Midianitish (Nabathaan) coins. Moreover, it yielded graffiti from the catacombs, fragments of bronze which it will be interesting to compare by assay with the metal of the European prehistoric age, and, finally, stone implements, worked as well as rude’ (Burton 1879b: 267).
Indeed, Burton records that
‘The little “find” of stone implements, rude and worked, and the instruments illustrating the mining industry of the country, appeared before the Anthropological Section of the British Association, which met at Dublin (August 1878), and again before the Anthropological Institute of London, December 10 1878’ (Burton 1879b: xv).
These two exhibitions would have provided Pitt-Rivers with the opportunity of obtaining the stone tools.[7] A further collection of c. 13 stone tools and c. 110 fragments of copper alloy objects and specimens of copper ore were given directly to the PRM by Burton in September 1886 (1886.10.1–6), and probably derive from the same expedition.[8] This may include items described by Burton in 1879 as ‘my private collection of mineralogical specimens [which] was deposited with Professor M.H.N. Story-Maskelyne’ (Burton 1879b: xv). There are also some plant specimens from the same site (1886.10.13). All of these assemblages of material collected by Burton in Saudi Arabia remains unstudied, undated and unquantified.
The remaining 3 objects from Saudi Arabia are 3 ceramic clay pipe bowls collected by E.H. Brown and purchased from J. Thornton & Sons of Broad Street, Oxford in 1960 (1960.4.5–7 B).

21.2.4 Syria
The PRM holds c. 132 archaeological objects from Syria. This figure is only a rough estimate, however, since most of the collection is made up of an unquantified and unsorted assemblage of c. 100 Neolithic artefacts from excavations at Abu Hureyra, collected by during fieldwork by Andrew Moore in 1973 (1973.17.1). The artefacts from the project were divided between the Aleppo Museum (around 50%), and ten British museums that contributed to the project (Moore et al. 2000: 457).[9] According to the excavation report (Moore et al. 2000: 548, table A7.1), the PRM assemblage derives from the 1973 excavations of Trench E3 (‘levels 58–94’), and from a collection from surface of the site (1971 season) (Moore et al. 2000: 221–241). In total there are 11 4-litre boxes of lithic material, all noted with context data, and a box of obsidian pieces from Trench E3.
 The remaining material comprises 3 objects from the PRMF. Two of these are specimens of human hair recorded as from a mummy at Palmyra (Tadmur), collected by Richard Burton (1884.106.40–41). This appears to have been collected by Burton during his expedition to the Holy Land in 18701871 (Burton 1872: 105; Carter Blake 1872). Mummified human remains and specimens of hair are among those items listed in Burton’s a ‘Catalogue Raisonné of an Anthropological Collection made in Syria and Palestine between Apr. 15 1870 and Aug. 6 1871’ (Burton and Carter Blake 1872: 303). The other item from the PRM founding collection is a Roman copper alloy fibula recorded as ‘possibly Syrian’ (1884.79.48). An object recorded as a ‘fragment of bone breccia’ from Nahr el Kelb was donated by Henry Balfour in 1898 (1898.20.60). Four flints recorded as from Aleppo, and interpreted as being from a tribulum (threshing tool), were obtained by exchange with Edward Lovett in 1903 (1903.42.3–6).[10] Two further chert blades, interpreted as part of a tribulum were purchased from Archibald Colquhoun Bell in 1920 (1921.91.112–113).
An undated ceramic lamp from Palmyra was purchased from ‘Miss K.M. Reynolds’ (1909.68.19), along with an object recorded as a Neolithic stone axe used as a healing stone (1910.71.3). Other undated objects comprise a polished stone axe mounted in silver as a pendant, collected by David George Hogarth at Jarabulus (1912.22.1), and c. 14 chert and obsidian blades, flakes and scrapers recovered during ‘amateur wartime excavations by French troops’ at Antioch, donated by Herbert Vander Vord Noone (1947.9.69–71). A sherd of Neolithic pottery from the site of Chargar Bazar was transferred from the Ashmolean Museum in 1950 (1950.5.21). A carburized steel socketed spear-head from Deve Hüyük was also transferred from the Ashmolean Museum, for metallurgical analysis, in 1953 (1953.1.32). Finally, a ceramic jug from Al Mina (1966.32.32) and a string of stone beads from northern Syria (1966.32.59) were donated from the estate of Denis Buxton in 1966 (1966.32.59).

21.2.5 Lebanon
 The PRM holds c. 92 ‘archaeological’ artefacts from Lebanon. The first accessioned material was an unaquantified assemblage (estimated as 10 objects) of stone cores and flakes from Ras Beirut, donated by John Evans in 1892 (1892.25.7). Also from John Evans’ collection, donated from his estate in 1928, are two ‘fragments of implentiferous breccia from the Pass of Nahr-el-Kelb’ (1928.68.486–487). A collection of c. 11 undated stone tools from Byblos, Nahr el Kelb and the Beqaa Valley was donated by R.B. Heidenstrom in 1931 (1931.40.1–11). Two Classical Greek ceramic lekthoi (5th–4th centuries BCE), recorded as from a tomb in Tyre, were donated by William Brown Keer in October 1897 (1897.47.1–2).  There are also 5 undated glass phials, a stone tesserae and a ceramic lamp ‘from the site of ancient Tyre’, collected by Eustace Fulcrand Bosanquet (1934.32.1–7); and a murex shell ‘from the ruins of a Roman villa in the sands south of Beirut’ collected by Dorothy Mary Mackay (1952.1.7).
The largest component of the Lebanese material comprises an assemblage of c. 11 glass scent bottles ‘taken from tombs near Tyre and Sidon’, and c. 50 fragments of glass from multiple sites (1967.29.63, 1967.29.122), were among a collection of objects ‘brought back from Palestine, 1885-1887’, donated to Ipswich Museum by Mercy Watson, and purchased by the PRM with a large collection of other material from Ipswich Museum in 1966 (cf. 21.2.1 above).

21.2.6 Iran
There are c. 19 ‘archaeological’ objects that are recorded as from Iran. Four of these are undated stone thumb-rings: 3 from the Tradescant collection, transferred from the Ashmolean Museum in 1886 (1886.1.54–56),[11] and one from the collection of E.B. Tylor (1917.53.263). There are 4 undated ceramic lamps: 3 from the collection of Henry Balfour (1932.88.479–481), and one from the collection of Frederick William Rollins (1966.3.107). There are also 2 undated (‘ancient’) iron padlocks, purchased from the Church Missionary Society in 1965 (1965.12.40A, 1965.12.40B).
There is also a collection of 8 Bronze Age ceramic jars from Giyan Tepe (‘Giyan IV–III’), that were received from the estate of Denis Alfred Jex Buxton in 1966 (1966.32.64–67, 1966.32.70–71, 1966.32.73, 1966.32.75). One of the vessels (1966.32.70) has the note ‘Tepe Gigyan (Louvre) Ghirshman or Contenain’ written on its side: a reference to the excavators of Giyan Tepe from 1931–1932 (Contenau and Ghirshman 1933). There is also an object, from the Adrien de Mortillet collection of amulets, which came to the PRM through the Wellcome Collection in 1985, which is described as ‘a crescent of tin, found in a tumulus near Damagan’ [Damghan] (1985.52.179).

21.2.7 Yemen
The PRM holds just 5 artefacts from Yemen that are currently defined as ‘archaeological’. There are 2 leather synagogue rolls containing the Pentateuch, of 12th-, 13th- or 14th-century CE date, from the PRM founding collection (1884.98.7–8). The other artefacts are 3 unidentified wooden objects from the island of Socotra, collected on 10 January 1897 ‘from a limestone cave together with a great accumulation of human bones from which the flesh had decomposed previous to interment, near Ras Momi’ by Mabel Bent and James Theodore Bent, and passed to the PRM from the estate of E.B. Tylor in 1917 (1917.53.670–672). These objects were described by the Bents as follows ‘carved wooden objects which looked as it they had originally served as crosses to mark the tombs, in which the corpses had been permitted to decay prior to their removal to the charnel-house’ (Bent and Bent 1900: 356), although in a review of the objects Peter Shinnie (1960: 110, note 2) suggested that they ‘look much more like wooden clubs’. These wooden objects remain unstudied and undated.

21.3 South Asia
21.3.1 India and Sri Lanka
The PRM holds c. 5,449 ‘archaeological’ objects from India, and c. 1,580 from Sri Lanka. These c. 7,029 objects are discussed in detail in Chapter 23. There are some 180 ‘archaeological’ objects from the PRM founding collection from India, and none from Sri Lanka. The Indian archaeological collections mainly comprise prehistoric stone tools – very many of which are Palaeolithic in date – although there are also some significant collections from historical periods. The collections were largely formed through the collecting activities of a small number of key individuals in the history of South Asian archaeology and ethnography, including Robert Bruce Foote, Frederick John Richards, John Henry Hutton, James Philip Mills, Walter Seton-Karr, Charles and Zara Seligman, Charles Hartley, and K.R.U. Todd. The enormous Todd collection – which comprises c. 2,157 stone tools from Maharashtra and Tamil Nadu, India – is a major unstudied assemblage of Palaeolithic material (see sections 23.2.2 and 23.2.5). The historical material includes an assemblage from the PRM founding collection excavated by Edward Horace Man from a kitchen midden at Port Blair harbour in the Andaman Islands (see section 23.2.15), and a collection of Buddhist clay models (chatyas) collected in Sri Lanka in the 1850s (see section 23.3)

21.3.2 Pakistan
There are c. 235 ‘archaeological’ artefacts from Pakista4n. Some 40 of these are from the PRM founding collection: c. 38 stone cores and flakes from the Rohri Hills (1884.131.34–35, 1884.131.39, 1884.131.46–60, 1884.131.119–121, 1884.131.185–201), and 2 stone flakes from the bank of the River Indus, one of which is recorded as from Sukkur, Sindh Province (1884.131.36, 1884.131.122).
Later acquisitions include c. 8 stone cores from the Rohri Hills from the collection of John Lubbock (Lord Avebury), which were transferred from the Ashmolean Museum in 1886 (1886.1.250), and 3 more stone flakes from the Rohri Hills donated by Thomas Humfrey Vines in 1919 (1919.49.1–3).[12] These stone tools are currently unexamined and therefore undated, but since the Rohri Hills are a significant region in the Palaeolithic of India – an area in which ‘the first Palaeolithic sites… were discovered by Allchin in 1975’ (Biagi and Cremaschi 1988: 421) – the nature of the early fieldwork and collecting activity reflected in these objects clearly requires further investigation. Another chert core, recorded as from the Indus River, is recorded as collected by ‘Twemlow in 1866’, and was donated from the John Evans collection in 1928 (1928.68.241). In October 1866, John Evans published in Geological Magazine a letter by George Twemlow. The letter described the discovery of 3 chert cores ‘three feet below the rock in the bed of the river (Indus)’ by Twemlow’s son, Edward D’Oyly Twemlow, who was a Lieutenant in the Royal Bombay Engineers). The letter was reproduced with a plate showing the stone cores (Evans 1866: plate XVI), and a commentary by Evans, which suggested that they were Neolithic (rather than Palaeolithic) in date (Evans 1866). Twemlow published a drawn section of the location of the find-spot, provided by his son (Twemlow 1867), and used the stone cores as a central part of his argument in his book Facts and Fossils adduced to prove the Deluge of Noah, and modify the transmutation system of Darwin, with some notices regarding Indus flint cores (Twemlow 1866). It is possible that 2 two stone cores recorded as from the River Indus in the PRM founding collection, mentioned above, were also collected by Twemlow, but a number of other early publications also describe stone cores and flakes collected from this region (e.g. Blanford 1875). There is also a single chert core, from the collection of G.F. Lawrence and recorded as from Sindh Province, that was purchased at Stevens Auction Rooms in May 1922 (1922.61.3),
There are c. 28 artefacts from the site of Harappa (Sahiwal District, Punjab Province): c. 11 ceramic, bone and stone objects donated by John Henry Hutton in 1928 (1928.7.2), and c. 17 faience, ceramic and stone objects collected by Stuart Piggott (1953.1.9–14, 1956.12.37, 1957.5.10) obtained from Newbury Museum in an exchange in 1953. Also collected by Piggott and obtained from Newbury Museum are 3 ceramic sherds and c. 24 stone tools from the Tharro Hills (1956.12.24, 1956.12.38), and 9 ceramic sherds from Mohenjo-daro (1956.12.25). Further artefacts transferred from Newbury Museum, per Herbert Henery Coghlan, comprise a Bronze Age ceramic cup and 2 ceramic sherds from the site of Nal, Balochistan Province (1953.1.15–17); a ceramic sherd from Armi (Dadu District, Sindh Province) (1953.1.8); 6 ceramic sherds from the site of Mohenjo-Daro (Larkana Province, Sindh Province) (1953.1.3–6, 1957.5.9), and a ceramic sherd from the site of Chanu-daro (Nawabshah District, Sindh Province) (1953.1.7). There are also further donations of Bronze Age objects from Mohenjo-Daro and Chanu-daro. From the Chanu-daro there is an unquantified assemblage of c. 58 steatite and carnelian beads and perforated stone discs donated by Ernest John Henry Mackay in 1936 (1936.51.1, 1950.9.4–11); and another assemblage of perhaps 10 very small ceramic beads collected by John Arkell  (1971.15.1213). From Mohenjo-daro there are 9 casts of Bronze Age seals, donated by Maharaja Mayurdwajsinhji Meghrajji III (1955.12.1–9).
From the site of Gandhara (Peshawar District, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province), there is a carved stone panel ‘from an Indian temple’ donated by Oliver H. Wild in December 1933 (1933.20.7), and a limestone frieze purchased from Ipswich Museum in 1966 (1966.1.1452). Also from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province is an unquantified assemblage of c. 10 ceramic sherds from Bedali (Hazara Province) donated from the estate of Marc Aurel Stein (1944.5.13); 2 carved stone figures from the Vale of Peshawar donated by E. Joseph (1946.5.61–62); a bronze spear-head from the Swat Valley donated by W. Ryder (1946.2.41); 2 coins collected by A.R. Nye from Charsadda (1956.8.4–5); and 2 agate beads – one from Swat District and Ganhara, acquired Schuyler Jones (Curator of the PRM) in the 1980s and 1990s (1989.22.35, 1995.46.1).

21.3.3 The Rest of South Asia
There are 2 ‘archaeological’ objects from Nepal: an undated stone figure of Kali from the PRM founding collection (1884.59.29), and an agate bead ‘from a prehistoric grave’ donated by John Henry Hutton in 1928 (1928.7.1). There are also just 2 objects from Afghanistan: 2 forged gold coins of Pixodaros of Caria, donated by Richard Carnac Temple in 1892 (1892.41.535–536). Elsewhere in South Asia, there are no ‘archaeological’ objects from the Maldives, Bangladesh or Bhutan.

21.4 South-East Asia
21.4.1 Malaysia and Myanmar
The PRM holds c. 355 ‘archaeological’ objects from Malaysia, and c. 246 from Myanmar (Burma). These are discussed in detail by Huw Barton in Chapter 26. There are c. 15 ‘archaeological’ objects from the PRM founding collection that are recorded as from Myanmar, and just one from Malaysia, all of which are stone tools. The archaeological materials from this region are virtually unstudied (cf. Dudley 1996), but include a number of significant collections, including copper or bronze objects (see section 26.3.4), and a collection of Buddhist votive offerings excavated by Richard Carnac Temple (see section 26.3.5), as well a stone tools, charms  and touchstones (sections 26.3.1–2).

21.4.2 Thailand
The PRM holds c. 80 ‘archaeological’ objects from Thailand. The first object to be accessioned was a bronze figure of Buddha, collected by biologist Richard Evans on the Skeat expedition to the Malay Peninsula in 1899–1900, and recorded as ‘found below the Great Statue of Buddha at Ayuthia, Siam’ [Ayutthaya] (1900.52.9). There is also an undated assemblage of c. 60 Buddhist votive artefacts excavated from 2 caves by W.G. Steffen, and purchased by the PRM from Thomas Nelson Annandale: one at Kao Wat Han rock, 6 miles east of Huai Yot (Trang Province), and one on ‘Kao Sai mountain’. These comprise c. 42 stamped clay tablets (1902.88.535–554, 2004.68.1–12), c. 14 engraved copper tablets (1902.88.555–567, 1902.88.574), 2 bronze Buddha figures (1902.88.568–569), a wooden Buddha figure (1902.88.570), and a fragment of a ceramic bowl (1902.88.575). The ceramic tablets were published by Steffen and Annandale in 1902 (Steffen and Annandale 1902; cf. Annandale et al. 1907). There are also c. 19 ceramic sherds donated by H.G. Quarich Wales from his 1956 excavations at early Buddhist sites at Thamen Chai and Muang Pet [Phret], Nakhon Ratchasima Province (Wales 1957) (1956.5.1–19).

21.4.3 The Rest of SouthEast Asia
There are 5 archaeological objects from Vietnam. There is a single stone adze, donated by William Sollas in 1912 (1912.2.1). There are also 4 objects loaned by the Musée de l'Homme in the 1950s, probably for the PRM’s programme of metallurgical analysis: 2 bronze axes dating from c. 40–50 CE, collected by Paul Lévy, from the Vayson de Preadenne collection (1954.9.01–02), and 2 casts of bronze axes (1957.1.3–4).
There are 6 ‘archaeological’ objects from Indonesia, all of which are stone tools. These comprise 5 axes, collected by V.J. Allard, recorded as Lower Palaeolithic in date, from North Sumatra (1932.38.1–5), and a possibly natural stone collected by V.A. Stein Callenfels, and donated from the collection of Charles and Brenda Seligman (1940.12.855). 
Elsewhere in South-East Asia, there is a single ‘archaeological’ object from Cambodia: an undated perforated shell pendant from the Adrien de Mortillet collection of amulets, which came to the PRM through the Wellcome Collection in 1985 (1985.52.144). There are no ‘archaeological’ objects from Tibet, the Philippines, or Laos.

21.5 East Asia
21.5.1 Japan
The PRM holds c. 510 ‘archaeological’ objects from Japan, which are discussed in some detail in Chapter 24. However, that review – and the current PRM catalogue definitions – do not include any Edo-Period material within the ‘archaeological’ collections, so this number of Japanese archaeological artefacts may (as with other parts of the world) omit other significant collections. Some 13 of these objects are from the PRM founding collection. While the documentation is very minimal for these objects at present, Pitt-Rivers attended the International Congress of Prehistoric Archaeology in Norwich in 1868, at which A.W. Franks gave a paper titled ‘Notes on the discovery of stone implements in Japan’ (Franks 1869), which indicates one possible source for these objects.[13] Most of the material acquired after 1883 comprises a collection of c. 292 stone tools and ceramics collected by Basil Hall Chamberlain, and donated to the PRM between 1892 and 1908 (cf. Chamberlain 1895).

21.5.2 China
The PRM holds c. 253 ‘archaeological’ objects from China, which are discussed in detail in Chapter 25 by Lucas Nickel. As well as c. 20 objects from the PRM founding collection, there is a rare collection  of organic materials made by Aurel Stein, donated to the PRM in 1944 (see section 25.3.1), a significant numismatic collection, and a rubbing of the Nestorian stele (sections 25.3.2–3).

21.5.3 North Korea and South Korea
There are c. 51 ‘archaeological’ objects from North Korea and South Korea. There are 3 Korai Dynasty ceramic bowls and a bronze vessel (broken into two parts) ‘from a tomb near Seoul’ purchased from S. Wakefield in November 1907 (1907.80.2–4, 2005.36.1). There are also c. 37 objects – c. 6 stone slabs, c. 7 sections of bronze armour and c. 24 bronze vessels, tweezers, and other bronze objects – ‘found in ancient tombs in Korea’ that were purchased at Stevens Auction Rooms in March 1913 (1913.67.2–37).[14] The remaining 9 objects comprise 2 stone arrow-heads, a bronze arrow-head and 2 bronze ear-scoops from Korea donated by Louis Colville Gray Clarke in 1921 (1921.7.23–25, 1938.1.23–24); 3 bronze spoons ‘excavated at the Royal Tombs, Kang-Hwa, River Han’ by ‘Mrs Sprott’ in 1910 were donated by Harry Geoffrey Beasley in September 1923 (1923.38.1–3); and an undated iron figure of an animal from Korea from the collection of A.S. Hewlett in was purchased from Sydney Gerald Hewlett in 1934 (1934.63.16).

21.6 Central and Northern Asia
21.6.1 Russia
There are c. 42 ‘archaeological’ objects from Russia. Some 35 of these were donated by Polish-born anthropologist Marie Antoinette Czaplicka, having been purchased by her (some directly from the Minusinsk Museum) during a joint PRM-Pennsylvania University Museum expedition (with artist Dora Curtis and ornithologist Maud Haviland) to Yenisei Province, Siberia in 1914, funded by the Committee for Anthropology of the British Association for the Advancement of Science and a Mary Ewart scholarship from Somerville College, Oxford. Czaplicka had studied Ethnology at the London School of Economics, graduating in 1910. She received a Diploma in Anthropology from the University of Oxford, studying under R.R. Marrett, in 1912, (Collins and Urry 1997; Kubica 2007), and published a series of papers on the ethnology of Siberia before her early death in 1921 (Czaplicka 1914a, 1914b, 1915, 1921, 1999).[15] The main body of material is recorded as found on ‘pasture-land’, ‘dunes’ and other sites near Minusinsk, and comprises c. 22 objects:  8 iron arrow-heads, a bronze socketed axe, a bronze stud, 2 bronze pins, 6 bronze knives, a copper alloy button, 2 ground stone objects, a ceramic spindle-whorl and an unidentified bronze object – (1915.50.2–23). There is a small range of material from burial sites: a bronze dagger ‘from a kurgan, Abakan Steppe’ (1915.50.1); a wooden reindeer-driving pole ‘from a Yurak grave’ (1915.50.128); 2 wooden figures, of a raven and a fish, ‘from the grave of Nakte, a Tungus shaman of Yakut origin’ (1915.50.129–130); a bow-drill ‘from a grave on the tundra, N. of the Arctic Circle, East of the Yenesei River’ (1915.50.55); a reindeer-horn head-stall ‘from a Samoyed grave, mouth of the Yenesei River’ (1915.50.88); and ‘an ancient [sheathed] Samoyed knife found by the grave of a Samoyed of the Tharasinskaya Orda near the east bank of the Yenisei at Golchikha July 1st 1914’ (1915.50.52–53). There are also 2 undated soapstone figures (1915.50.148), and an undated bronze figure ‘found on the bank of a tributary of the Yenesei, near Golchika’ (1915.50.139).
Apart from the material donated by Czaplicka, there is also a bronze socketed axe ‘of south Siberian type’ donated by Louis Colville Gray Clarke (1921.53.19), a single stone flake simply recorded as from Russia, donated by Alfred Schwartz Barnes (1940.4.24), and a slate leaf-shaped blade from the Kamchatka Peninsula collected in 1891, and transferred from the OUMNH in 1953 (1953.6.54). There is also a collection of 4 bronze figures, in the shapes of animal heads, that are recorded as Iron Age in date, and perforated for suspension as amulets at a later date, from the Adrien de Mortillet collection of amulets, which came to the PRM through the Wellcome Collection in 1985 (1985.52.1011, 1985.52.220, 1985.52.493).

21.7 Conclusions
The archaeological collections from Asia are as diverse as the continent, and are dominated by the large stone tool collections from the Indian subcontinent and the Middle East. Beyond the larger collections, however, smaller archaeological assemblages also hold much potential: whether the Czaplicka collections from Russia, the early collections from south-east Asia, Japan and China, or the unstudied archaeological material from Kish in Iraq. Future research into the Asian archaeological collections may involve both projects looking at large assemblages, but also research focused on small bodies of material or individual items. In each region, as elsewhere, the boundaries between ‘archaeology’, ‘ethnography’, and historical collections are blurred: but in many different and often challenging ways.

I am grateful to Jacob Dahl for examining the cuneiform tablets and providing further information about these for this report.

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Biagi, P. and M. Cremaschi 1988. The early Palaeolithic sites of the Rohri Hills (Sind, Pakistan) and their environmental significance. World Archaeology 19(3): 421–433.
Blanford, W.T.  1875. Note on some flint-cores and flakes from Sakhar and Rohri on the Indus, Sind. Proceedings of the Asiatic Society of Bengal for 1875: 134–136.
Burton, R.F. 1872. Notes on an exploration of the Tulúl el Safá, the volcanic region east of Damascus, and the Umm Nírán Cave. Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London 42: 49–61.
Burton, R.F. 1878. The Gold-Mines of Midian and the Ruined Midianite Cities: a fortnight’s tour in North-West Arabia. London: Kegan Paul and Co.
Burton, R.F. 1879a. Itineraries of the Second Khedivial Expedition: memoir explaining the New map of Midian made by the Egyptian staff-officers. Journal of the Royal Geographical Society of London 49: 1–150.
Burton, R.F. 1879b. The Land of Midian (revisited) (two volumes). London: Kegan Paul and Co.
Burton, R.F. and C. Carter Blake 1872. On anthropological collections from the Holy Land. Journal of the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland 1: 300–312.
Buxton, L.H.D. and D.T. Rice 1931. Report on the human remains found at Kish. Journal of the Royal Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland 61: 57–119.
Carter Blake, C. 1872. Notes on human remains from Palmyra. Journal of the Anthropological Institute of Great Britain and Ireland 1: 312–320.
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Czaplicka, M.A. 1921. History and ethnology in Central Asia. Man 21: 1924.
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Franks, A.W. 1869. Notes on the discovery of stone implements in Japan. In Anon (ed.) International Congress of Prehistoric Archaeology: transactions of the third session, Norwich, 1868. London: Longmans Green and Co, pp. 258268.
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[1] New translations were published by Wunsch (1997: 536; 2000: 1236, 13940, 241).
[3] Oxford University Gazette 1930: 661.
[4] PRM Manuscript collections, Penniman Archive. Box 11: Correspondence, Photographs, etc. – Kish. See also Box 13, Folder 6, item 29.
[5] PRM Manuscript collections, Penniman Archive. Box 2: ‘Scrambled Memories’ (unfinished memoirs). Box 11: ‘KISH’ (120-page typescript).
[6] Buxton had studied the human remains from Kish (Buxton and Rice 1931).
[7] Zoological collections made by Burton were reportedly received by the British Museum, as well as coins (Burton 1879b: xv; Günther 1878). A collection of ‘skulls and fragments of skulls’ were received by Richard Owen at the British Museum (Burton 1879b.: xvi). Burton also describes (1879b) a portfolio of some 200 illustrations of sites, which were deposited in Egypt with the Khediv Isma’il Pasha, shortly before he was removed from power by the British.
[8] A further assemblage of 13 flakes, found unentered on the Museum catalogue in 2008, may also derive from this donation by Burton (2008.107.113).
[9] Other than the PRM, the museums that received objects from the Abu Hureyra fieldwork comprise Liverpool Museum, Bolton Museum, Ashmolean Museum, British Museum, Oriental Institute Chicago, Royal Ontario Museum, Manchester University Museum, Birmingham Museum and Warrington Museum. The PRM’s Curator Bernard Fagg was, along with Kathleen Kenyon, thanked in the excavation report ‘with a special sense of gratitude…. [and] who gave the project their strong backing in the crucial initial stages’ (Moore et al. 2000: x).
[10] Two artefacts, also recorded as ‘tribulum flints’ from Aleppo, were donated to the Smithsonian Institution (National Museum of Natural History) in 1903 (SI Accession Number 042021; NMNH catalogue number E224470-0).
[11] These 3 thumb-rings are not listed in Lynne Williamson’s list of ‘Ethnological specimens in the Pitt Rivers Museum attributed to the Tradescant Collection’ (Williamson 1983), but do appear in the main list of ‘Antiquities from the Foundation Collection of the Ashmolean Museum’ (Paterson 1983).
[12] There are also detailed manuscript notes, in Vines’ hand, of the locations at which these 3 stone flakes were found (PRM Related Documents File for 1919.49).
[13] Franks (1869: 267) provides drawn illustrations of some of the artefacts discussed by him.
[14] A microsection of a bronze bowl from this collection was taken for metallurgical analysis in 1950 (1950.4.42).
[15] Czaplicka (1884–1921) taught ethnology at Oxford between 1916 and 1919, and was described as ‘the only woman lecturer at Oxford’ (Collins and Urry 1997: 19).

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