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Sunday, May 15, 2011

Samarra 1911: Excavation of Shabbat al-Hawa, Qasr al-Ashiq, and Qubbat al-Sulaibiyya

Once Ernst Herzfeld returned from a trip to Baghdad mid-May, he began a series of small investigations. Herzfeld was still short of workmen; which Thomas Leisten, in his book Excavation of Samarra, Volume 1 Architecture. Final Report of the First Campaign, 1910-1912, attributes to the harvest season and the quarrels with the Qa'immaqam the month before. He sent a team of workmen to Manqur (Balkuwara) and began work on Shabbat al-Hawa.  May 15th-25th Herzfeld uncovered a pre-Islamic cemetery beneath the Islamic layers.  After not being able to find a settlement to justify the existence of the cemetery, Herzfeld moved on to excavate another site.

Image to the Left: Excavation of Sāmarrāʼ (Iraq): Ceramic Vessel, Found in the Pre-Islamic Cemetery Located at Shabbat al-Hawā, 1911-1913 [graphic].

The second excavation took place May 25th-28th, at House XVII located between the alleged palace of Afshin and Manqur.  Herzfeld soon gave up excavating north of the modern city Kura because the modern architecture built over the site destroyed the 9th century CE layers.

Herzfeld then moved to Qasr al-Ashiq May 28th-29th.  From June 1st-5th he supervised the excavation of Qubbat al-Sulaibiyya, only to leave the rest of June for southern and eastern Iran and Iraq.

Image Below: Excavation of Sāmarrāʼ (Iraq): View of the Qaṣr al-ʿĀshiq, 1911-1913 [graphic].

Excavation of Sāmarrāʼ (Iraq): View of the Qaṣr al-ʿĀshiq, 1911-1913 [graphic]. Freer|Sackler Archives.

Samarra 1911: Clashes with Authority led to Sabotage 
Samarra 1911: Excavation of the Great Mosque Finishes, al-Quraina Begins
100th Anniversary of the Samarra Excavation by Ernst Herzfeld

Samarra Resource page.

Rachael Cristine Woody

Freer|Sackler Archives

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