This collection was given to the department by George Fuller in 2001, following a clinic held at the Lab of Archaeology (LOA), where members of the public brought in their artifacts for faculty members, including Drs. Lisa Cooper and Hector Williams, to help to identify them. Mr. Fuller’s father was a diplomat in the Middle East in the 1930s; while he was over there, he purchased the artifacts in the collection from antiquities shops in a number of cities, including Cairo, Jerusalem, and Baghdad. Everything else that we know about the artifacts comes from assessments made by Drs. Lisa Cooper and Hector Williams; since they were purchased in a variety of places, we don’t know the specific provenance of the artifacts in our collection. By digitizing these artifacts, they are available for students to study and potentially assign provenance.
The collection was photographed by Jessica Matteazzi, and David Assaf put together our initial website on Omeka.net in 2014. In 2016, Jasmine Sacharuk created a new site using CollectiveAccess, fromstonetoscreen.com/ca/artifacts
Highlights of the collection:
Our oldest example is a Phoenician lamp from Carthage, here on the far left, with a simple design (grab image). It may not look impressive to us now, but the style was a favorite among Phoenician lamp-makers. Dr. Williams has dated this object to 800–600 B.C.E., making it over 2,500 years old.
This Egyptian amulet has not been dated. 2.1 cm in height, takes the form of a rabbit with longish ears, and its body in profile. A small hole has been drilled from one side of the head to the other below the ears. The image appears to have been carved out of a pale green stone, possibly chlorite or soapstone.
The oldest item in our collection is this cuneiform tablet. It’s from the Ur III period, c. 2100 -2000 BCE, so it was inscribed in Mesopotamia over 4000 years ago. It’s a small item, at just 3.5 cm high and 3 wide. It’s inscribed on both sides in Sumerian cuneiform writing and it seems to be a receipt for the delivery of livestock and possibly oil. More information on the tablet, including a transcription and translation of the text by Dr. Lisa Cooper can be found here.
We also had the distinct pleasure of writing a blog post this past summer for Bible History Daily on our artifact collection, Bringing 21st-century access to ancient artifacts.
By Heather Odell, Haley Bertram & Lisa Tweten