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Reisner (George A.) Collection - Ancient Egypt
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The collection encapsulates George Reisner’s archaeological work with Phoebe Apperson Hearst in Egypt. Items within the collection include grave goods from tombs and cemeteries, ceramic jars and pots, necklaces, faiences, bronzeware and weapons, statues & statuettes of various media, coffins, stelae (the IVth Dynasty Painted Stele of Wepemnofret), mirrors, papyri (Hearst Medical Papyrus), coins, photographs, and many more objects in the extensive collection. For more information on specific objects, follow the link below in the “online items URL” section. Accompanying material can be found at Harvard University and the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston. To view the original exchanges between Phoebe Hearst and George Reisner, see the accompanying material at the Bancroft Library at UC Berkeley - they are integral to understanding the whole collection. Likewise, the Center for the Tebtunis Papyri at the Bancroft Library houses papyri gathered by Grenfell and Hunt, which was funded by Phoebe Hearst and related to Reisner’s works (https://www.lib.berkeley.edu/libraries/bancroft-library/tebtunis-papyri).
George Andrew Reisner — born November 5, 1867 in Indianapolis, Indiana and died in Giza, Egypt on June 6, 1942 — received degrees from Harvard University. From 1897 to 1899, Reisner classified the Egyptology collection of the Egyptian Museum in Cairo. From 1899 to 1905, representing the Museum of Anthropology at the University of California, Berkeley, Phoebe Apperson Hearst funded Reisner’s expedition in Egypt. Reisner then worked at Harvard University as Assistant Professor of Egyptology (1905-1913) and as Professor of Egyptology (1914-1942). He also worked for the Egyptian government (1907-1909) and as Curator of Egyptian collections at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston (1910-1942). While working under Phoebe Apperson Hearst, at the University of California, Reisner purchased artifacts and excavated multiple sites and artifacts, meticulously documenting his findings. He continued to excavate in Egypt up until his death in 1942. Reisner and his team published multiple volumes for University of California’s Museum of Anthropology (current day Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology) regarding his findings. The original glass plate negatives and field notes remain at the Museum of Fine Arts (MFA), Boston. In collaboration with the MFA, the Phoebe A. Hearst Museum of Anthropology maintains duplicate copies of over 11,000 glass plate negatives in 35mm acetate negative form as well as copies of Reisner’s field notes.
Accession files include material and correspondences from George A. Reisner during and after Egyptian excavations in Coptos (present-day Qift), December 18, 1899 to February 1, 1900; Deir el-Ballas, February 1900 to August 1901; El Ahaiwah, May 24, 1900 to August 1900; Ballas, December 1900 to May 1901; Naga ed-Deir, February 4, 1901 to August 1903; and Giza, March 1903 to 1905, written both while Reisner was under the patronage of Phoebe Apperson Hearst and thereafter at Harvard University in the 1920s. Additional materials include conservation reports; copies of field records and photographs held by Harvard; 1963 William Bascom report on collection extent; and scholarly publications. Documents are in English, French, and German. Accession numbers are Acc.54, Acc.56, Acc.63, Acc.107, Acc.195, and Acc.462.
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