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RE: [ANE-2] British Museum numbers

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  • Joe Zias
    As I was curator with the IAA responsible for antiquities from ca. WW I  and before up to 1948 (British Mandate period) I m a bit familiar with the British
    Message 1 of 8 , Jul 2, 2010
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      As I was curator with the IAA responsible for antiquities from ca. WW I  and before up to 1948 (British Mandate period) I'm a bit familiar with the British system. All objects were assigned 2-3 numbers, the first being the object as it was brought in from the field and then all objects from that venue/excavation were registered under one number called the R. number which was the yearly registry. E.g R.123 Hundreds of objects could have the same R. number. Once the object was cataloged it was given a final number with the first two digits being the year in which it was cataloged, which in many cases was years later. E.g an object with the number 25.123 was object 123 cat. in 1925 which could have been excavated in 1920 or before. The Brits had it down to a 'science' in terms of accuracy with their cataloging.

      Joe Zias www.joezias.com
      Anthropology/Paleopathology

      Science and Antiquity Group - Jerusalem
      Jerusalem, Israel

      --- On Fri, 7/2/10,
      Trudy Kawami <tkawami@...> wrote:

      From: Trudy Kawami <tkawami@...>
      Subject: RE: [ANE-2] British Museum numbers
      To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
      Date: Friday, July 2, 2010, 11:39 AM







       









      Go to the top; try John Russell.

      Trudy Kawami

      PS What was accession date?



      -----Original Message-----

      From: Peter T. Daniels [mailto:grammatim@...]

      Sent: Friday, July 02, 2010 11:26 AM

      To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com

      Subject: Re: [ANE-2] British Museum numbers



      The internets turned up a complete copy of Christopher Walker's Index

      volume to

      CT 1-50, from which we see that (by 1974) very few tablets bearing that

      accession date had been published (in that series).



      I googled both the date number and the eventual number and got lots of

      hits for

      catalog numbers of a wide variety of things for sale, but no further

      information

      on the BM's group of objects.



      Irving doesn't answer emails ... --

      Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...

      still Jersey City

      From: Trudy Kawami <tkawami@...>




















      [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
    • Peter T. Daniels
      Thank you. (So much for google.) No suggestion of where it might have come from -- with over 5000 items from that source acquired in just a few years, it might
      Message 2 of 8 , Jul 2, 2010
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        Thank you. (So much for google.)

        No suggestion of where it might have come from -- with over 5000 items from that
        source acquired in just a few years, it might be possible to tell from colophons
        in other tablets some likely locations. --
        Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...


        >
        >From: Charles E. Jones <cejo@...>
        >To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
        >Sent: Fri, July 2, 2010 12:01:23 PM
        >Subject: Re: [ANE-2] British Museum numbers
        >

        >The BM object registry is online. You can search it here
        >http://www.britishmuseum.org/research.aspx
        >
        >or since I already have done that, I can tell you that there
        >are nice legible photographs of the inscribed surfaces of the
        >tablet; that it was acquired in 1898, purchased from Selim
        >Homsy & Co ("This family firm sold a number of cuneiform
        >tablets to The British Museum between 1889 and 1902, during at
        >least part of the time of which they were based in London.
        >Correspondence to Budge from D. Messayeh and N. Ghanima
        >[jointly signed] of Baghdad and dated 1894, confirms this as
        >they refer to Selim Homsy as "of your city", and clearly use
        >Homsy as a London distributor. Roger Homsy (q.v.) and K. Homsy
        >(q.v.) are members of the same family business during the
        >1930s and 1970s respectively"), and that the BM has 5302
        >registered objects from that source; and more...
        >
        >-Chuck Jones-
        >NY
        >
        >---- Original message ----
        >>Date: Fri, 2 Jul 2010 08:26:28 -0700 (PDT)
        >>From: "Peter T. Daniels" <grammatim@...>
        >>Subject: Re: [ANE-2] British Museum numbers
        >>To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
        >>
        >>
        >>
        >> The internets turned up a complete copy of
        >> Christopher Walker's Index volume to
        >> CT 1-50, from which we see that (by 1974) very few
        >> tablets bearing that
        >> accession date had been published (in that series).
        >>
        >> I googled both the date number and the eventual
        >> number and got lots of hits for
        >> catalog numbers of a wide variety of things for
        >> sale, but no further information
        >> on the BM's group of objects.
        >>
        >> Irving doesn't answer emails ... --
        >> Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...
        >> still Jersey City
        >> From: Trudy Kawami <tkawami@...>
        >> >To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
        >> >Sent: Fri, July 2, 2010 11:10:25 AM
        >> >Subject: RE: [ANE-2] British Museum numbers
        >> >
        >> > 
        >> >Peter,
        >> >
        >> >The British Museum number (BM #) is the accession
        >> number & strikes me as
        >> >remarkably low. Items from Ur excavated in the
        >> 1930s have numbers in the
        >> >120000 series. BUT the kicker is that in the more
        >> distant past objects
        >> >did not necessarily receive BM accession numbers
        >> the day they entered
        >> >the museum (current practice in most museums). Also
        >> before the renaming
        >> >of the Middle East Dept (was West Asiatic
        >> Antiquities), numbers often
        >> >carried a WA prefix.
        >> >
        >> >98-2-16,690 looks like a field number which is
        >> normally assigned to each
        >> >item as it is uncovered. One might expect a
        >> complicated number like
        >> >that for a large cache of tablets. There is no
        >> regular system used by
        >> >all excavators now & the past was even more varied.
        >> Much of the "minor"
        >> >Nimrud material from Layard's excavations still
        >> bears just "registration
        >> >numbers" -N.1, N.2, etc.
        >> >
        >> >The BM's WA collections are relatively searchable
        >> on line. You could try
        >> >that or just contact the ME Dept directly & ask.
        >> >
        >> >Trudy Kawami
        >> >
        >> >________________________________
        >> >
        >> >From: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
        >> [mailto:ANE-2@yahoogroups.com] On Behalf Of
        >> >Peter T. Daniels
        >> >Sent: Friday, July 02, 2010 9:14 AM
        >> >To: ANE-2 list
        >> >Subject: [ANE-2] British Museum numbers
        >> >
        >> >How were BM accession numbers assigned?
        >> >
        >> >I have only just learned of the "Babylonian ABC"
        >> identified by Civil,Finkel,
        >> >and Geller back in 1998, and would very much like
        >> to know where the tablet came
        >>
        >> >from. British Museum Magazine (or, as some refer to
        >> it, "Bulletin" or
        >> >"Publication") 31 (1998) is unavailable to me (in
        >> case Irving Finkel mentioned
        >> >its provenience). Geller's publication in JEOL
        >> 35-36: 144-46, which says nothing
        >> >
        >> >on this point but dates it centuries later than
        >> Finkel, is overwhelmed by
        >> >typographic errors, and Geller's transliteration
        >> differs from that by Finkel as
        >>
        >> >it is reported by Jursa & Weszeli in ZA 90: 78, and
        >> Geller's version is followed
        >> >
        >> >by Cross & Huehnergard, Or. 72: 223-28, in their
        >> attempt to connect the
        >> >syllables used with the West Semitic letter names.
        >> >
        >> >Does the accession number 98-2-16,690 mean that a
        >> particular group of objects,
        >> >whose origin was recorded, was processed on that
        >> day in February 1898? Is there
        >>
        >> >any way of learning where those materials came
        >> from? Or does it bear no relation
        >> >
        >> >to anything at all and 689 could be a Sanskrit
        >> manuscript and 691 a campaign
        >> >button for a local by-election?
        >> >
        >> >The current number is BM 25636, in case there is an
        >> index using that system.
        >> >
        >> >Thank you.
        >> >--
        >> >Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...
        >> <mailto:grammatim%40verizon.net>
        >> >
        >> >Jersey City

        [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
      • Peter T. Daniels
        February 16, 1898. (98-2-16).-- Peter T. Daniels grammatim@verizon.net ... [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
        Message 3 of 8 , Jul 2, 2010
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          February 16, 1898. (98-2-16).--
          Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...


          >
          >From: Trudy Kawami <tkawami@...>
          >To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
          >Sent: Fri, July 2, 2010 11:39:41 AM
          >Subject: RE: [ANE-2] British Museum numbers
          >

          >Go to the top; try John Russell.
          >Trudy Kawami
          >PS What was accession date?
          >
          >-----Original Message-----
          >From: Peter T. Daniels [mailto:grammatim@...]
          >Sent: Friday, July 02, 2010 11:26 AM
          >To: ANE-2@yahoogroups.com
          >Subject: Re: [ANE-2] British Museum numbers
          >
          >The internets turned up a complete copy of Christopher Walker's Index
          >volume to
          >CT 1-50, from which we see that (by 1974) very few tablets bearing that
          >accession date had been published (in that series).
          >
          >I googled both the date number and the eventual number and got lots of
          >hits for
          >catalog numbers of a wide variety of things for sale, but no further
          >information
          >on the BM's group of objects.
          >
          >Irving doesn't answer emails ... --
          >Peter T. Daniels grammatim@...
          >still Jersey City

          [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
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