Tuesday, January 04, 2011

Munich Museum, Bronze Age Cypriot antiquities

Continuing to work through my information from antiquities catalogues, I accidentally rewrote a post (1) I had forgotten about (on Bronze Age antiquities in a museum in Munich); but that was for the best, because I found a silly mistake in the original (including rather than excluding a copy of an artefact).

I have corrected that (and the numbers), and made the presentation of information much clearer; I have also inserted the source data, and deleted the bits of copied-out German text.

So, I have deleted the original post: this is the new one.

In 1977, archaeologist Gisela Zahlhaas published Finds of the Bronze Age in Cyprus: Catalogue of the Exhibition (2) of the Prehistoric Collection of the Munich Museum for Pre- and Early History (3). It is a difficult source to use, but if nothing else, it is useful for showing how little information we can have about public antiquities collections.

Background

In 1967, Paris's Museum of Decorative Arts (4) hosted the Republic of Cyprus's travelling exhibition of the Treasures of Cyprus (5); it was shown at the Munich Museum for Pre- and Early History in 1968 (and other places, like Moscow's Pushkin Museum in 1970).

In contrast, the Director of the Munich State Prehistoric Collection, Hans-Jörg Kellner (1977: 11), explained that the Munich Museum's Finds of the Bronze Age in Cyprus were 'almost exclusively [fast ausschließlich]' from its own material.(6)

I have included my reasons for categorising artefacts as probably looted; but it is just to show my working for people who want to check it. The findings are below the reasons.

Reasons for categorisation

The State Collection was built upon a 'long tradition of collecting [eine lange Sammeltradition zurück]'. It was supplemented by the private Sanzin Collection, which thankfully had been 'almost closed [fast geschlossen]' since 1960 (ibid.).

Unfortunately, the catalogue did not distinguish between artefacts that were found in excavations and surveys (if any were), or ones that were donated or purchased; and the mass of inventory dates from 1974 and 1975 suggest much of the material was only catalogued for the exhibition (so they cannot be used to date the acquisition of the artefacts).

[The rest of the reasoning is from the original post.]

Still, it is possible to work out some things because of the lack of information. If archaeologists had made chance finds of artefacts, those chance finds would have had find-spots.

Likewise, if peasants had made chance finds of artefacts on their land (or on land they worked on, grazed their animals on, etc.), and if archaeologists or antiquarians had acquired those chance finds, those chance finds would (probably) have had find-spots.(7)

Furthermore, if the artefacts were worthy of international exhibition, they would (probably) have been mentioned in one publication or another, if only as an aside in the Annual Report of the Director of the Department of Antiquities (ARDA).

(Moreover, many looted artefacts have been published, with find-spots, so even having both pieces of information is no guarantee, if the catalogue does not explicitly state the artefact was found by excavation, survey or chance.)

So, if archaeological artefacts had a literature reference but no find-spot, they were probably looted; and if antiquities had find-spots but no literature reference, they were also probably looted; and if they had no find-spot or literature reference, they were very probably looted.

David Gill and Christopher Chippindale (1993: 610) defined "surfaced" artefacts as 'object[s] whose finding or excavation in the field has never been reported.... which appear in an exhibition or sale without history, previous publication, or other account'.

Gill and Chippindale (1993: 610) identified the three sources of surfaced objects as illicit excavation, forgery, and old collections; but they dismissed old collections being significant sources as 'a [c]onvenient [f]iction' (1993: 622).

Furthermore, I fear supply of illicit Cypriot antiquities has been so great it has met the demand, so there has never been a market for a forgery industry. Thus, while a few of the surfaced objects may have been forgotten or forged, most will have been looted.

Findings

Excluding the copy of an artefact, there were 103 objects in the exhibition. All of those 103 were probably looted; but 92 (89.32%) had no acquisition date, and no other information, so it was impossible to learn a lot from this material. Of the 11 artefacts with find-spots,
  • 1 probably looted from "Maloula" - ancient Athienou Malloura (modern Greek Cypriot Athienou) - before conflict (8);
  • 5 probably looted from "Maloula" - ancient Athienou Malloura (modern Greek Cypriot Athienou) - between 1963 and 1974 (8);
  • 4 probably looted from Deneia between 1963 and 1974 (after the Turkish Cypriots had become refugees, when it was a Greek Cypriot village); and
  • 1 probably looted from Greek Cypriot majority mixed Polis-tis-Chrysochou.
All of the artefacts with find-spots were probably looted by Greek Cypriots; but this is far too small a sample; it means nothing. (It needs to be combined with all of the other data for a comprehensive understanding.)

This material does show, however, that the Munich Museum for Pre- and Early History appears to have conflict antiquities, artefacts probably looted from Cyprus during the Cyprus Conflict.

Footnotes
  1. The original, 9th November 2009 post was titled "Cypriot antiquities, Munich State Prehistoric Collection" (and was available at http://human-rights-archaeology.blogspot.com/2009/11/cypriot-antiquities-munich-state.html).
  2. Funde der Bronzezeit auf Zypern: Katalog der Ausstellung.
  3. Prähistoriche Staatssammlung München Museum für Vor- und Frühgeschichte.
  4. Musée des Arts Décoratifs.
  5. Trésors de Chypre.
  6. The museum had an archaeological acquisitions policy, so the display was 'not a view of the exceptional, but rather of the typical, the characteristic [nicht der Blick auf das Exzeptionelle, sondern der auf das Typische, Charakteristische]' (Kellner, 1977: 11).
  7. Gill and Chippindale (1993: 608) judged that only 'very few of these [farmers'] older finds may have been conveyed into the corpus'.
  8. "Maloula" does not appear in the glossary of geographical terms or in the toponymy of village names of the Complete Gazetteer of Cyprus (ROCPCSGN, 1987: xv; 773); it must have been a misrecording of "Maloura [Athienou Malloura]".

    As I noted in the original post,
    According to the Embassy of the Republic of Cyprus in Washington, D.C., Athienou Malloura had been 'visited by grave robbers in the 1930s and 1960s, according to The Cyprus Weekly' (ERC, 2005); but the Athienou Archaeological Project was even more specific.

    Malloura's sanctuary site was 'looted in the 1930s' (Toumazou, Kardulias and Yerkes, 1992), then those looters 'exported hundreds of statues from Cyprus illegally' (AAP, 2005).

    Local contacts told the Project that 'as recently as the 1960's [sic]', Malloura's burial site, Mağara Tepesi, was 'destroyed by looters, bulldozing, and plowing' (AAP, 2005). So, the four probably looted artefacts from Athienou Malloura may be from the tombs of Mağara Tepesi.
Bibliography

AAP (Athienou Archaeological Project). 2005: "About Athienou-Malloura". Athienou Archaeological Project, 7th November. Available at: http://www.davidson.edu/academic/classics/Toumazou/AAP/site.html

ERC (Embassy of the Republic of Cyprus in Washington, D.C.). 2005: "Archaeologists dig new finds". Embassy of the Republic of Cyprus in Washington, D.C., 1st September. Available at: http://www.cyprusembassy.net/home/index.php?module=article&id=2891

Kellner, H-J. 1977: "Vorwort [Foreword]". In Zahlhaas, G, (Be.). Funde der Bronzezeit auf Zypern: Katalog der Ausstellung [finds of the Bronze Age in Cyprus: Catalogue of the exhibition], 7-11. München: Prähistoriche Staatssammlung München Museum für Vor- und Frühgeschichte.

Musée des Arts Décoratifs. 1967: Trésors de Chypre. Paris: Musée des Arts Décoratifs.

ROCPCSGN (Republic of Cyprus Permanent Committee for the Standardization of Geographical Names). 1987: A complete gazetteer of Cyprus, volume 1. Nicosia: Cyprus Research Centre and Republic of Cyprus Department of Lands and Surveys.

Toumazou, M K, Kardulias, P N and Yerkes, R W. 1992: "Excavation and survey in the Malloura Valley, central Cyprus: The 1991 season". Old World Archaeology Newsletter, Volume 15, Number 3, 18-23. Available at: http://www.davidson.edu/academic/classics/Toumazou/AAP/articles/91season.html

Zahlhaas, G, (Be.). 1977: Funde der Bronzezeit auf Zypern: Katalog der Ausstellung [finds of the Bronze Age in Cyprus: Catalogue of the exhibition]. München: Prähistoriche Staatssammlung München Museum für Vor- und Frühgeschichte.

Data

001: ‘Inv. 1975’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 22);
002: ‘Inv. 1975’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 22);
003: ‘Inv. 1975’, no info, and only comparative lit ref, as ‘Lit.: Vgl.[…]’ Means ‘Literatur: Vergleiche [literature: compare]’ (Zahlhaas, 1977: 23);
004: ‘Inv. 1974’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 23);
005: ‘Inv. 1975’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 24);
006: ‘Inv. 1974’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 24);
007: ‘Inv. 1974’, no info, but lit ref (Zahlhaas, 1977: 24);
008: ‘Inv. 1974’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 24);
009: ‘Inv. 1974’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 24);
010: ‘Inv. 1975’, no info, but lit ref (Zahlhaas, 1977: 24);
011: ‘Inv. 1974’, no info, but lit ref (Zahlhaas, 1977:4);
012: ‘Prov. Dhenia bei Akaki [line break] Inv. 1967’, and lit ref (Zahlhaas, 1977: 25);
013: ‘Prov. Maloula [line break] Inv. 1972’ (Zahlhaas, 1977: 26);
014: ‘Inv. 1975’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 26);
015: ‘Inv. 1975’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 26);
016: ‘Inv. 1974’, no info, but lit ref (Zahlhaas, 1977: 26);
017: ‘Inv. 1974’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 26);
018: ‘Inv. 1974’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 26);
019[a]: ‘Inv. 1974’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 26);
019[b]: ‘Inv. 1974’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 26);
019[c]: ‘Inv. 1974’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 26);
019[d]: ‘Inv. 1974’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 26);
019[e]: ‘Inv. 1975’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 26);
019[f]: ‘Inv. 1975’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 26);
020: ‘Inv. 1975’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 27);
021: ‘Inv. 1974’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 27);
022: ‘Prov. Dhenia bei Akaki [line break] Inv. 1967’, and lit ref (Zahlhaas, 1977: 28);
023: ‘Inv. 1975’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 28);
024: ‘Inv. 1975’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 28);
025: ‘Inv. 1974’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 28);
026: ‘Inv. 1975’, no info, and only comp lit ref, ‘Lit.: Vgl.[…]’ (Zahlhaas, 1977: 29);
027: ‘Inv. 1975’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 29);
028: ‘Inv. 1974’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 29);
029: ‘Prov. Dhenia bei Akaki [line break] Inv. 1967’, and lit ref (Zahlhaas, 1977: 30);
030: ‘Inv. 1974’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 30);
031: ‘Inv. 1975’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 30);
032: ‘Inv. 1974’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 30);
033: ‘Inv. 1975’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 30);
034: ‘Inv. 1974’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 30);
035[a]: ‘Inv. 1974’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 31);
035[b]: ‘Inv. 1975’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 31);
035[c]: ‘Inv. 1975’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 31);
035[d]: ‘Inv. 1975’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 31);
036: ‘Inv. 1975’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 32);
037[a]: ‘Inv. 1974’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 32);
037[b]: ‘Inv. 1975’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 32);
037[c]: ‘Inv. 1975’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 32);
037[d]: ‘Inv. 1975’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 32);
038[a]: ‘Inv. 1975’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 32);
038[b]: ‘Inv. 1975’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 32);
039[a]: ‘Inv. 1975’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 32);
039[b]: ‘Inv. 1975’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 32);
039[c]: ‘Inv. 1975’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 32);
039[d]: ‘Inv. 1975’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 32);
039[e]: ‘Inv. 1975’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 32);
040[a]: ‘Inv. 1975’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 32);
040[b]: ‘Inv. 1975’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 32);
040[c]: ‘Inv. 1975’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 32);
040[d]: ‘Inv. 1975’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 32);
040[e]: ‘Inv. 1975’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 32);
040[f]: ‘Inv. 1975’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 32);
041: ‘Inv. 1975’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 32);
042: ‘Athen, National-Museum Inv. 13 051’, and lit ref (Zahlhaas, 1977: 32);
043: ‘Prov. Maloula [line break] Inv. 1969’ (Zahlhaas, 1977: 33);
044: ‘Inv. 1974’, no info, and only comp lit ref, ‘Lit.: Vgl.[…]’ (Zahlhaas, 1977: 33);
045: ‘Prov. Maloula [line break] Inv. 1972’ (Zahlhaas, 1977: 34);
046: ‘Inv. 1974’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 34);
047: ‘Inv. 1975’, no info, and only comp lit ref, ‘Lit.: Vgl.[…]’ (Zahlhaas, 1977: 35);
048: ‘Inv. 1974’, no info, and only comp lit ref, ‘Lit.: Ornament vgl. Lapithos 316, Nr. 134’ (Zahlhaas, 1977: 35);
049: ‘Inv. 1975’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 35);
050: ‘Inv. 1975’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 35);
051: ‘Inv. 1974’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 35);
052: ‘Inv. 1974’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 35);
053: ‘Inv. 1974’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 36);
054: ‘Inv. 1974’, no info, and only comp lit ref, ‘Lit.: Vgl.[…]’ (Zahlhaas, 1977: 36);
055: ‘Inv. 1974’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 36);
056: ‘Inv. 1975’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 36);
057: ‘Kopie…. [line break] Prov. Enkomi [line break] Röm.-Germ. Zentralmuseum Mainz’, no info, but lit ref (Zahlhaas, 1977: 38);
058: ‘Prov. Polis [line break] Inv. 1975’, but only comp lit ref, ‘Lit.: Vgl.[…]’ (Zahlhaas, 1977: 39);
059: ‘Prov. Dhenia bei Akaki [line break] Inv. 1967’, but only comp lit ref, ‘Lit.: Vgl.[…]’ (Zahlhaas, 1977: 39);
060: ‘Inv. 1974’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 39);
061: ‘Inv. 1974’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 39);
062: ‘Inv. 1975’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 41);
063: ‘Inv. 1974’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 41);
064: ‘Inv. 1975’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 41);
065: ‘Inv. 1974’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 42);
066[a]: ‘Inv. 1974’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 42);
066[b]: ‘Inv. 1975’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 42);
066[c]: ‘Inv. 1975’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 42);
066[d]: ‘Inv. 1975’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 42);
066[e]: ‘Inv. 1975’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 42);
067: ‘Inv. 1975’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 42);
068: ‘Inv. 1974’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 44);
069: ‘Inv. 1974’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 44);
070: ‘Prov. Maloula [line break] Inv. 1969’ (Zahlhaas, 1977: 44);
071: ‘Inv. 1974’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 45);
072: ‘Inv. 1974’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 46);
073: ‘Prov. Nr. 74 Maloula [line break] Inv. 1975’, and lit ref (Zahlhaas, 1977: 46);
074: ‘Prov. Nr. 74 Maloula [line break] .... Inv. 1969’, and lit ref (Zahlhaas, 1977: 46);
075: ‘Inv. 1974’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 46);
076: ‘Inv. 1974’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 46);
077: ‘Inv. 1974’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 46);
078: ‘Inv. 1975’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 46);
079: ‘Inv. 1974’, no info (Zahlhaas, 1977: 47).

1 comment:

  1. What an interesting blog, introduced by a thought-provoking photo. The unusual wall painting of the dwellings is also a strangely modern interpretation. Something like this hieroglyphic view of a park by Swiss painter Paul Klee, http://EN.WahooArt.com/A55A04/w.nsf/OPRA/BRUE-8LT475.
    The image can be seen at wahooart.com who can supply you with a canvas print of it.

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