• I'll Take My Artifacts with Tea: Nineteenth and Early Twentieth Century British Archaeology in Mesopotamia

      Young, Rachel; Department of History, Anthropology, & Philosophy; Bratton, Angela; Department of History, Anthropology, & Philosophy; Turner, Wendy; Department of History, Anthropology, & Philosophy; Augusta University (2018-02-12)
      This project analyzes the research doneby British archaeologists in the nineteenth and early to mid-twentieth centuries in Mesopotamia, as well as their interpretations of their findings, their motivations for research, and their reasons for how they interpreted what they found. This is achieved by examining the primary sources of writings of people such as Austen Henry Layard, George Smith, Gertrude Bell, and Henry Rawlinson. Most current research on the relationship between Britain and the Near East focuses on modern topics relating to political science, topics such as wars, terrorism, and oil crises. Because of the current wanton destruction of artifacts by terrorist groups and the instability their terrorism has caused in the Near East, it is crucial to analyze the circumstances surrounding the original discoveries and interpretations of these pieces. In order to explore and understand the artifacts found in Mesopotamia in the nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, this project analyzes the writings of British archaeologists and examines the sociopolitical environment in Britain at the time of these excavations. Understanding these motivations through studying primary sources is crucial to preserving the identity and knowledge available from these artifacts.