Collection of the objects from the Harvard Semitic Museum of Harvard University
The Harvard Semitic Museum is closely related to the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations and Center for Jewish Studies, being also located within the same building. It was founded in 1889, its Near Eastern artifacts (over 40,000) deriving mostly from museum-sponsored excavations in Egypt, Iraq, Israel, Jordan, Syria, and Tunisia.
In 1935-36 the Harvard's Peabody Museum acquired about two hundred items from Mr. Israel Subeiri of Sana, through the anthropologist Carleton S. Coon, at that time Professor at the Harvard faculty. In 1936 the Semitic Museum purchased from the Peabody Museum a number of those items that form the present South Arabian collection of the Harvard Semitic Museum.
Among them, there are some non-inscribed stone pieces, which are fragments of the famous Banāt ʿĀd representations, bearing low-relief of ovals, ibexes, snakes and human figures. The collection inscriptions are thirteen, in Sabaic or Minaic, and mostly fragmentary.
The Harvard Semitic Museum South Arabian collection was photographed and catalogued in June 2012 by a team of the DASI project including Alessia Prioletta (epigraphist) and Gianluca Buonomini (photographer), with the organization support of Joseph A. Green, museum assistant director.
Photos are courtesy of the Harvard Semitic Museum.
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