Classics and Archaeology Virtual Museum

Amman Airport

This set of 24 ivory, bronze, frit scarabs, gold and stone objects are from Professor Basil Hennessy's 1966 rescue dig of a Fire Temple when they were building the airport at Amman. The University of Melbourne (in Harold Hunt's day) contributed to the cost of the rescue operation and the objects were acquired as its share of the finds.

Professor Hennessy (personal communication) said he gave us our set of objects at the same time as the Nicholson Museum and the ANU got theirs. Karin Sowada, acting Curator of the Nicholson, said (phone, 27 March 1997) that they accessioned their set with 1975 numbers. The ANU catalogue Antiquities: A description of the Classics Department Museum in the Australian National University, Canberra by J R Green, with a section on coins by Beryl Rawson (Canberra 1981) lists their collection pp. 11-14 with 1975 accession numbers. Our set were thus accessioned with the numbers 1975.0111-0134.

In the Department files was a typed list of 16 objects, titled "Disposal of Material to Melbourne" giving a site registration number, locus number, brief description. Tags on the objects themselves facilitated identification. In accessioning the objects we have separated out some of the beads that had been grouped and gave them individual accession numbers, bringing the total to 24.

Partial bibliography:

J B Hennessy, Thirteenth Century B.C. Temple of Human Sacrifice at Amman, Phoenicia and its Neighbours, Studia Phoenicia III (Louvain, 1985) 85-104.

J B Hennessy, 'Excavation of a Late Bronze Age Temple at Amman', Palestine Exploration Quarterly 98 (1966), 155-167.

Further details of the site and similar objects are in Green and Rawson, Antiquities: A description of the Classics Department Museum in the Australian National University, (Canberra 1981) 11-14.

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