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Bittel, Kurt, 1907-1991 (archaeologist)


Found in 16 Collections and/or Records:


Letter from James Stewart in Ankara re securing dig permits, assessing Hittite finds and visiting Hittite sites, 13 to 15 January 1936

Reference Code: GBR/3437/AJBW/2/1/24/12
Scope and Contents

Addressed 'Ankara', dated 13 January 1936. Stewart writes of the difficulties of securing dig permits and the cordial welcome of Hamid Zubain Bey, who showed him finds from Hüyük which are described as 'sensational' and of which he makes some small pen sketches. He describes the pottery and his and Bittel's opinions upon it. Hamid Zubain also took Stewart to the site of AhlatLibel.

Dates: 13 to 15 January 1936

Letter from James Stewart in Balikesir re their progress on the excavation of a cemetery at Yortan and on W. Lamb's dig at Kusura, Sandıklı, Afyon, 24 to 26 May 1936

Reference Code: GBR/3437/AJBW/2/1/24/24
Scope and Contents

Dated pp. 1-4 'May 24', pp. 5-8 'May 25', pp. 8-12 'May 26', 1936. Written mostly in Balikesir but by P. 5, Stewart is in Kusura with Lamb's excavation, sometime after the 29th May.
Stewart gives an extremely detailed account of one week excavating graves at Yortan, in the valley of the river Bakırçay (Kaikos/Κάϊκος), north western Turkey.
He then gives a brief summary of progress so far at Kusura (Afyon).

Dates: 24 to 26 May 1936

Letter from James Stewart in Istanbul re antiquities purchases and Western Anatolian Bronze Age chronology., 1936-01-11

Reference Code: GBR/3437/AJBW/2/1/24/11
Scope and Contents

Addressed 'Stambul', dated 11 January 1936. Stewart has called upon Halif Bey and Taksim Öz. He went with Bittel to the bazaars and they both bought some antiquities - he discusses some of his own cermic purchases in detail. He discusses Western Anatolian Bronze Age chronology. He encloses a draft report (for the Wilkins Board?) and asks AJBW to comment on it and to bring the appropriate people's attention to it.

Dates: 1936-01-11

Letter from James Stewart in Istanbul re fieldwork in Balikesir, 1936-03-22

Reference Code: GBR/3437/AJBW/2/1/24/16
Scope and Contents Addressed "Stambul', dated 22 March 1936. Stewart has spent a month at Balikesir and in this letter provides a very detailed account of all the small sites he visted within the plain of Balikesir. He also describes in detail the Balikesir-Yortan ware cemetery and the type of finds found there. He is considering a dig with Bittel at Baba Köy in April. He is struggling to identify Classical sherds and will photograph extensively to support further investigation in the future. He did not...
Dates: 1936-03-22

Letter from James Stewart in Istanbul re networking with curators and archaeologists and the displays of the National Museum of Istanbul, 1936-01-04

Reference Code: GBR/3437/AJBW/2/1/24/10
Scope and Contents

Addressed 'Vagan Li-Kook, Galata, Stamboul', dated 4 January 1936. Stewart has called upon 'Aziz Bey' (Bey Aziz Ogan, Director General of the National Museum of Istanbul) who will provide an introduction to Hamid Karsay Bey. He has also visited Professor Gabrielle (sic) of the French Institute who introduced him to Pierre Devambez. Stewart describes the displays in the National Museum. The Stewarts dined with the Bittels and discussed the finds at the cemetery of Balikesir.

Dates: 1936-01-04

Letter from James Stewart in Istanbul re personal contacts and Near Eastern prehistoric chronology, 1936-01-20

Reference Code: GBR/3437/AJBW/2/1/24/13
Scope and Contents Addressed "Istanbul', dated 20 January 1936. Stewart writes with enthusiasm about his application for the Jerusalem job and also about the Benaki gold bowl and whether it is genuine or not. Athens has grown on him and he has enjoyed the company of Peter Megaw and Walton and praises Helen Thomas's expertise in Bronze Age pottery. He also writes warmly of Hamid Zubain but lists all the fTurkish frontier areas for which one cannot gain an excavation permit; even for Anatolia the process is time...
Dates: 1936-01-20

Letter from James Stewart in Istanbul re photographing pottery and considering ancient Anatolia-Cyprus connections, 1936-01-29

Reference Code: GBR/3437/AJBW/2/1/24/14
Scope and Contents

Addressed "Stambul', dated 29 January 1936. Stewart is still awaiting a permit from Ankara and discusses the progress - or not - of new antiquities laws. Meanwhile, he is photographing pottery in the Natonal Museum. He believes Vounos (Cyprus) will be a key site for comparison with Anatolian finds. He mentions the death of King George V.

Dates: 1936-01-29

Letter from James Stewart in Istanbul re plans for trial excavation and an Asia Minor itinerary, 1936-01-02

Reference Code: GBR/3437/AJBW/2/1/24/9
Scope and Contents

Addresed 'Wagon-lits, Galata, Istanbul', dated 2 January 1936. He has met with Dr Schecle and Karl Bittel. There are rising political tensions between Italy and Turkey. Gaining an excavation permit is fraught with dificulties. Stewart would like to drop a test trench to 'hunt' for Jortan (Yortan) or another site 'at or near Balikesir.' He sketches a possible itinerary for the next months, including visiting W. Lamb at Afyon. He has visited Haghia Sofia and the Blue Mosque in Istanbul.

Dates: 1936-01-02

Letter from James Stewart in Istanbul re the Balikesir permit and his thoughts on a British School in Istanbul, 1936-02-03

Reference Code: GBR/3437/AJBW/2/1/24/15
Scope and Contents

Dated 3 February 1936. Hamid Kersay (Karsai) has granted him a permit for Balikesir. The Yortan pottery in the National Museum will be photographed. He discusses a proposal made by Professor Baxter to found a British School in Istanbul and Stewart gives all his reasons why he thinks this would be a bad idea. He went to visit the (Greek Orthodox) Patriarch.

Dates: 1936-02-03

Letter from James Stewart in Jerusalem re his transit stop en route to Athens and Istanbul, 1935-11-05

Reference Code: GBR/3437/AJBW/2/1/24/5
Scope and Contents Addressed 'Larssen House, Jerusalem', dated 5 November 1935, Stewart thanks AJBW for his letters of introduction, picked up at Port Said. He has made useful contacts already, including Noble and Bittel. He has bought a Luristan dagger in the souk, similar to the one in the Cambridge 'Downing street Museum' collections. They have also bought a Leica camera. They will journey to Istanbul via Piraeus so will spend some days in Athens. He asks for news of Miss Coutts. He then discusses early...
Dates: 1935-11-05

Letter from James Stewart in Troy re Balikesir and Troy pottery sherd comparisons, 1936-04-26

Reference Code: GBR/3437/AJBW/2/1/24/17
Scope and Contents Addressed 'Troy', dated 26 April 1936. Stewart has finished comparing sherds from the Balikesir plain sites and Troy and describes his analysis and interpretations of the results. Eleanor has bought another - Greek islands? - embroidery. He writes of his hopes to excavate in Cyprus (Vounos or Larnaca) next year. Professor Myres has visited Troy. Stewart has some pots (ranging in date from Bronze Age to Byzantine) for restoration for Louis Clarke (then curator of the Museum of Archaeology...
Dates: 1936-04-26

Letter from James Stewart re a bust up with Bittel and the business of ancient pottery fakes in the Istanbul bazaar, 1936-05-11

Reference Code: GBR/3437/AJBW/2/1/24/19
Scope and Contents Dated 11 May 1936. Probably written in Istanbul. Stewart and Bittel are at odds over the latter's decision to challenge excavation permit fees and the Commissioner in charge of administering them. Stewart is determined to press on with the dig in Balikesir, even if Bittel decides not to join him. He discusses the most popular type of forgery currently on sale in the bazaar - 'Black sea "Ionian" pottery, especially the Ashmolean Rhytons'. Although the forger is now dead, his son continues a...
Dates: 1936-05-11

Letter from James Stewart re a Syro-Hittite gold figurine and vexing problems of chronology in the Aegean Bronze Age, 1936-05-15

Reference Code: GBR/3437/AJBW/2/1/24/20
Scope and Contents Dated 15 May 1936. Probably written in Istanbul. Stewart believes his dig in Balikesir will not happen (on account of Bittel meddling in the permit process) and his opportunity 'of doing useful original work on Jortan ware is gone'. He writes of another Syro-Hittite gold figurine, similar to that found by Chantre at Yozgad, which was bought pre war from a dealer in Aleppo. Stewart intends to write a paper on the object, positing that both figuries are forgeries. He asks AJBW's opinion on the...
Dates: 1936-05-15

Letter from James Stewart re planning an excavation in Cyprus, 1936-05-21

Reference Code: GBR/3437/AJBW/2/1/24/23
Scope and Contents

Dated 21 May 1936. Probably written in Istanbul. Stewart has some Australian funding for his Cyprus excavation next year. He seeks AJBW's ideas on how best to proceed with planning such an excavation. 'Miss Webb', whom AJBW knows, seeks their help to work in Asia Minor, having been in Greece.

Dates: 1936-05-21

Letter from James Stewart re pots for Cambridge collections and the potential rammifications of the Abyssinia Crisis on excavating in Turkey, 1936-05-19

Reference Code: GBR/3437/AJBW/2/1/24/21
Scope and Contents Dated 19 May 1936. Probably written in Istanbul. The Balikesir dig will in fact proceeed and Bittel will contribute time and equipment to the endeavour. Stewart has purchsed some pots for Cambridge, one of which he discusses in detail at the end of the letter. Dikaios is also sending material from Cyprus to Cambridge. International politics (Abyssinia Crisis) may make make several excavation sites off limits next year, including Troy. He and Eleanor have bought the Armenian embroidery at...
Dates: 1936-05-19

Letter from James Stewart re the travails of acquiring dig permits and an update on their progress so far, 1936-05-05

Reference Code: GBR/3437/AJBW/2/1/24/18
Scope and Contents Dated 5 May 1936. Probably written in Istanbul. Stewart discusses the trials and tribulations of acquiring dig permits with limited time and funds. He discusses the skeletal finds from Balikesir and the potential exchange of antiquities between collections in Cambridge and Ankara. Sherds are being photographed and drawn (by Eleanor) for a report on their work so far. Stewart discusses Hasluck's topographical identifications around Cyzicus (i.e. in Balikesir province). Stewart and his wife...
Dates: 1936-05-05

Additional filters:

Istanbul (inhabited place) 7
Cyprus (island) 4
Hittite 2
Troy (deserted settlement) 2
Ankara (inhabited place) 1