Foundations of Anthropology at the University of California   Seal of The University of California
Section 6 Composite

Section 6 Composite
Guide to the Collections, Staff, Anthropology Museum


n the 1890s, Hearst became involved with a circle of academic and amateur archaeologists at the University of Pennsylvania led by Dr. William Pepper, who was also provost of the University and her personal physician. She became one of his patrons and supported Pennsylvania’s archaeological excavations abroad. By the time of Pepper’s death in 1898 (while visiting Hearst at the “hacienda”) she had decided to transfer her support -- and many of her collections – to the University of California where President Wheeler began assiduously cultivating her. Accordingly, the archaeologists she had been supporting transferred to the University: Max Uhle collecting in Peru and later at Bay Area shellmounds and George Reisner in Egypt. In the following year she began supporting Philip Mills Jones’s collecting in California’s Channel Islands and San Joaquin Valley and, sometime later, employed Alfred Emerson, who procured casts of Classical Greek and Roman sculpture in Europe, but conducted no field research of his own.

Guide to the Collections of the Department of Anthropology at the Affiliated Colleges, San FranciscoGuide to the Collections of the Department of Anthropology at the Affiliated Colleges, San FranciscoGuide to the Collections of the Department of Anthropology at the Affiliated Colleges, San Francisco

Guide to the Collections of the Department of Anthropology at the Affiliated Colleges, San Francisco


In the early years, instruction was given in a classroom on the main floor of the Museum building in San Francisco. As the only full-time faculty members of the Department, Kroeber and Goddard had primary responsibility for instruction, focusing on general ethnology and linguistics. Merriam and others lectured on North American and Classical archaeology.

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CU-5 Ser 1 Ctn 22:24

Philip Mills Jones (1870-1916). Photo at Camp Stockton

Philip Mills Jones (1870-1916)

Jones was a physician who completed his medical training at the Long Island Hospital in 1891. After practicing in Brooklyn for nine years he moved to California and, sponsored by Hearst, spent two years collecting archaeological and ethnographic objects here and elsewhere in North America for the University. In 1902, he returned to medicine, working in public health and serving as editor of the California State Journal of Medicine.

P. M. Jones at Camp Stockton


Courtesy P. A. Hearst Museum

Courtesy P. A. Hearst Museum

George A. Reisner (1867-1942)

George A. Reisner (1867-1942)

Educated at Harvard and in Berlin, Reisner directed the University of California’s Egyptian Expedition under Hearst’s sponsorship between 1899-1905. His excavations at six major and several smaller sites dating from the Neolithic to the Coptic periods, a span of perhaps 8,000 years, yielded some of the University’s richest treasures. The collections are divided between the Museum, with thousands of objects, and the Bancroft Library, with more than 20,000 papyri, the richest collection of its kind in the Western Hemisphere.

Courtesy P. A. Hearst Museum

Hearst Medical Papyrus, near Der-el-Ballas, Egypt

Hearst Medical Papyrus

Near Der-el-Ballas, Egypt

2000 BC?

In the spring of 1901, a roll of papyrus was brought to the camp of the Hearst Egyptian Expedition near Der-el-Ballas by a peasant as a mark of his thanks ….

Thus begins Reisner’s narrative about one of the most intriguing, and possibly one of the most unique, artifacts in the Bancroft collections. In hieratic Egyptian writing, it contains various medical prescriptions and remedies. Reisner apparently accepted the papyrus as authentic, but doubts persist due to its excellent condition and murky provenance. The Library is arranging to have the papyrus tested for authenticity.

Hearst Medical Papyrus Frame 9

Stela [photograph], engraved stone slab collected by George Reisner, Giza, Tomb G-1201, Egypt

Stela [Photograph]

Giza, Tomb G-1201, Egypt

Collected by George Reisner ca. 1900

One of Reisner’s most spectacular finds in Egypt was this engraved stone slab of Prince Wepemnofret from the Fourth Dynasty.

Courtesy P. A. Hearst Museum

Max Uhle (1856-1944)

Max Uhle (1856-1944)

Known as “the Father of Peruvian Archaeology,” Uhle began archaeological work in South America in 1892, and worked in Argentina, Bolivia, and Peru until 1895. In 1899, he returned to Peru under Hearst’s sponsorship and his collections began arriving at the University. Hearst supported him through 1905. Among other contributions, his research resulted in a regional chronological sequence based on changes in artifact traits and assemblages through time.

Courtesy P. A. Hearst Museum

a Poncho, collected by Max Uhle, Supe district, Peru

Poncho [Photograph]

Supe district, Peru

Collected by Max Uhle, 1900

The arid conditions of coastal Peru provided for the preservation of textiles in several of Uhle’s archaeological sites. This poncho is composed of tapestry and squares of cloth sewn together in a mosaic pattern.

Courtesy P. A. Hearst Museum