William Arthur Shelton's Journey to the Holy Lands and Beyond (December, 1919 - September, 1920)

About the Map

This map follows the adventures of W.A Shelton as he journeyed across much of Egypt and the Near East; his goal being to acquire artifacts for a proper museum on Emory’s campus, and survey history’s greatest monuments. However, his expedition found the route plagued with danger around every corner in the form of naval mines, assassinations, abductions, and more. Shelton began his expedition as a new professor of Semitic Language at Emory University, but returned to find himself not only a teacher, but a scholar of the ancient world, an author, and one of the first true curators of the someday Michael C. Carlos Museum.

Pieces in the Carlos

Shelton obtained a great many items while abroad. These items are listed in a letter written to W.A Candler, which is linked in their locations of origin along the map. Many of these items are on display in the Carlos Museum or still in the museum’s possession. The specific location for the majority of these items, however, is impossible to obtain due to the different labeling systems used since Shelton’s expedition. The best way to see Shelton's items within the museum is to check the accesssion number under each artifact's name. Any accession number containing '1921' comes from Shelton's expedition.


Cynthia Patterson – Professor and Mentor within the History Department at Emory University

The Rose Library – Emory’s Primary Source Library

Megan Slemons – GIS Librarian

Joanna Mundy – Digital Project Specialist

Melinda Hartwig – Curator of the Egyptian and Near East Exhibits within the Carlos Museum

Summer Undergraduate Research at Emory – Research fellowship


Gelvin, James, et al. “Pioneers to the Past: American Archeologists in   the Middle East 1919-1920.” Edited by Geoff Emberling,   The Oriental Institute, Chicago, 29 Aug. 2010.

Shelton, William Arthur. Dust and Ashes of Empires. Richmond: Lamar and Barton, 1922.Google Books. Google. Web.

Shelton’s letters, diary, pictures and other travel documents were provided courtesy of the Rose Library. 

William Arthur Shelton's Journey to the Holy Lands and Beyond (December, 1919 - September, 1920)