University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Welcome to the Penn Museum blog. First launched in January 2009, the Museum blog now has over 800 posts covering a range of topics in the categories of Museum, Collection, Exhibitions, Research, and By Location. Here you’ll hear directly from our staff and Penn students about their work, research, experiences, and discoveries. To explore a topic of interest, please use the Blog Search function.


Dancing Man at the Seneferu Pyramid in 1929

By: Amy Ellsworth

This man is one of many workers at the excavation of the Seneferu Pyramid in 1929. Maybe it was the presence of the motion picture camera that inspired him to start dancing. Notice the reaction of his fellow workers. For some, the inspiration to start singing and dancing seems pretty commonplace, but others start to […]

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Xuanzang and the Silk Road Pt. 2

By: Stephen Lang

In my last post I introduced a Japanese painting currently hanging in the Director’s office, here is the basic information about the piece: Title: Buddha with Sixteen Benign Deities (Shaka juuroku zenshin)  釈迦十六善神 Period: Late 17th – Early 18th century Material: Ink and Color on Silk Provenience: Japan Artist: Signed Shuho What is going on […]

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Giving Thanks

By: Therese Marmion

With Thanksgiving less than a week away, I thought I’d highlight the fact that our 2009 – 2010 Annual Report was just published.  It is a piece that the Penn Museum produces every year whose primary purpose is to say thank you–to our many supporters, donors, members, leaders, and volunteers.  It is a beautiful publication, […]

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US Soldiers Get a Behind-the-Scenes Tour

By: Katy Blanchard

As head of the Archaeological Institute of America’s program to work with departing soldiers to Iraq and Afghanistan, Dr. Brian Rose has begun a two day series of workshops with Fort Dix. The first day, he lectures at their base and the second day, they come to the museum for various tours. I have had […]

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Kashgar Revival?

By: Gabrielle Niu

Once the western oasis town that connected the Silk Road routes encircling the Taklamakan Desert, the city of Kashgar is re-emerging onto the global scene as a peculiar focus of Beijing’s “special economic” devotions.  Located in the Xinjiang Autonomous region in northwest China, Kashgar is approximately 4400km from Beijing and sits at the edge of […]

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West Wing Renovations–Week 7

By: Pam Kosty

Friday, November 12, 2010–Construction has been taking place on all three floors of the West Wing, as the restoration and air conditioning project continues apace. Brian Barger, Project Superintendent, Hunter Roberts Construction Group, stands in the room behind the Secrets of the Silk Road exhibition gallery and points out the wooden doors, soon to be […]

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Xuanzang and the Silk Road

By: Stephen Lang

The Director’s office sees all kinds of visitors.  From curators and researchers to  board members and potential donors, there is a diversity of interests and topics that get addressed over light cocktails and finger foods.  For this reason we have been trying to create a focal point in the room that relates to a particularly salient exhibit or […]

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One Search to Rule Them All

By: Michael Condiff

Over the past couple of months the I.T. department had received several inquires about not being able to find specific content on our website. After getting some time to test the Search Functionality myself I had to concur that what had been implemented at the launch of the website two years ago was not going […]

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Fun Friday Image of the Week – Long-nose Gods from Guatemala

By: Amy Ellsworth

These stone pendants from Alta Verapaz, Guatemala, depict the common theme of the “long-nosed God”, frequently identified with Chac, the rain god. The motif is also associated with a figure known as the jester God, a symbol of rulership. From left: H. 7 cm., H. 5.1 cm., H. 3.6 cm. Penn Museum Objects NA11371, NA11375, […]

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Fun Friday Image of the Week – Babies and Puppies from 1904

By: Amy Ellsworth

Annie Mitchell, baby Clement Mitchell, and Pido the dog in Ukiah, CA 1904 On verso of photograph: “Girl is Annie Mitchell and baby is Clement Mitchell, children of Clara Mitchell (later Williams) and Tom Mitchell from the Yokayo Rancheria near Ukiah, CA. The dog’s name is Pido. Information courtesy of the Held-Page Library, Ukiah, CA. […]

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Native American Voices at the Penn Museum

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