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.


Narcissus

By: Amy Ellsworth

Spring, by small degrees, is inspiring the bulbs to show off their blooms in the the courtyard at the Penn Museum. The daffodils, with oddly narrow trumpets, are nodding visitors inside as if to say, “The Silk Road mummies may be gone, but we still have a really cool exhibit here! I swear! I’m a […]

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A Day in the Life of Bounheuang Bouasisengpaseuth (Continued)

By: Bounheuang Bouasisengpaseuth

Wednesday afternoon Every Wednesday at noon, I attend the Introduction to Archaeological Ceramics II class in the Museum’s new ceramics lab, taught by Dr. Marie-Claude Boileau. I listen and try to understand the very technical lectures about things like petrographic thin section analysis, which is how to explain what kind of mineral we saw in […]

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Chinese Crystal Ball’s Mysterious Past

The Crystal Ball against the turquoise background of the Penn Museum's Chinese Rotunda.

By: Gabrielle Niu

Like “a limpid bubble” floating atop the crest of a silver wave, the Crystal Ball that anchors the vaulted ceiling of the Chinese rotunda has an exciting and mysterious past.  The fifty-five pounds of transparent quartz crystal is supposedly from the imperial collections of the infamous Qing dynasty Empress, Cixi (1835 – 1908). Cixi was […]

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A Day in the Life of Bounheuang Bouasisengpaseuth

By: Bounheuang Bouasisengpaseuth

Wednesday morning I start my day early at the West Philadelphia home-stay of Anne and Seth. My room is on the third floor rear part of the house where I can see the Vientiane Café and community gardens from my window. Anne and Seth have 5 children as well as three home-stay visitors, two men […]

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M.L. Baker and the Case of the Stolen Jewels

By: Christine Romano

While researching the large collection of Mary Louise Baker’s archaeological drawings in the Penn Museum’s archives, I came across a beautiful watercolor of Egyptian jewelry excavated in Nubia, 1907-1911.  I found myself drawn to Baker’s archaeological illustrations after learning of their conservation treatment by the Conservation Center for Art and Historic Artifacts, and after creating […]

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Museums and the Social Media Scene

By: Gabrielle Niu

The New York Times is hosting a twitter conversation on Thursday, March 17th between 1pm and 2pm, Eastern time, on the subject of social media and museums. Technology officers from museums including the Met, SF MoMA, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Indianapolis Museum of Art will discuss the role of the internet and social media […]

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From Pen, Thailand to University of Penn, Part 2

By: Sureeratana Bubpha

Pot coding at the Ban Chiang Lab, Penn Museum, 2010-11. Photos by Bounheuang Bouasisengpaseuth and Sureeratana Bubpha Continued from, From Pen, Thailand to University of Penn, Part 1 Finally, we arrived at Penn! Fall 2010, twelve years later, finally I am here at Penn. I am now a participant of the Ban Chiang Project. Director, […]

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And the Winner is…

By: Josh

Congratulations to Renee Campbell for winning the “Silk Road Smile Contest”. Here is the caption you all voted for… “Eyebrow maintenance is important! I am so happy I brought my brow-waxer with me to the after-life!” Thanks to everyone who participated!

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From Pen, Thailand to University of Penn, Part 1

By: Sureeratana Bubpha

Survey at Ban Pone, Pen District, Udorn Thani Province, NE Thailand, 1999. Photo by Korokot Boonlop Let’s go to Pen! In 1999, three friends and I went to Udorn Thani Province in Northeast Thailand to participate in the Ban Chiang Cultural Tradition Project at Ban Pone, Pen District. We were all archaeological students from Silpakorn […]

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Archives Vlog: Java

By: Josh

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Bc_Cfadcxf4 From the Watson Kintner Collection. More info.

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The Golden Age of King Midas

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