University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Nazca vs. Aliens

By: Bob Thurlow

Alleged alien encounters are not a modern-day phenomenon, yet we seem to actively incorporate those themes into the everyday life more than our predecessors. For decades, it seems there is at least one Hollywood blockbuster every summer that tackles the question of what would happen if extra-terrestrials contacted mankind. The most recent Indiana Jones flick […]

Every Object Tells a Story

By: Bob Thurlow

The series’ lone flashback – a cut to a discovery of the Cross of Coronado by a boy scout Indy and the follow-up conversation with his dad (deeply in-thought with some grail lore) – sets up a movie that tends to focus as much on the history of the pieces as it does the actual […]

Culture clash and the Temple of Doom

By: Bob Thurlow

It’s no secret that Dr. Jones, better known as Indiana, did not always use the methods that were very sensitive to local culture. In fact, it was even highlighted in a letter regarding his denial of tenure at his fictional college. But it was in Temple of Doom that Indy ran into his most diverse […]

Raiders of the Lost Ark vs. Sitio Conte

By: Bob Thurlow

Raiders of the Lost Ark has one of the best opening sequences of any movie: booby-traps,  an enormous boulder, and an incredibly-close getaway. But what was it all for? Treasure … or the Chachopoyan Fertility Idol, to be more precise. Legend holds that the movie prop was based off the Tlazolteotl idol held by Dumbarton […]

Indiana Jones and the Penn Museum

By: Bob Thurlow

A week of non-stop installation and the exhibit installation is nearing its conclusion, but before I go into further detail about why this exhibit is fascinating (aside from the obvious allure of Indy), I want to say that Indiana Jones and the Adventure of Archaeology is currently only scheduled to travel to non-U.S. venues. X3, […]

The ‘Glamorous’ job of a Museum courier

By: Lynn Grant

The Museum often loans artifacts from its collections to other museums for exhibit.  Under certain circumstances, the artifacts will be accompanied by a courier, a museum staff member who oversees the transport, unpacking or repacking, condition reporting, and installation or deinstallation of the artifact(s).  One of those circumstances is if the artifacts are traveling by […]

Afghanistan in Peacetime: “Painted Trucks”(1972), presented by the filmmakers, Judith and Stanley Hallet

By: Kate Pourshariati

Looking through a collection of 16mm films housed in the Museum Library, our film archivist came across a 1972 film which gives a rare glimpse of peace in a country often torn apart by war. We got in touch with the filmmakers, Judith and Stanley Hallet, who let us know that this film is a […]

Test Your Gladiator Knowledge

By: Josh

Penn Museum invites visitors to an afternoon exploring the history of the ancient Roman Empire’s spectacular fighter–the gladiator. Gladiator Day features gladiatorial bouts and demonstrations, a gladiator lecture, gladiator-inspired arts and crafts, balloon art creations, a food demonstration, and Italian-inspired cuisine, on Saturday, April 23, from 1:00 to 4:00 pm, throughout the galleries of the […]

Indiana Jones invades Montreal

By: Bob Thurlow

Thirty years after busting onto the scene in Raiders of the Lost Ark, Indiana Jones remains one of the world’s most captivating characters and still the best liaison between the worlds of scholarship and intrigue. He began as a dynamic character causing swoons among his students and evolved into a movement all his own. Video […]

Notes from Afghanistan: The Burning of the Koran

By: Brian Rose

I’ve just returned from Afghanistan but I wanted to write one final blog regarding the burning of the Koran by the Florida minister last month. As many of you know, that act resulted in a number of anti-American and anti-UN protests during this past weekend, some of which turned violent, with several UN personnel and […]

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