Monthly Archives: May 2012

Seek and Ye Shall Find

More updates on the dig in Laikipia, Kenya, to come soon. I’m cooking up a longer post, but it needs to simmer for a while. For the moment, enjoy these beautiful molars that we’ve uncovered!

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Maasai Life

I am Jennifer Chiappardi, one of the photographers at Penn Museum.  I am currently working with Kathleen Ryan in Kenya.  The team was recently excavating in Laikipia.  My children, Sara and Zac, and my niece, Beverly, have joined the team to travel to Maasai land.  Berverly is 16, Sara is 12 and Zac is 7.  […]

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Coming Soon: Shabti Display

The Penn Museum’s Egyptian Mummy exhibition will soon include a new display highlighting the museum’s shabti collection. Shabtis – small, funerary figurines, either mummiform or in civilian dress – were important components of Egyptian funerary culture from the New Kingdom (ca. 1550 – 1070) onwards. Shabtis were believed to help perform labor for the tomb […]

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Kenya 2012: The Mpala Team

Here at Mpala, we are accompanied by a group of extremely intelligent, kind and patient people who have dedicated large portions of their lives and time to contributing to the advancement of archaeological and anthropological knowledge.  This mix-matched group of people combines to form an excellent team that features different strengths and focused areas of […]

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Kenya 2012: Mpala Research Centre and Wildlife Foundation

For someone who has never participated in an on-site research trip for archaeology/anthropology in a foreign place, the Mpala Research Centre and Wildlife Foundation facilities were not what I was expecting.  Not only are the accommodations comparable, if not fancier, than the apartment where I was living last semester, but the common dining area and […]

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Kenya 2012: A Petit Primer on the Genetics of Lactase Persistence – The Suckling Saga 2/2

(Continued from the first part of this post: “Lactation, Lips, and Other Mammalian Curiosities”) Now, consider the facts in the first part of this post about the mammalian milk bar and take a look at these orphan elephants at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Nairobi. I visited these trunky critters with Kathleen and Louise […]

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Photos from the MAYA 2012 Opening Celebration

The opening weekend of the MAYA 2012 exhibition was a huge success. The Museum was filled with colorful sites, sounds, and the smells of great Maya-inspired food. Some macaws and a turtle even showed up. Here are just a few of the pics of the day:

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Kenya 2012: Lactation, Lips, and Other Mammalian Curiosities – The Suckling Saga 1/2

Below you’ll find some of the thoughts that have bubbled up in my mind while I’ve been pleasantly bumbling about Kenya. All of these things connect to the project which we’re undertaking in some way, but I hope you’ll indulge by ramblings on natural history just a smidgen, even if they seem somewhat far afield […]

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Kenya 2012: Bones, Bodies, Misbehavior*

Note: The internet comes and goes at Kenya in the moment. Mostly goes. As such, this post is a few days late. Pardon our tardiness. We’ll get back on schedule lickety-split. ***** I would say the weather in Nairobi is temperate. Gray clouds floated by today without dropping their contents, except for the short but […]

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Ban Chiang Pots: Under the Macro Lens

Archaeological research relies on sharp close-up photographs to document and illustrate observations on artifacts. I was very fortunate to have been hired by the Ban Chiang Project, for my work study position this past year, and be able to use my professional skills in photography for the fascinating assignment of making detailed photographs of their […]

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