University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Mummies on the move!

A coffin (left) and storage box with mummies (right) being transported through the Egyptian galleries.

By: Molly Gleeson

No, the mummies haven’t come to life-that only happens in the movies (think the 1932 original “The Mummy”). We are in the final stages of preparing In the Artifact Lab for the opening on Sunday, September 30, and we’re moving several mummies and other objects from storage to their new digs up on the 3rd […]

Ur Digitization Project: September 2012

Current object, U.8190, obviously broken at some time in the past 80 years. Scheduling necessary conservation is an aim of the Ur Project.

By: Brad Hafford

This month at the Ur Project has been very busy. We have two major arms of activity ongoing, archival and artifactual (if that’s a word). This blog entry will try to display both through a point of convergence: PG 143. PG stands for Private Grave, a designation Woolley gave to graves in a particular area, […]

Nigerian Armlet [Object of the Day #73]


By: Alyssa Kaminski

  This Nigerian armlet was made from ivory. The object would have been worn around the arm as an accessory. Carved into the ivory are images of Portuguese men (or Europeans) and several leopards. Penn Museum Object #29-93-3 See this and other objects like it on Penn Museum’s Online Collection Database

Etruscan Helmet [Object of the Day #72]


By: Alyssa Kaminski

This Etruscan Commander’s Helmet was found in Narce, Italy, Tomb 43, as one of two found buried with the same warrior. The helmet is made from two sheets of hammered bronze, held together with large protruding rivets. It is decorated with lines and dots of various sizes that line the borders. As an incredible feature, […]

“Insights into Ancient Egypt”: Touch tours for the visually impaired

Insights into Ancient Egypt touch tours

By: Tom Stanley

This fall, the Penn Museum is offering a new series of tours specially designed for people who are blind and visually impaired. These weekly tours offer visitors the opportunity to experience our collections as never before, by inviting guests with visual impairments to touch, feel, and investigate authentic ancient objects from our Egypt (Sphinx) Gallery […]

Tunghak Mask [Object of the Day #71]


By: Alyssa Kaminski

  This Tunghak Mask is a dance mask used to call upon pagan spirits and hosts. The design of the object is meant to be representational of visions that evoke the “other world”. The mask is surrounded by five holes that represent pathways to the spirit world. Around these holes are where birds, seals, and […]

Queen Puabi’s Headdress [Object of the Day #70]


By: Gabrielle Niu

This ornate headdress and pair of earrings were found with the body of Queen Puabi in the Royal Cemetery at Ur. The headdress is made up of 20 gold leaves, two strings of lapis and carnelian, and a large gold comb. When Queen Puabi was found, there were several distinct aspects of her burial. On […]

Prep-work for In the Artifact Lab

Papyrus samples-aged and unaged

By: Molly Gleeson

I’m going to let you in on a little secret. Conservators work hard to prevent things from deteriorating, but we occasionally like to destroy things (gasp!). Maybe it’s because we have devoted so much of our lives to saving things, or maybe it’s because we normally have to tend to such minute details so carefully […]

African Cup [Object of the Day #69]


By: Gabrielle Niu

This wooden vessel, made by the Bushongo in Zaire, has a flat base and a bulbous mid-section. The handle has a carved oval shape and pointed ends which, protrude from the handle. The body of the vessel is ornamentally carved with small diamond shapes. The pattern formed by the diamond shapes is often referred to […]

Ritual Vessel [Object of the Day #68]


By: Gabrielle Niu

The vessel, pictured above, is a four sided fanghu (fāng hú) or square jar. This vessel is composed of copper alloy, bronze, malachite and pigment. The four sides are inlaid with green malachite in a delicate pattern. The pattern is still visible despite much of the malachite being lost. On either side of the vessel are […]

© Penn Museum 2015 Sitemap / Contact / Copyright / Disclaimer / Privacy /