University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Apalaii Headdress [Object of the Day #67]

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By: Alyssa Kaminski

This large, elaborate headdress is made of feathers and beetle wings, characteristic of the Apalaii people of Guyana. It was collected by William Curtis Farabee who conducted a pioneering expedition to the Amazon in 1913. For three years, Farabee explored and collected among the little-known tribes of the Amazon, Guyana, and eastern Peru, and conducted excavations […]

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The Artifact Lab takes shape

Project Conservator Molly Gleeson comes face to face with one of her prospective 'clients'

By: Lynn Grant

Last week the preparations for the Artifact Lab (see my previous post) really began to gather speed.  On Monday, Molly Gleeson the project conservator arrived and was immediately plunged into the preparations. Molly, a graduate of the UCLA/Getty program in the Conservation of Archaeological and Ethnographic Materials, has experience and interest in public outreach regarding […]

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Roman Oinochoe [Object of the Day #66]

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By: Alyssa Kaminski

  This Roman oinochoe dates around 350 CE. An oinochoe is a wine jug usually made from ceramic materials. Although the Romans had nothing to do with the invention of glass, which occurred around 2200 BCE in northwestern Iran, they did play a primary role in the industrialization of the glassmaking process in the Mediterranean world […]

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Standing Buddha [Object of the Day #65]

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By: Alyssa Kaminski

This haloed Buddha was made in the ancient city of Gandhara in modern day Pakistan/Afghanistan in the 2nd Century AD. He stands on a plinth carved with two rosettes. His missing hands would have been held in mudras or hand gestures representing reassurance and wish fulfillment. The style of the flowing robe and curvy hair is […]

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Effigy Vessel [Object of the Day #64]

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By: Alyssa Kaminski

This is a red ware ceramic vessel with red and white paint. It is in the shape of a warrior kneeling on his left knee and grasping a war club with both hands. He wears a short skirt and a sleeveless shirt which are both fringed and spotted. On his head is an elaborate headdress worn […]

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Maya Fun Fact: The Importance of Corn

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By: Ashley Harper

Corn is an important part of Maya culture. In the Popol Vuh, Maya cosmology holds that the Gods created the first humans from an ear of corn. Another sign of the importance of corn is the multiple names it has in Mayan language. The tortilla, a dietary staple, also has several names that  change depending […]

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Statuette from Liao Dynasty [Object of the Day #63]

Statuette from the Liao Dynasty

By: Ashley Harper

This gilt bronze statuette is a representation of the compassionate and venerated Guanyin, a popular figure in eastern Buddhism. The figure’s graceful stance and relaxed expression give the statue a sense of peace. In her hands, she holds a lotus bud while over her forehead, at the base of the high crown headdress, is a tiny […]

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Coming soon to a gallery near you: Conservation!

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By: Lynn Grant

Two years ago in this forum, I wrote about Conservation’s move to temporary, smaller quarters, blithely saying “it may be two years before we get back to our proper spaces”.  Well, as anyone who’s had renovations done knows, things take longer than expected and it will probably be another two years before we get those […]

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Puteoli Marble Block [Object of the Day #62]

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By: Alyssa Kaminski

The Puteoli Marble Block is an example of material reused and repurposed.  Initially, the block was carved with a framed inscription and was part of a larger monument to the Roman emperor Domitian. The monument was erected by the town of Puteoli (modern Pozzuoli), near Naples, in thanks to the emperor, probably for a new road.   After […]

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Navajo Rug [Object of the Day #61]

Navajo Rug

By: Ashley Harper

This rug is an example of the beautiful geometric design, colors and skill of the Navajo weaver. Rugs and blankets like these have been prized by Europeans for many decades, especially in the late 1880’s. The market created by Europeans has helped sustain artisans as well as introduced new materials and techniques to their traditions. […]

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