University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Egyptian Wand [Object of the Day #97]


By: Alyssa Kaminski

  This Egyptian wand was created sometime between 1300 and 1200 BC and was found at a Temple in Beth Shan. It is created from a hippopotamus tusk, an animal that was once native to region that is now Syria/Palestine. On the wand, is the face of Hathor, goddess of love, music, and joy. She […]

Mortuary Statue [Object of the Day #96]


By: Gabrielle Niu

This limestone mortuary sculpture is from the ancient city of Palmyra in modern-day central Syria. Michael Danti dates this ornate statue to the 3rd century CE, a time when the city of Palmyra flourished under Roman rule as an important nexus of trade between the East and West. After Syria was established as a Roman […]

Minoan Marine Style Rhyton [Object of the Day #95]


By: Ann Brownlee

  This rhyton, decorated with six leaping dolphins against a rocky seascape, is an example of the Marine Style in Minoan pottery.   It has a hole at the bottom and may have been used for libations.  The lively Marine Style, with its depictions of dolphins, octopi, and other sea creatures amid rocks and seaweed, […]

Carved Female Figure [Object of the Day #94]


By: admin

This carving of a woman holding a bowl over her head is one of a handful of such figures collected in the late 19th century in the Solomon Islands.  Except for the common subject, no two are alike. This one is painted black, and incised designs on the figure and bowl are highlighted with contrasting […]

Painted Jar [Object of the Day #93]


By: Josef Wegner

Painted jar from Karanog. The site of Karanog was located in Lower (or Northern) Nubia, now entirely flooded beneath Lake Nasser. In 1907-1912 this region was the focus for the first excavations of the Eckley Coxe Jr. Expedition of the Penn Museum. Karanog was once a flourishing town, and the administrative capital of Lower Nubia, […]

Egyptian Sleeve Band [Object of the Day #92]


By: Alyssa Kaminski

  While this sleeve band is made from a linen material, it was created in imitation of Sassanian silk or Byzantine design. The iconography is that of a “Propitious Portrait” or “Wealthy Woman” that is surrounded by a floral border. The object is dated between 600-799 AD. Penn Museum Object #E634B See this and other […]

Building Better Search

How terms are organized in the thesaurus

By: Scott Williams

Have you ever searched for ‘Buddhism’ only to find records which contain exactly  ‘Buddhism’ and not ‘Buddhist’, ‘Buddha’, or related concepts like ‘Maitreya‘ or ‘Bodhisattva‘? Frustrating, no? Problem Like many museum’s online collections, the Penn Museum’s first online collection site (launched in January) worked like the previous example and matched the terms a user searched for […]

Ur Digitization Project: Item of the Month, October 2012

Roll-out in plaster of cylinder seal U.8228, which likely hung from the silver pin B16730.

By: Brad Hafford

Artifact of the month Spotlight on Field Number U.8226 (Museum Number B16730) Silver Garment Pin This beautiful pin was found in PG165, a ‘non-royal’ grave in the Royal Cemetery area of Ur. More than 1800 graves were found in this area but only 16 were designated royal; these graves had particular characteristics, most notably a […]

Willard Libby, Alfred Nobel, and Ahanakht

Graph taken from publication of Libby's Nobel Laureate address, showing Penn Museum's own Aha-Nakht[sic] as one of the baseline known dates.

By: Lynn Grant

How cool is this?  While working on a post for our Artifact Lab blog, I Googled Ahanakht, the ancient Egyptian buried in an elaborately inscribed wooden coffin in our collection.  Besides learning that Ahanakht I was the first Middle Kingdom governor of the Hare nome (province) in around 2000 BCE, I got a result citing […]

Ababua Chopper [Object of the Day #91]


By: Alyssa Kaminski

  The fierce Chopper pictured above is linked to the Ababua people of Africa. Carved into the ivory handle is a deep, wide groove  that wraps around the center. The blade is made from iron with three circular cut outs in a row. Beside those cut outs, on each side, are three prong shaped iron […]

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