Monthly Archives: January 2013

Uncrating a Masterpiece: The Lod Mosaic has Arrived!


This past Saturday, January 26th, the centerpiece of our new exhibit, Unearthing a Masterpiece: A Roman Mosaic from Lod, Israel arrived and work began to set the pieces into place. The mosaic is so big, that it is shipped in 7 crates.  The crates themselves are so large, that they could not be brought in […]

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Registrars in Action: Rock, Paper, Scissors, Sledgehammer

Crate craned over wall

If you have been to our Museum, odds are you’ve seen people carting around objects or rolling large crates through galleries and mysteriously disappearing behind locked doors.  Most likely, those people were Registrars.  When I’m asked what Museum Registrars do, I usually say we deal with record keeping and moving objects in, out, and around […]

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Ur Digitization Project: January 2013

Watercolor reconstruction of 'typical' house at Ur, No. 3 Gay Street, by A.S. Whitburn, ca. 1930.

Archival document of the month Spotlight on A.S. Whitburn reconstruction drawing of No. 3 Gay Street Early archaeologists often concentrated on temples, palaces and cemeteries, since these were most likely to contain impressive artifacts for museums. Woolley dug his fair share of these areas, but to his great credit, he did not overlook the more […]

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Looting Reported at Tam An Mah Cave


Tam An Mah Cave Buried jar site, Luang Prabang province, Laos “In January 2010, Joyce White, MMAP co-director Bounheuang Bouasisengpaseuth, and other scholars from the United States, Italy, Ireland, Australia, England, Thailand, the Philippines, and Laos conducted a short but intensive excavation at a rock shelter site named Tham An Mah (Horse Saddle Cave). This […]

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The Life Aquatic: Underwater Archaeology in Cartoon Motion


The most thrilling aspect of working in the Archives here at the Penn Museum is that during the course of your day you might discover something unexpected. In my two and a half years as a work-study student, I had yet to make a discovery, until about two weeks ago when I came across a […]

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How Beer Saved the World

How Beer Saved the World (2011)

Was beer critical in the development of civilization, agriculture, mathematics, bookkeeping, writing and language? Did beer help build the pyramids? Was beer used to treat certain afflictions and was it unknowingly used as an ancient antibiotic? Was beer safer to consume than water in the middle ages? Find out the answers to all these questions […]

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Ur Digitization Project: December 2012

Supervisory staff in front of the improved Expedition house at end of season 1928-29.

Archival documents of the month Spotlight on Field Photo Numbers 0002 and 1365 The Dig House Archaeologist C. Leonard Woolley spent as much as five months (typically November to March) every year in the field, living at a small house he had built near the site of Ur. It was a basic Expedition house for […]

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