Monthly Archives: June 2013

Week 1- Synergasia in Stryme

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After one long flight and a three hour ride from the Thessaloniki airport, I finally made it to the small town of Pagouria, located near the closest city of Komotini, Greece in order to participate in an excavation of the supposed site of ancient Stryme, a port of trade for those crossing the Aegean. The […]

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Sic transit gloria mundi

Erbil citadel gate under construction

The title of this post is a phrase in Latin that means “Thus does the glory of the world pass by”—so fleeting are our worldly creations. It was the first response of a colleague of mine when we saw the construction site pictured below, because this is not just any construction site. What you’re looking […]

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Hunting Comparanda in Rome

Me with the tiger panel in the Capitoline Museum

I came to Rome to begin work on my dissertation, which focuses on the 4th century CE Basilica of Junius Bassus. Once a magnificent pavilion whose walls were covered in marble decoration, the Basilica has only a few pieces that survive: four large panels of opus sectile, or inlaid marble. Two of these show a […]

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Journey across China. Day 6 – The mesmerizing sands

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Leaving Ge’ermu at dawn, we resumed our journey westward, accompanied on the road only by towering trucks maneuvering themselves slowly toward mining operations on the Chaidamu (Qaidam) salt flats; there were barely any passenger vehicles.  At some point, we crossed one of the major salt lakes, Chaerhan salt lake, on a 32 km land bridge […]

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Journey across China. Day 5- Upward and westward

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The next morning, we left Dulan and made a detour to a nearby village, Reshui 熱水, where there is a large Tang Dynasty (7th - 10th centuries) cemetery.  The main tombs are situated on top of a mound of roughly 80 m high. Because of the altitude (3300 m), it was difficult to make it all […]

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Journey across China. Day 4- Atop the Tibetan Plateau

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The hills outside Xining were dressed in a velvety moss-green, a stark contrast to the landscape in Gansu. We headed for Qinghai Lake, the largest saline lake  (also the largest lake) in China, which was to be the highlight of our drive on day four. At 3200 m, the sun was deceivingly mild in the […]

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Summer 2013 in the Field

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Netherlands, Crete, Greece, Italy, Egypt, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Iraq, Turkey, India, Mexico, France—this summer break, 20 University of Pennsylvania students (six undergraduate and 14 graduate students) will be doing research in 13 countries around the world, funded in part by competitive Penn Museum summer field research grants. The projects, supported by Penn and Penn Museum […]

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Eating Ice Cream in Erbil

The citadel of Erbil

The other night, we went out for a walk and I ate my first Iraqi ice cream. My name is Lara Fabian, and I’m a graduate student at Penn studying archaeology. Because of the generous support of the Penn Museum, I am working during the first part of this summer in Iraqi Kurdistan on an […]

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Journey across China. Day 3 – 4 provinces in 1 day

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As we continued driving west, it became noticeably more hilly, the altitude had increased to 1500m. At Hongsibao 紅寺堡, Ningxia Hui (Chinese Muslim) Autonomous Region, we got on the Jingzang Highway 京藏高速 that runs from Beijing to Tibet. It took only a few hours to travel cross Ningxia and soon we found ourselves in Gansu […]

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Journey across China. Day 2- Where the Yellow River flows

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Bright and early at six in the morning, we began our journey west. The first quest was to travel beyond the Fourth Ring Road by 7am to avoid traffic fines (a policy implemented by the government to ease congestion in the inner city). We headed southwest toward Baoding 保定, and after driving for nearly an […]

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