Monthly Archives: July 2013

Journey across China. Day 9 – Homestretch

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On the last day, we traveled across Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture before making our way northward into Bortala Mongol Autonomous Prefecture. On both sides of the highway were spectacular views of velvety green hills with fir trees and fields of lavender. We passed a few roadside stores selling wild berry jams and honey in the […]

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Ur Digitization Project: July 2013

Electrotype copy of the helmet of Meskalamdug. The gold original is in the Iraq National Museum

Documents of the month Spotlight on archival records of the Ur excavations With special thanks to all the volunteers transcribing them Cablegrams announcing finds (PA1-11-7-1927 and PA1-12-14a-1927) Not only were thousands of ancient tablets excavated at the ancient site of Ur, but thousands of modern documents were created in the process of excavating them and […]

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Excavations at Cosa

View from Cosa

My name is Sophie Crawford-Brown and I am going into my second year at Penn as a PhD student in Art and Archaeology of the Mediterranean World. Thanks to the generous support of the Penn Museum, I was able to excavate at a fascinating site in Italy this summer. The dig team was staying in […]

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If You Build it, They Will Come

Skype session with a remotely located class.

The Penn Museum sometimes feels like a world away from the rest of campus. And yet the building is sandwiched between Franklin Field, HUP, and Penn Park. Is there a mental wall keeping the Museum at a distance? Or, could it be the brick and mortar wall in front of our building? Whatever the issue, […]

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Understanding The Re-Signification of Musica Territory

During the last two weeks I have been talking to scholars who are interested in contemporary Muisca groups, and who have introduced me to some spiritual and political leaders of both officially recognized and non-recognized communities. But let’s start from the beginning: who are Muisca? Muisca was -or should we say is?- an indigenous “prehispanic […]

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Nature as Teacher: Seeing Ancient Rome in the Environment of the Modern City

In a letter to the historian Tacitus, Pliny wrote of the eruption, “I can best describe its shape by likening it to a pine tree. It rose into the sky on a very long ‘trunk’ from which spread some ‘branches.’"

The Roman author Pliny the Younger described the eruption of Mount Vesuvius in 79 AD by likening the rising cloud of smoke to a pine tree. I didn’t understand what Pliny meant by his analogy, and I certainly couldn’t picture a volcano spewing out a coniferous Christmas tree of smoke and ash. When I arrived […]

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Working for the Weekend- Touring Northern Greece

theater philippi

In addition to our work at the field school here in Northern Greece, on weekends we often travel to nearby archaeological sites.  This seems to achieve the goal of familiarizing ourselves with the area and facilitates drawing connections between and recognizing the ancient relationships of these sites.  Such connections were especially apparent as we toured […]

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Art from the Archives: Northwest Coast and Inuit Prints and Drawings

Tim Paul
Silkscreen print on whitewove paper, 1993
Collected by Ruben Reina, Museum Expedition, 1994
94-15-10

Stowed away in the Archives of the Penn Museum is an extremely interesting collection.  Prints of bold patterned scenes, affectionate polar bears swimming in the sea, and downright unusual images make up the collection of art made by indigenous people of the Northwest Coast.  This summer, as an intern in the archives, I had the […]

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Exploring Contemporary Indigenous Spritualities Through Material Culture

MFEsteban1

I will be working in central Colombia (the Cundinamarca and Boyaca areas), from 22nd June to 22nd August, exploring how indigeneity is constructed and experienced in urban contexts. I will look at how spiritual practices are authenticated through their materialization in pre-hispanic archaeological artifacts and landscapes. This research will provide us important data to analyze […]

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Journey across China. Days 7 and 8 – Into a hidden paradise

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I was excited to see the Taklamakhan Desert again after I traveled across it by bus two years ago on the western route that runs through the heart of the desert. There are two roads that cut north-south through the desert. This time, we took the eastern route that passes through the lower reaches of […]

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