Monthly Archives: August 2014

Dispatches from Iraqi Kurdistan: Survey Far Beyond the Hilly Flanks

View down into the Topzawa Valley. Hiked to current point surveying hill for archaeological remains. Steep way down!

Survey in the newly opened archaeological frontier of Iraqi Kurdistan comes with many challenges. Other reports from University of Pennsylvania graduate students on the project about various aspects of our work have been put up on the Beyond the Museum Walls blog but my own work deals specifically with the survey in our area. This […]

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LiDAR Scans and Sacred Lakes: A Report from the 2014 Summer Season at Abydos- Part 2

Houmdi (left) and I (right) at his daughter’s wedding, sitting in the courtyard of his home built within the area of the Malih. Photo from Jamie Kelly

In my previous post, I talked about the technological methods utilized in Abydos this season. Another major part of my season at Abydos was to do a preliminary investigation of the sacred lake associated with the Osiris temple. The remnants of this sacred lake, known now as the Malih or the Salty, survived into the […]

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Ur Digitization Project: August 2014

Location of Pit F. At left is an aerial photo from 1930, at right the location of the pit has been inserted into Woolley's map of Ur in the UrIII period (later than the Ubaid burial).

Deep Pits and Early Burials Spotlight on 31-17-404: Ubaid Period Skeleton from Ur More about the rediscovered skeleton from grave PFG/Z On August 5, 2014, the Penn Museum released a press announcement about a 6,500-year-old skeleton in its collection that had been reconnected to a key piece of its history by the Ur Digitization Project. […]

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Archaeology at the border: Survey and excavation in Xinjiang (continued)

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As we approach the end of the field season, with 2 weeks remaining, the cold weather  also begins to settle in. Since I last wrote, the grass has yellowed, leaving flocks of sheep and cow to scavenge from what is left from a summer much drier than prior years. The rainmakers had to be called […]

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A Glance into the Lives of the Roman Peasantry: Four Weeks of Excavation with the Roman Peasant Project

Ceramics from the Tombarelle site

This summer, I had the pleasure of being accepted to be a part of the sixth and final season of the Roman Peasant Project. I excavated alongside a team of professional archaeologists, professors, and graduate, PhD, and undergraduate students in rural Tuscany in Cinigiano, a municipality in the Province of Grosseto. The site we excavated was called Tombarelle. The Roman Peasant Project, directed by Kim […]

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The Corinth Excavations

Corinth L-29-10-11 by the Painter of KP 14

I am writing from the site of Ancient Corinth, where excavations under the auspices of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens have been going on since the late 19th century.  The Corinth Excavations have been a training ground for generations of archaeologists, including me, and I thank the director, Guy Sanders, and assistant […]

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Baths in the Dirt: Season 2 at Cosa

Rainwater pooling on a floor made of  (still working!) Roman waterproof concrete

“Depart, work and troubles! Now I sing of the baths that sparkle with shining stones…” -Statius, Silvae 1.5 Roman baths were famous for their opulence and ubiquity, and are spoken of admiringly by a number of ancient authors. To excavate a Roman bath, however, is a different matter. The baths do not sparkle, nor do […]

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Sitz Unseen: Looking at Archaeological Sites

xanthos tomb

Many people think that archaeology is mainly about doing: breaking the ground with a pickaxe, shoveling and sifting dirt, using a trowel to uncover artifacts. These activities are all part of the archaeological process. But a large part of archaeology is about looking rather than doing. I am a fifth year PhD student in Penn’s […]

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Update from Iraqi Kurdistan

Neo-Assyrian levels on the southern slope of the tell

Covered with dirt from the excavation, I strive to make myself look presentable as a dust cloud in the distance signals the impending arrival of the director of antiquities and his entourage traveling in a caravan of white pickup trucks. As I bend down to retie my shoe, my eye is drawn to a rather […]

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On the Wampum Trail: Balancing Traditional and Museological Care of Wampum

Reproduction of the 1794 George Washington Treaty of Canadaigua wampum belt. Made with electrical wire insulation and artificial sinew by Jake Thomas. Object # III-I-1867, Canadian Museum of History. Photo by Stephanie Mach.

My name is Stephanie Mach and I am the Student Engagement Coordinator at the Penn Museum. I work closely with Penn Museum’s collections, University classes, and student researchers. My position acts as a bridge between the Museum and the Penn community, therefore, I am often asked about issues of cultural heritage, repatriation, museum best practices, […]

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