University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

African Basket [Object of the Day #117]


By: Alyssa Kaminski

  This round basket is from our African collection. It it made from twine and interlacing plant fibers. These materials are woven together to create the beautiful geometric patterns that cover the object. Penn Museum Object #AF1835A See this and other objects like it on Penn Museum’s Online Collection Database

Yoruba Drum [Object of the Day #112]


By: Alyssa Kaminski

  This drum, from Nigeria, is characteristic of the Yoruba people. The object is made from wood and displays intricate carvings of fish legged people. The stylized carving represents the king-god and his arm-supporters. The drum is large in size and is missing it’s hide drumhead. Penn Museum Object #29-93-39 See this and other objects […]

Lyre Fragment: Plaque [Object of the Day #105]


By: Alyssa Kaminski

This Fragment was originally found as the front plaque of The Bull Headed Lyre (object #B17694B). The plaque is broken into four panels that tell the story of royalty’s control over nature, funerary ritual, and entry into the underworld. The top panel depicts a nude figure wrestling with two human-headed bulls. This image represents a […]

Carved Wooden Cup [Object of the Day #98]


By: Alyssa Kaminski

  This anthropomorphic cup is carved from wood by the culture of Bushongo. It was made in Africa in the Kasai District. The cup is in the shape of a human head with an elongated neck featuring a choker. The face has decorative markings leading down from the eyes. On the back of neck a […]

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 […]

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 […]

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 ┬áthat 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 […]

Mediterranean Quiver [Object of the Day #87]


By: Alyssa Kaminski

  Today’s object is only a fragment of a quiver that has been broken at the top. It is coated in a very dark green patina with a lighter, rough interior. The upper right hand corner of the inside has an area of red corrosion. This hints that a metal object may have come in […]

Beaded Basket [Object of the Day #86]


By: Alyssa Kaminski

  This incredibly decorated basket is from Djibouti, Africa. The object is intricately beaded with a combination of red, black, and white glass beads. The structure of the basket is made of raphia, a type of palm tree, and is adorned with several tassels ending in shells. Penn Museum Object #2003-53-2 See this and other […]

Dagger Blade [Object of the Day #84]


By: Alyssa Kaminski

  This Dagger blade was made in England During the Bronze Age. It is made from bronze with a yellow patina. The blade is double-edged with curved sides that taper out from the rounded guard to a point. There are two large studs at the end where the blade would attach to a handle. Penn […]

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