Author Archives: Alyssa Kaminski

Jeweled Box [Object of the Day #82]

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  Silver, Gold, Lapis Lazuli, Turquoise, Coral, Ruby, Emerald, and Aquamarine jewels all decorate the top of this silver box. There is a central figure made out of coral on a gold plaque with a turquoise border. To each side of the coral figure are two lapis lazuli monkeys. Around the sides are 12 human figures, four of which are gilded on […]

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Javanese Puppet [Object of the Day #80]

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  Today’s object is a Javanese puppet made in the early 20th century. It is a male figure wearing a black, gold, and red fez cap. His red hair is tied up into a bun at the back of his neck with a black and white striped band. The puppet is clothed in a tight […]

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Ubaid Figurine [Object of the Day #79]

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  With her hands on her hips and a bitumen wig, the most defining characteristic of this figurine may be her bird head. Created in Iraq during the Ubaid Period, this figure represents a nude woman. The figurine is made from terracotta and bitumen. It was created using an incising method which uses sharp tools to […]

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Earthenware Bowl [Object of the Day #78]

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  This earthenware bowl was created in New Guinea in the early 1900s. Earthenware is one of the oldest types of pottery. It is porous in texture and is usually fired at lower temperatures. The bowl has an elliptical shape with a rounded bottom and is decorated around the rim with moldings that include two animal-like handles. […]

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Foundation Tablet and Statuette [Object of the Day #76]

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  Found in a baked brick box beneath the foundation of the Temple of Enki, at Ur. This statuette and tablet were inside one, of many, baked brick boxes found in the foundations of sites around southern Mesopotamia. They are one of the few that have been well-documented in an archeological context. The objects are […]

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Mangbetu Effigy Vessel [Object of the Day #74]

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  Throughout the Penn Museum collection there are objects known as effigy vessels. These vessels are found in countries ranging from Mexico to Africa – but what exactly IS an effigy vessel? Commonly, they are defined as containers that are sculpted in the likeness of a human or an animal. The one pictured above originated […]

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Nigerian Armlet [Object of the Day #73]

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  This Nigerian armlet was made from ivory. The object would have been worn around the arm as an accessory. Carved into the ivory are images of Portuguese men (or Europeans) and several leopards. Penn Museum Object #29-93-3 See this and other objects like it on Penn Museum’s Online Collection Database

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Etruscan Helmet [Object of the Day #72]

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This Etruscan Commander’s Helmet was found in Narce, Italy, Tomb 43, as one of two found buried with the same warrior. The helmet is made from two sheets of hammered bronze, held together with large protruding rivets. It is decorated with lines and dots of various sizes that line the borders. As an incredible feature, […]

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Tunghak Mask [Object of the Day #71]

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  This Tunghak Mask is a dance mask used to call upon pagan spirits and hosts. The design of the object is meant to be representational of visions that evoke the “other world”. The mask is surrounded by five holes that represent pathways to the spirit world. Around these holes are where birds, seals, and […]

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Apalaii Headdress [Object of the Day #67]

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This large, elaborate headdress is made of feathers and beetle wings, characteristic of the Apalaii people of Guyana. It was collected by William Curtis Farabee who conducted a pioneering expedition to the Amazon in 1913. For three years, Farabee explored and collected among the little-known tribes of the Amazon, Guyana, and eastern Peru, and conducted excavations […]

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