University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Welcome to the Penn Museum blog. First launched in January 2009, the Museum blog now has over 800 posts covering a range of topics in the categories of Museum, Collection, Exhibitions, Research, and By Location. Here you’ll hear directly from our staff and Penn students about their work, research, experiences, and discoveries. To explore a topic of interest, please use the Blog Search function.


Buddha Dispelling Fear [Object of the Day #49]

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By: Ashley Harper

This sculpture from the 16 century, from Thailand, shows a standing Buddha. He stands very straight, in the center of a lotus throne and is draped in a transparent robe and sarong-like undergarment. His body is shown with large, square shoulders and a chiseled waist line which, taken allegorically, makes a connection between his physical […]

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Feather Cape [Object of the Day #46]

Screen shot 2012-11-27 at 9.49.34 AM

By: Ashley Harper

Cape consisting of bundles of small yellow, red, and black feathers tied in overlapping rows to a netted foundation of plant fiber.  Like Object of the Day #14, a long feather cloak, this cape was an item of aristocratic regalia and a signifier of rank in ancient Hawaii.  Full length cloaks were worn by the […]

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For Shark Week 2012 Why Not Enjoy a Shark Salad?

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By: Ashley Harper

It’s Shark Week and how better to celebrate than with a shark inspired creation! Enjoy our shark salad! For this summer’s best dish please read directions and reference images below 🙂 What you will need: 1: Shark hook, from Oceania, held in Penn Museum’s collection. For more info click here! 2: Weapon with shark teeth, […]

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Summer Nights Featuring Minas!

Penn Museum's Summer Nights Concert Series

By: Ashley Harper

A hot and humid August day gets a refreshing twist during Penn Museum’s Summer Nights concert series. This time we heard the luscious sounds of musicians: Orlando Haddad and Patricia King. They formed Minas in 1978 at North Carolina School of the Arts and have been traveling both around the U.S and South America ever […]

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2012 London Olympics: Nike Then and Now

Coin from Classical Greek period

By: Ashley Harper

What do the Olympic games from circa 405 BC have in common with London’s in 2012? A key may be in the representation of Victory. Read what two representations of Victory reveal about our understanding of the Olympics.

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Native American Voices at the Penn Museum

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