Author Archives: Gabrielle Niu

MAYA 2012: Tunnels

Loa Traxler, curator of MAYA 2012: Lords of Time, explains how archaeologists used tunnels to excavate at the ancient site of Copan in Honduras. Get a look into the excavation tunnels in the video below:

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MAYA 2012: The Ancient Maya and Human Sacrifice

In the movie Apocalypto, Mel Gibson offers a very Hollywood portrayal of the human sacrifice rituals at end of the Maya Classical Period. While human sacrifice played a role in the ritual practices of the ancient Maya, it was not exactly as Gibson and Hollywood conceived of it. Loa Traxler, curator of MAYA 2012: Lords […]

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Behind the Scenes of MAYA 2012: TIMELINE!

4000 years of Maya history in 25 feet? SEE IT TO BELIEVE IT with your host Kevin Schott: Read more about MAYA 2012: Lords of Time opening May 5!

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Behind the Scenes of MAYA 2012 – The Lienzo de Quauhquechollan

The Lienzo de Quauhquechollan is an eight foot-wide, canvas, narrative-oriented “map” that tells the story of the 16th-century conquest of Maya land by the Quauhquechollan and Spanish conquistadores. A replica of the Lienzo is a highlight of the MAYA 2012: Lords of Time exhibit — see the video below to get a sneak peek of […]

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Hip Hop Artists Draw Inspiration from Penn Museum

On Monday, January 9th, local hip hop artists visited the African, Egyptian, and Imagine Africa galleries. The artists, selected by local hip hop radio DJ, Zachariah Hardin, were at the Penn Museum to draw inspiration for their music from the African art and artifacts. WHYY’s Newsworks.org reported on the event in their article At Penn […]

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Penn Museum Launches Online Collections Database

Just this week, the Penn Museum launched its Online Collections Database. This brand new resource currently encompasses over 314,000 object records and is illustrated with 46,000 images, stats that are expected to increase as the project moves forward. A keyword as well as an advanced search allow users to casually browse or specifically search for […]

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Mummy of the Month: Pachamac Mummy Bale No. 26626

Starting in January of 1896, Max Uhle began his excavation of the Pachacamac cemetery in Peru. The site consisted of graves from different eras, but the best preserved layer dated from the late 6th century CE. From this site, the Museum has many objects in its collections (click here to see a few). The tombs from the 6th century layer […]

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Ostrich Eggs

Ostrich eggshells have had a long history in the art and commerce of Africa. Back in 1987, David Conwell from Penn’s Classical Archaeology department published an article in the Penn Museum Expedition Journal about the implications about Libyan trade drawn from analysis of ostrich eggshell fragments. Conwell suggests that the shell fragments give us a […]

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Imagine Africa: World’s Most Ancient Painters

Imagine the world’s oldest painting kit. Last week, Science Magazine published an article on the 2008 archaeological discovery of two 100,000-year-old abalone shells that contain traces of the first known mixed paint. A team of researchers led by Christopher Henshilwood of the University of Bergin, Norway excavated the shells in the Blombus Cave at the […]

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If Vampire Weekend Spent Some Time in Africa…

While there isn’t a section specifically on the music of Africa in the Penn Museum’s Imagine Africa project, the evolution of contemporary African music is a great way to hear the ways that African culture influences and is influenced by the rest of the world. The band “The Very Best” was formed in London when […]

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