Category Archives: Museum

How to Make Cuneiform Tablet Cookies

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In my own opinion, the best recipes go beyond the taste buds, and serve as a topic of discussion as well. A pre-made jar of salsa doesn’t facilitate conversation, but a recipe with unique ingredients or preparation—something that says something about the person who made it—is all the more valuable for its ability to make connections between the people […]

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Monumental Grandeur of the Mississippi Valley : Great Wonders Lecture Series

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Stretching over 2,500 miles from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico, the Mississippi River Valley is among the richest archaeological regions on the North American continent. Home to thousands of earthen mounds, it contains both the oldest and the most elaborate monumental architecture in North America. The earliest of these monuments was constructed at least […]

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Mounting the Mounts: A Behind the Scenes of Beneath the Surface

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Matt Gay, the mount maker here at the museum, allowed a sneak peak of what he has been working on for the upcoming exhibition, Beneath the Surface today.  After months of careful planning, measuring, drafting, and constructing the various mounts for all the objects going on display, he was able to put some elements together for […]

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Ecuador, Audiovisual Heritage, and Watson Kintner shines again.

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Watson Kintner’s 1940s films have deep significance for people in Ecuador

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Ur Project: November 2014

Part of the original field card for PG 422, showing the tool as drawn and described by Woolley.

Tool Complete with Handle Spotlight on U.8783 (Penn Museum No. B17463) Awl, Chisel, or Punch from grave PG 422 The Ur Project database is shaping up well and as we add information to it, we have moved on to the examination of metal tools and weapons from the site in the Penn Museum. Recently we […]

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a BTS of BTS (Behind the Scenes of Beneath the Surface)

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The Digital Media Center recently paired up with the Preparation Department to film a series of short five-question interviews that will be used in the upcoming exhibition Beneath the Surface.  Over the last three weeks, we interviewed five experts on topics ranging from the history of the Coclé people of Sitio Conte and the excavation […]

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Identifying the Celestial Beings

The Sun with a black disc.

In my previous post I explained how we identified the Buddha in our Tejaprabha mural.  But what about the other figures?  If we take a close look at the mural we notice that many of the figures have different attributes. For instance, they may be holding something in their hand or have a mark in […]

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A Queen, Dethroned (For Now)

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The centerpiece of the Museum’s Iraq’s Ancient Past: Rediscovering Ur’s Royal Cemetery exhibition, and indeed a highlight of our entire collection, is the headdress and jewelry of Queen Puabi. Dating to some 4,500 years ago, her elaborate adornments included earrings, wreaths, rings, a comb, and a hair ribbon made of precious materials like gold, lapis lazuli, […]

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New Beginnings

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In September 2014, the Penn Museum’s Conservation Department was able to move into our long-awaited new spaces. Funded by generous donors, including lead donors A. Bruce and Margaret Mainwaring, Charles K. Williams II, and Frederick J. Manning, the spaces were designed by Samuel Anderson Architects. In the newly renovated West Wing Conservation and Teaching Labs, […]

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Ur Project: October 2014

Artist's reconstruction of PG789 death pit before the courtiers died. The chamber is seen in the background, taller than the people.

Tomb Fit for a Queen (and King?) Spotlight on PG789 & PG800 Royal graves that might or might not be linked In December of 1927, Leonard Woolley uncovered a pair of tombs that would become two of the best known from the Royal Cemetery at Ur, inspiring many newspaper and magazine articles and sparking the […]

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