Category Archives: Museum

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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Borneo Odyssey – a “Live from the Archives” performance

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A visual artist born in Thailand makes use of primary source materials in the Archives in performance art.

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Ur Project: September 2014

Model head created by Katharine Woolley for display of Puabi's headdress. Penn Museum Archival Photo 191121

Gold Fit for a Queen (or) How to Wear a Headdress Spotlight on Puabi’s headdress (museum numbers B17711, etc.) Display of jewelry on model heads Royal Cemetery grave PG800 was excavated in December of 1927 (announced in a telegram of Jan 4, 1928). It contained the burial of a woman identified by a cylinder seal […]

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Self-guided walking tours for visitors to Gordion, Turkey

Jane, me, and Beth checking the view from Tumulus P. Photo by Carolyn Aslan.

In earlier posts (August 3, 2012 and August 8, 2014), I mentioned the Gordion “ecopark” project’s goal of preserving regional biodiversity, the historical landscape, and the archaeological site itself. One part of the project concerns visitor education. I first visited Gordion as a tourist in 1983 and began archaeobotanical fieldwork there in 1988. I have […]

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Dispatches from Iraqi Kurdistan: Survey Far Beyond the Hilly Flanks

View down into the Topzawa Valley. Hiked to current point surveying hill for archaeological remains. Steep way down!

Survey in the newly opened archaeological frontier of Iraqi Kurdistan comes with many challenges. Other reports from University of Pennsylvania graduate students on the project about various aspects of our work have been put up on the Beyond the Museum Walls blog but my own work deals specifically with the survey in our area. This […]

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Ur Digitization Project: August 2014

Location of Pit F. At left is an aerial photo from 1930, at right the location of the pit has been inserted into Woolley's map of Ur in the UrIII period (later than the Ubaid burial).

Deep Pits and Early Burials Spotlight on 31-17-404: Ubaid Period Skeleton from Ur More about the rediscovered skeleton from grave PFG/Z On August 5, 2014, the Penn Museum released a press announcement about a 6,500-year-old skeleton in its collection that had been reconnected to a key piece of its history by the Ur Digitization Project. […]

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