University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Category: Museum


Of Daggers and Scabbards: Evidence from Organic Pseudomorphs and X-Radiography

The image on the left shows B17506 under raking light.  The drawing on the right shows the pattern of the scabbard in blue.

By: Tessa de Alarcon

As part of the Ur Digitization Project, I have been spending time looking at the metal tools from the site.  As Kyra Kaercher has already noted in her blog post, many of the copper alloys from Ur have organic pseudomorphs.  These are sort of like fossils, in that they are organics which have been preserved […]


Ancient Ur and Historic Iraq: Woolley’s 11th Season

Photo taken by Father Leon Legrain in Ur season 4 (1925-1926. At center is Hamoudi's son Yahia who was in charge of photography and here he carries the photo tripod. At left may be his brother Ibrahim, though evidence tends to indicate he bean work only in the following season 5.

By: Brad Hafford

Ur Digitization Project Blog, March 2016 Spotlight on Archival Documents Field Report dated December 31, 1932 Over the past few months I’ve been going over the reports that Leonard Woolley sent from the field 80-90 years ago. This analysis is helping to create pages at Ur-Online that track the yearly progress of excavation. We have collected the field reports […]


#MyPennMuseum – Perspectives: Penn Students on Their Penn Museum

Michael Freeman

By: Stephanie Mach

Everyone has their own experience with the Penn Museum. Join us as we uncover the many ways Penn students, both undergraduate and graduate, engage with the Museum’s many opportunities. Interviews by Leo Page-Blau, Penn Museum Student Engagement Assistant. Name: Michael Freeman Hometown: Walton, NY Year: Junior Dream Job: Classics Professor Favorite Penn Museum Gallery: The […]


Adventure Calls: The Life of a Woman Adventurer

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By: Kyra Kaercher

Ur Project February 2016 “Perhaps the presence of a lone woman with four men in camp makes a more interesting figure for some of them than the outline of ziggurats” (G. Gordon letter to L. Woolley concerning Katharine Menke Keeling, July 8th 1926). Life on a dig is always exciting, and particularly when it is the […]


What’s in a Name?

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By: Kate Pourshariati

Chanthadeth Chanthalangsy has a complicated life history to go with his multi-syllabic name. Having a Lao father and a Cambodian mother, his name reflects a choice of necessity made by his parents before immigrating, as you will see in his short film below. Some footage from the Museum Archives’ Watson Kintner Collection of Cambodia and […]


Elder Folks as “Living Museums”

rawls at left with gun

By: Kate Pourshariati

We in the Museum Archives were pleased to host the extended George Rawls family, where they were able to catch up on their grandfather/great-grandfather and his role in the feature film Matto Grosso, the Great Brazilian Wilderness (1931). Our visitor John Ash is the grandson of George Rawls, the Florida cowboy who played the lead […]


Heart Health Month at the Museum

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By: Tom Stanley

There’s plenty to celebrate in February. February is Black History Month; it’s part of the internationally recognized Season for Nonviolence; it’s also the shortest month of the year, which is nice when you earn a monthly salary (same pay for fewer days of work), but not as nice when you’re paid hourly (same monthly bills, but fewer days to earn money […]


Ur Project, January 2016: A Tour of Ur

Field photo 1884 (left, 1930) and modern equivalent (right, 2015) showing Straight Street from the southeast.

By: Brad Hafford

Ur, Then and Now Comparing photos from the field and from a recent visit Field photos no. 454 and 1884 with equivalents taken in 2015 I’ve been studying the ancient city of Ur for more than a decade, but due to the struggles the nation of Iraq has endured I’d never been able to visit […]


#MyPennMuseum: Using Facebook to Engage Penn Students

‪#‎MyPennMuseum‬‬ "My favorite resource at the Penn Museum is the Center for the Analysis of Archaeological Materials. I'm taking a course there this semester and almost every class makes use of the Museum's vast collection of artifacts. For example, I was able to examine ceramic samples dating back several thousand years ago from Mesopotamia. I've learned that by exploring the museum, you'll find opportunities you never knew existed." 
— Alex King
Editor-in-Chief of Synapse: Penn's Undergraduate Medical Connection

By: Stephanie Mach

My name is Leo Page-Blau, and I am a work-study student in the Academic Engagement Department at the Penn Museum. I am a sophomore studying Communication and the Modern Middle East at Penn. As part of the Academic Engagement Department, I work to engage Penn students in the Museum’s collections and resources. Social media has […]


A Tale of Two Cities: The Ancient Maya Site of La Florida and the Modern Town of El Naranjo

The view from atop one of La Florida’s pyramids. Photo by Joanne Baron

By: Joanne Baron

As we approach the coldest months of the year, all I can think about is sunny Guatemala, where I spent the month of July this past summer. I direct the La Florida Archaeology Project, together with my colleague Liliana Padilla. La Florida is an ancient Maya site, once known as the center of the Namaan […]


Native American Voices at the Penn Museum

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