Category Archives: Research

Exploring Contemporary Indigenous Spritualities Through Material Culture

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I will be working in central Colombia (the Cundinamarca and Boyaca areas), from 22nd June to 22nd August, exploring how indigeneity is constructed and experienced in urban contexts. I will look at how spiritual practices are authenticated through their materialization in pre-hispanic archaeological artifacts and landscapes. This research will provide us important data to analyze […]

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Journey across China. Days 7 and 8 – Into a hidden paradise

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I was excited to see the Taklamakhan Desert again after I traveled across it by bus two years ago on the western route that runs through the heart of the desert. There are two roads that cut north-south through the desert. This time, we took the eastern route that passes through the lower reaches of […]

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Survey- ‘I can see for miles, and miles, and miles, and miles…’

Trudging through the fallow fields, tracking down a possible tumulus.  (Photo by: Amanda Ball)

Who knew ‘The Who’s’ lyrics would become relevant to my involvement in this project? This week I was able to take a stab at an aspect of archaeology outside of the well-known process of digging and excavation. In the area surrounding our main site at Stryme there are cultivated fields of cotton and wheat. In […]

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Week 1- Synergasia in Stryme

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After one long flight and a three hour ride from the Thessaloniki airport, I finally made it to the small town of Pagouria, located near the closest city of Komotini, Greece in order to participate in an excavation of the supposed site of ancient Stryme, a port of trade for those crossing the Aegean. The […]

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Sic transit gloria mundi

Erbil citadel gate under construction

The title of this post is a phrase in Latin that means “Thus does the glory of the world pass by”—so fleeting are our worldly creations. It was the first response of a colleague of mine when we saw the construction site pictured below, because this is not just any construction site. What you’re looking […]

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Journey across China. Day 6 – The mesmerizing sands

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Leaving Ge’ermu at dawn, we resumed our journey westward, accompanied on the road only by towering trucks maneuvering themselves slowly toward mining operations on the Chaidamu (Qaidam) salt flats; there were barely any passenger vehicles.  At some point, we crossed one of the major salt lakes, Chaerhan salt lake, on a 32 km land bridge […]

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Journey across China. Day 5- Upward and westward

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The next morning, we left Dulan and made a detour to a nearby village, Reshui 熱水, where there is a large Tang Dynasty (7th - 10th centuries) cemetery.  The main tombs are situated on top of a mound of roughly 80 m high. Because of the altitude (3300 m), it was difficult to make it all […]

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Journey across China. Day 4- Atop the Tibetan Plateau

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The hills outside Xining were dressed in a velvety moss-green, a stark contrast to the landscape in Gansu. We headed for Qinghai Lake, the largest saline lake  (also the largest lake) in China, which was to be the highlight of our drive on day four. At 3200 m, the sun was deceivingly mild in the […]

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Summer 2013 in the Field

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Netherlands, Crete, Greece, Italy, Egypt, Brazil, Argentina, Colombia, Iraq, Turkey, India, Mexico, France—this summer break, 20 University of Pennsylvania students (six undergraduate and 14 graduate students) will be doing research in 13 countries around the world, funded in part by competitive Penn Museum summer field research grants. The projects, supported by Penn and Penn Museum […]

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Eating Ice Cream in Erbil

The citadel of Erbil

The other night, we went out for a walk and I ate my first Iraqi ice cream. My name is Lara Fabian, and I’m a graduate student at Penn studying archaeology. Because of the generous support of the Penn Museum, I am working during the first part of this summer in Iraqi Kurdistan on an […]

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