Category Archives: Research

Journey across China. Day 3 – 4 provinces in 1 day

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As we continued driving west, it became noticeably more hilly, the altitude had increased to 1500m. At Hongsibao 紅寺堡, Ningxia Hui (Chinese Muslim) Autonomous Region, we got on the Jingzang Highway 京藏高速 that runs from Beijing to Tibet. It took only a few hours to travel cross Ningxia and soon we found ourselves in Gansu […]

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Journey across China. Day 2- Where the Yellow River flows

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Bright and early at six in the morning, we began our journey west. The first quest was to travel beyond the Fourth Ring Road by 7am to avoid traffic fines (a policy implemented by the government to ease congestion in the inner city). We headed southwest toward Baoding 保定, and after driving for nearly an […]

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Journey across China from Beijing to Bortala. Day 1- Beijing

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The hazy morning sun, the wide intersections flanked by colossal buildings accommodating commuters on various forms of conveyance, and the hustle and bustle of a morning market are scenes characteristic of the center of Beijing. What strikes me as a distinct difference from the previous times I had been here is how refreshingly balmy it […]

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Ur Digitization Project: March 2013

Adze U9339/B16691 : Made of gold? How much gold?

This month we had a week-long visit from archaeo-metallurgists from the Deutches Bergbau-Museum, the University of Franfurt am Main, and the University of Toulouse, Le Mirail. They brought with them some impressive equipment for spot analysis of many metal objects from Ur and will do more in-depth studies of the results back in their home […]

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Special visitor in the Artifact Lab

Photo from the 1972 autopsy. Dr. Michael Zimmerman (left) cuts into the mummy's wrappings with a Stryker saw, assisted by Dr. Aidan Cockburn (center) and Dr. Al Ryman (right).

If you ask me, there is always something interesting going on in the Artifact Lab, and yesterday was no exception. If you have been following the Artifact Lab blog, you will know that we have been working on one of the mummies in our collection, who we refer to as PUM I. PUM stands for […]

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Looting Reported at Tam An Mah Cave

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Tam An Mah Cave Buried jar site, Luang Prabang province, Laos “In January 2010, Joyce White, MMAP co-director Bounheuang Bouasisengpaseuth, and other scholars from the United States, Italy, Ireland, Australia, England, Thailand, the Philippines, and Laos conducted a short but intensive excavation at a rock shelter site named Tham An Mah (Horse Saddle Cave). This […]

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Ur Digitization Project: December 2012

Supervisory staff in front of the improved Expedition house at end of season 1928-29.

Archival documents of the month Spotlight on Field Photo Numbers 0002 and 1365 The Dig House Archaeologist C. Leonard Woolley spent as much as five months (typically November to March) every year in the field, living at a small house he had built near the site of Ur. It was a basic Expedition house for […]

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Report from the Field: Luang Prabang 1

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In late December 2012, the fourth and final phase of the $300,000 Penn Museum Luce Program to Strengthen Southeast Asian Archaeology begins. Its focus is Luang Prabang Province, Laos, where the Museum’s Middle Mekong Archaeological Project (MMAP) has conducted surveys, test excavations and related multi-disciplinary studies since 2005. Nattha Chuenwattana, a Thai PhD student from […]

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Suburban Development Threatens Archaeological Site in Gordion, Turkey

The Penn Museum project at Gordion has been working to preserve the site and over 100 related burial mounds (“tumuli”) that constitute an amazing historical landscape. Agricultural and suburban development are destroying the rural character of the region at a rapid rate, and an immediate threat to the archaeological remains is caused by plowing and irrigating of many […]

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Seek and Ye Shall Find

More updates on the dig in Laikipia, Kenya, to come soon. I’m cooking up a longer post, but it needs to simmer for a while. For the moment, enjoy these beautiful molars that we’ve uncovered!

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