Category Archives: Americas

Real Time in Sito Conte: January 23, 1940

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Sitio Conte in Real Time: January 5, 1940

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“In the meantime we are making all arrangements so that the moment that information arrives we can start the wheel going.” -Mason to Lothrop, January 5, 1940 As the dust from the holidays settled, Mason returned to work firing off correspondence about everything the team would need down in Panama. Luckily back in December, Samuel K. Lothrop […]

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Sitio Conte in Real Time: December 27, 1939

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“A great deal however depends on the individual in the field, his good judgement, his diagnosis on the condition of the specimen and just how it should be handled, the character of the material he has to treat, how much time is available and its reaction to certain kinds of treatment.” -Louis Schellbach to J. […]

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Sitio Conte in Real Time: December 23, 1939

J. Alden Mason

“We really ought to be leaving about this time and so have to step on the gas to get ready as soon as possible.” J. Alden Mason to Louis Schellbach, December 23, 1939 As 2014 comes to an end, the museum is in the final stages of installing a new exhibition. Beneath the Surface: Life and […]

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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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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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On the Wampum Trail: Balancing Traditional and Museological Care of Wampum

Reproduction of the 1794 George Washington Treaty of Canadaigua wampum belt. Made with electrical wire insulation and artificial sinew by Jake Thomas. Object # III-I-1867, Canadian Museum of History. Photo by Stephanie Mach.

My name is Stephanie Mach and I am the Student Engagement Coordinator at the Penn Museum. I work closely with Penn Museum’s collections, University classes, and student researchers. My position acts as a bridge between the Museum and the Penn community, therefore, I am often asked about issues of cultural heritage, repatriation, museum best practices, […]

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How Much Does Matter Matter? A Glass Wampum Belt at the Archives of Nicolet Seminary

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This spring, I joined Dr. Margaret Bruchac and Stephanie Mach for field research in the northeastern US and Canada, to get a closer look at wampum belts and collars (shell bead objects woven by Native Americans, First Nations peoples, and colonial diplomats). A personal highlight of this trip was the opportunity to serve as an […]

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Are We Hard Wired To Collect?

Deer, Parrot, Chief, and Owl katsinam in the Wolf collection.

When talking to school kids visiting the Museum, I love to ask them if they collect anything?  Their hands fly up in the air and they eagerly describe their personal treasures of rocks, key chains, Pokemon or baseball cards, bottle caps, and state quarters. When I was a kid I collected stuffed octopi.  Seriously – […]

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A Light Gone Out

Billy Frank Jr., Nisqually Tribe (1930-2014).

Indian Country lost a legend this month with the passing of Billy Frank Jr. (1930-2014).  Arrested for fishing on more than 50 occasions during his life time, Frank stood firmly for Civil Rights.  A man with clear vision and staunch determination, Frank walked with humility, strength and extraordinary kindness. During the “fish wars” of the […]

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