University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Category: China


Conserving the Buddhist Murals: An Introduction

Pre-program interns Morgan Burgess (left) and Cassia Balogh (right) work recording the current condition of  the mural C 688

By: Lynn Grant

Just because artifacts have been in our collections or even on display for a long time doesn’t mean we know all about them. A case in point is the large Buddhist Murals in our Chinese Rotunda, probably the largest artifacts in our collection, at least in area. Although they’ve been on exhibition there since the […]


Onondaga Nation and Swedish Engineers Join Hands on Global Food Production

Oren Lyons at Penn Museum, April 16, 2014

By: Lucy Fowler Williams

Native American economic initiatives are influencing our world today…here is a terrific example! A new economic initiative in Indian Country that moves beyond the sale of tobacco and casinos is Plantagon, an innovative international partnership with Native American principles at its core. We heard about it from Oren Lyons, Faithkeeper of the Onondaga Nation (in […]


Zheng He: Great Voyages Lecture

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By: Adam Smith

During three decades at the beginning of the 15th century, China dispatched a series of naval expeditions to Southeast Asia, India, the Persian Gulf and East Africa. These expeditions were on a huge scale, involving hundreds of ships and tens of thousands of men, and were intended to assert the prestige and political dominance of […]


Journey across China. Day 9 – Homestretch

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By: Annie Chan

On the last day, we traveled across Ili Kazakh Autonomous Prefecture before making our way northward into Bortala Mongol Autonomous Prefecture. On both sides of the highway were spectacular views of velvety green hills with fir trees and fields of lavender. We passed a few roadside stores selling wild berry jams and honey in the […]


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

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By: Annie Chan

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 […]


Journey across China. Day 6 – The mesmerizing sands

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By: Annie Chan

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 […]


Journey across China. Day 5- Upward and westward

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By: Annie Chan

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 […]


Journey across China. Day 4- Atop the Tibetan Plateau

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By: Annie Chan

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 […]


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

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By: Annie Chan

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 […]


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

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By: Annie Chan

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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