University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Category: World

The New World of Old World Plants – Alexandria Mitchem

Me and two other students working to set up the flotation tank. Photo by Dr. Chantel White.

By: Anne Tiballi

This summer, I was fortunate to be able to go into the field with Dr. Chantel White to explore the sub-discipline of archaeobotany, the study of ancient plant remains. I have been in the field before, spending last summer learning to dig with Dr. Megan Kassabaum. Upon my return, I conducted research for my senior […]

Contemplating the Void: Peopling the Past in Living History Museums – Lise Puyo

Caption: Diorama of two men exchanging wampum and beaver furs, at the Mashantucket Pequot Museum. Photo by Marge Bruchac.

By: Margaret Bruchac

Every year the Penn Museum provides support to Penn undergraduates and graduate students as they deepen their understanding of the human experience outside the Museum’s walls. Follow these blog posts from our intrepid young scholars as they report on the sights and sites that they encounter throughout their travels in the field. Report from the field […]

Digging Deeper at Gordion

Sarah Leppard, who is supervising the western trench, gives instructions to Işık Abaci (Istanbul University) and Braden Cordivari (University of Pennsylvania).

By: Tom Stanley

When it comes to the Citadel Mound at Gordion—the primary focus of the Gordion Archaeological Project’s work this year—one thing is quite clear, even to a newcomer such as myself: this is a very large site. As I mentioned before, it measures 450 x 300 meters, which equals roughly the size of 19 American football […]

Ankara and Gordion: First Days on the Ground


By: Tom Stanley

I boarded a plane at the Philadelphia International Airport last Tuesday at around 10:30 am. Two layovers and 20 sleepless hours later, I landed at Esenboga Airport in Ankara, Turkey, at roughly 1:30 pm local time. I found my checked bag, exchanged some US currency for Turkish Lira, and got myself a yellow cab at […]

Goat to Sweater

Hatice, Metin, and Songül the kid

By: Naomi Miller

co-written by: Ayşe Gürsan-Salzmann In thinking of ways to preserve the historic landscape around Gordion , Turkey, Ayşe and I thought the best approach was one that would give economic value to the land. Historically, mixed farming (sheep and goat herding and dry-farmed grain cultivation) were the basis of the economy. Now, however, creeping suburbanization […]

Going to Gordion

Gordion site photo

By: Tom Stanley

Hi friends. Tom Stanley here, your favorite Penn Museum social media manager, reporting for summer excavation duty. Last year, I was quite fortunate to be sent on my first expedition to a beautiful corner of the US known as Wilkinson County, Mississippi, where my job was to document a portion of the first season of […]

Seeking Zen in the Museum Storeroom: What Do X-Files, Gurgling Sounds, and Museums Have in Common?

Clockwise from top left: Daniel LoMastro, Ashley Scott, Laura Hazeltine, and Yin Liu in the sub-basement, 2015.  Ashley completed her MA in Egyptology at Penn and is now working with the Egyptian Section on collections storage renovation.  Yin is currently pursuing an MA in Museum Anthropology at Columbia University.

By: Lucy Fowler Williams

Something HUGE has been happening at the Penn Museum in one of seven American Section storerooms. For the past two years, downstairs in the sub-basement (the basement below the basement), in a room about the size of a football field, two small teams of Inventory Assistants have been moving carefully from shelf to shelf, checking […]

1966 Film Made in the Navajo Nation Gets Sound 50 years Later

Maxine and Mary Jane Tsosie with their Grandfather Sam Yazzie

By: Kate Pourshariati

Thanks to a unique set of circumstances a developing relationship has borne fruit this year for the Museum Archives. A film made in 1966 by Dr. Richard Chalfen, who generously donated his work to the Museum a few years ago, was never quite complete; it was lacking a sound track. In 2015 our Film Archivist […]

Maya and Guatemalan History in Film — Live from the Archives

people in Guatemala celebrate the end of a reign of terror

By: Kate Pourshariati

Archival Guatemalan footage from 1940 enriches a new film covering a long span of history.

Buddhist Medicine


By: Stephen Lang

The Asian Section is happy to host a guest blog post by C. Pierce Salguero, Assistant Professor of Asian History and Religious Studies at Penn State University’s Abington College. He is the author of Translating Buddhist Medicine in Medieval China, published by Penn Press in 2014. (Photo selection and captions by Stephen Lang) Medicine in Early Buddhism Knowledge […]

Native American Voices at the Penn Museum

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