Category Archives: World

Ur Project: June 2015

RAF aerial photo of Ur in May 1926 showing extensive Woolley excavations and TTC (though note there is another mystery trench to the west of the Temenos).

Mapping the Early Trial Trenches at Ur Reconstructing the sequence of excavation A look at TTA-TTG as archaeological contexts Locating Woolley’s trenches on a map is a trying exercise. In most cases he did not record the locations of exploratory excavation trenches specifically, as he was less concerned with them than with the location of […]

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Wampum Research: Notes from the Trail – 2014-2015

Detail of mid-18th century wampum belt showing the inclusion of a single blue glass bead in the original weave of shell wampum beads. Photograph by Lise Puyo.

In May 2014, three members of the “Wampum Trail” research team (Dr. Margaret Bruchac with research assistants Lise Puyo and Stephanie Mach) set out to follow a century-old trail left by University of Pennsylvania anthropologist Frank G. Speck. With funding from the Penn Museum and the Department of Anthropology, we made an ambitious list of wampum […]

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Portraying Nippur: Artist Osman Hamdi Bey’s Early Relationship with the Penn Museum

"At the Mosque Door"

The Penn Museum is perhaps best known for its impressively large and varied collection of artifacts spanning practically the entirety of human existence, but recently visitors were given a special chance to step into the Museum Archives to learn about some unexpected items housed in the Museum—two paintings and the unique ties they have to […]

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The Spirit of Aloha and Meaningful Knowledge

alex nicole adria and ukelele

In which members of the Penn Hawai’i Club tour the archives, make plans for speaking in the fall for Second Sunday Culture Films, and later visit with Oceanian Section Keeper Adria Katz. In early June two students from the Penn Hawai’i Club visited with Adria Katz, Keeper of the Oceanian Collections, to view the Hawai’ian […]

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Shades of the Soil: Searching for Archaeological Features

Features 17 and 18 in the south plaza, as viewed through a windowbox. Photo courtesy of the Smith Creek Archaeological Project.

The Smith Creek Archaeological Project is a new Penn Museum research project, conducting its first season in the field during the late spring of 2015. The Penn Museum’s Social Media Coordinator, Tom Stanley, is blogging about the project. Archaeology is all about using material remains to learn about people and cultures of the past. In […]

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What are we finding?

Zhenia and our intrepid volunteer, Tim, sift dirt through a 1/2-inch screen.

The Smith Creek Archaeological Project is a new Penn Museum research project, conducting its first season in the field during the late spring of 2015. The Penn Museum’s Social Media Coordinator, Tom Stanley, is blogging about the project. My time onsite down in Mississippi was planned in such a way that I’d be around for […]

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Digging In

Kyle Olsen standing in the excavation unit on Mound A.

The Smith Creek Archaeological Project is a new Penn Museum research project, conducting its first season in the field during the late spring of 2015. The Penn Museum’s Social Media Coordinator, Tom Stanley, is blogging about the project. By the time I arrived down here in Mississippi, the team had already been at work for […]

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Ur Project: May 2015

x-ray of U.8783 (B17463) with comparison to published pin types from Ur

Metal Tools and Weapons from Ur With yet another look at U.8783 (Penn Museum Number: B17463) Awl, Chisel, or Punch from grave PG 422 More than 40 years after he excavated at the ancient city of Ur, Sir Max Mallowan had this to say: “There is still much to be gained through the analysis of Woolley’s […]

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The Unusual Legacy of J. Ashley Sibley

Excavation records, circa 1964, created by the Junior Archaeological Society of Baton Rouge

The Smith Creek Archaeological Project is a new Penn Museum research project, conducting its first season in the field during the late spring of 2015. The Penn Museum’s social media coordinator, Tom Stanley, is blogging about the project. Scattered archaeological work has been conducted on mound sites in the Lower Mississippi Valley dating back as […]

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Cherokee Dance Rattles

Cherokee Stomp Dance Ankle Bands. Museum Object Numbers 46-6-12 A and B. Photo by Margaret Bruchac with permission of the Penn Museum.

Sound and Motion in Museum Objects: Cherokee Stomp Dance Ankle Band Rattles Object Analysis and Report for Anthropology of Museums by Sarah Parkinson How should museums represent objects that incorporate sound and movement? This seems to be a unique challenge, since museums tend to rely on visual cues alone in displays that are static and mute. During a […]

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Beneath the Surface at the Penn Museum