Category Archives: Thailand

Hot Pots, Museum Raids, and the Race to Uncover Asia’s Archaeological Past

Federal agents descend upon the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana during a raid in January 2008

It’s not every day that an archaeologist helps serve a Federal search warrant, never mind one that was part of a 500-officer dawn raid at multiple museums in California and Chicago. The search was for smuggled Thai archaeological artifacts, brought into the US since 2003 and added to museum collections under suspicious circumstances. To get […]

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It Was All Quite Different: the Friendship of Lisa Lyons and Vicki Baum

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“Dear Elisabeth, If you had known what a nuisance I’m turning out to be you wouldn’t have started this correspondence, or would you, in spite of it all?” (4/10/1958) The Penn Museum archives received Vicki Baum’s letters at long last and quite by chance. When Lisa Lyons died, she left her records to the Museum, […]

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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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Penn students gain a window into current Museum research

How many undergrads get to see current archaeological research up close—as in, under a microscope? The 15 Penn undergraduates taking Dr. Marie-Claude Boileau’s new Spring semester course “Archaeology and Science” got to view samples of ceramic and metal objects from Ban Chiang, a site excavated by Penn Museum in Northeast Thailand. One year after the […]

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If these pots could talk…

Photo Caption: “If these pots could talk…” Illustration by Ardeth Anderson Abrams  Penn Museum Scholars presents  Joyce White, Associate Curator for Asia and Director of the Ban Chiang Project Marie-Claude Boileau, Postdoctoral Scholar in archaeological ceramics    Wednesday, September 21st 12:30 pm • Classroom #2  Pottery excavated from the UNESCO World Heritage site of Ban Chiang, Thailand […]

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Chet Gorman, Ban Chiang’s Wild Ginger Man

Chet surveying on a river in northern Thailand. A couple of months ago, I attended an evening talk at the Penn Museum where movies of the Ban Chiang Project’s first director, Chester Gorman, were part of the speaker’s PowerPoint presentation. As I watched the grainy images of Chester (a. k. a. Chet) Gorman excavating at […]

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A Day in the Life of Bounheuang Bouasisengpaseuth (Continued)

Wednesday afternoon Every Wednesday at noon, I attend the Introduction to Archaeological Ceramics II class in the Museum’s new ceramics lab, taught by Dr. Marie-Claude Boileau. I listen and try to understand the very technical lectures about things like petrographic thin section analysis, which is how to explain what kind of mineral we saw in […]

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From Pen, Thailand to University of Penn, Part 1

Survey at Ban Pone, Pen District, Udorn Thani Province, NE Thailand, 1999. Photo by Korokot Boonlop Let’s go to Pen! In 1999, three friends and I went to Udorn Thani Province in Northeast Thailand to participate in the Ban Chiang Cultural Tradition Project at Ban Pone, Pen District. We were all archaeological students from Silpakorn […]

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