University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Welcome to the Penn Museum blog. First launched in January 2009, the Museum blog now has over 800 posts covering a range of topics in the categories of Museum, Collection, Exhibitions, Research, and By Location. Here you’ll hear directly from our staff and Penn students about their work, research, experiences, and discoveries. To explore a topic of interest, please use the Blog Search function.


Entre Brechitas y Carreteras : The Possibilities of Museum-led Maya Language Education in the Yucatan Peninsula – Frances Kvietok

5.	Done! One group places down their model for the group exhibit. Photo by Frances Kvietok Dueñas.

By: Anne Tiballi

As kids arrive to the Museo de la Guerra de Castas (Caste War Museum) located in Tihosuco, Mexico, they are greeted by Bety and Antonia, two of the museum’s cultural promoters, and myself in Yucatec Maya. ‘Ma’alob k’iin’ (Good day!), ‘Bishabel?’ (How are you?). Some children reply with a shy smile, some respond in Maya […]

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Sunset over Gordion – Braden Cordivari

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By: Anne Tiballi

My favorite time of day at Gordion is from the late afternoon into the early evening, between 5:30 and 8 pm or so, when the sun is just starting to set and the whole valley begins to cool down. Everything is lit with a soft raking light, and if you’re lucky enough to be out […]

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Indigenous Literacies in Multilingual Times – Aldo Anzures Tapia

Norma (sitting besides me) and Bety in the main driving seat (literally) proofreading the second to last version of the comic book.

By: Anne Tiballi

Maya is an Indigenous language with relatively high vitality in Mexico. Yet, recent language studies have noted that many native Maya speakers are shifting rapidly to Spanish. The University of Pennsylvania Cultural Heritage Center has established a partnership with the Caste War Museum in Tihosuco (a Maya community in Quintana Roo, Mexico) in order to explore this shift. This partnership, […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Ankara and Gordion: First Days on the Ground

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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 […]

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Siamese Manuscripts Found at the Penn Museum – Part 1

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By: Stephen Lang

The Asian Section is happy to feature a guest post by Justin McDaniel, Chair of the Department of Religious Studies and Undergraduate Studies and Susanne Kerekes, Ph.D. candidate in Religious Studies at Penn. The Penn Museum has recently had some of their manuscripts digitized and cataloged as part of a larger project to digitize all the […]

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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 […]

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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 […]

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Sheikh Hamoudi ibn Ibrahim and Ur

Hamoudi and Woolley on site 1931-2.  (Woolley Field Photos 191953)

By: Kyra Kaercher

Ur Project Blog Post June 2016 Last month I wrote about the workers of Ur, and continuing in this theme, this post will focus on the foreman, Sheikh Hamoudi ibn Ibrahim. “In the handling of the men, he [Sir Leonard Woolley] enjoyed the support of Sheikh Hamoudi ibn Ibrahim whom he had trained for the […]

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Native American Voices at the Penn Museum

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