University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Anthropology Puzzles from the Archives


By: Lee Roueche

Recently I tumbled down the rabbit hole of the Penn Museum Archives with Senior Archivist, Alex Pezzati.  What started as a search for sketches of the Tiffany mosaics on our building, spiraled into Alex pulling out dozens of other collections of images, sketches, documents, and books for me to look through.  Every manilla folder we opened provided an opportunity for […]

Is Elvis in the building?


By: Kate Pourshariati

In honor of the important national holiday today we highlight an ancient artifact [reel to reel tape!] from our audio-visual collections… “Plot synopsis: Archaeologists in the year 7956 explore the abandoned ruins of the long-dead civilization of North America, and attempt to decipher the meanings of its strange artifacts. Based on a short story, [by […]

Rainforest Reconnoitering

Drawing a defensive feature

By: Whit Schroder

Some of the most exciting archaeological fieldwork takes place during the survey phase of a project. Survey consists of various methods of covering a selected region to determine where concentrations of artifacts, features, and/or sites are present across the landscape. Survey usually makes up the preliminary phase of a project, which is why many of […]

Survey Methodology in the Şərur Plain

Last day of auguring at Sədərək Settlement

By: Kyle Olson

Hello again from Azerbaijan, and günortanız xeyr (good day)! Our work on the Naxçıvan Archaeological Project Survey (Director: Dr. Emily Hammer, Oriental Institute) is proceeding smoothly here, but only two weeks remain on the survey before we wrap it up for the season. With so little time remaining, we are moving ahead full-steam to get […]

Day of Archaeology 2014

By: Lee Roueche

This Friday, July 11 the Penn Museum is participating in a Day of Archaeology 2014, which is a communal project that invites people from all over the world who work, study, or volunteer in the archaeological field to share their day. The goal of the project is show the world “why archaeology is vital to […]

Creating Beth Shean After Antiquity


By: Rebecca Vandewalle

This spring, I had the opportunity to sit in on a graduate seminar focusing on the ancient site of Beth Shean in northern Israel (Beth Shean After Antiquity, taught by Dr. Robert Ousterhout). When I first registered, I expected the class to be similar to other archaeology courses I had taken – mostly lectures, discussions, […]

Exploring an Autonomous Exclave: Naxçıvan Archaeological Project 2014

Ludwig Nobel's Mansion (Baku)

By: Kyle Olson

Salam from Azerbaijan and Hoşgəldiniz to Beyond the Gallery Walls! After a week of preparations and setup, the 2014 season of the Naxçıvan Archaeological Project (hereafter, NAP) is now in full swing. As with any archaeological field project, there are many things that must be taken care of before a research season can begin in […]

Looking for a good book this summer?


By: Lee Roueche

“There is a temperate zone in the mind, between luxurious indolence and exacting work; and it is to this region, just between laziness and labor, that summer reading belongs.” -Eyes and Ears, 1862 Henry Ward Beecher Now that the summer vacation season is upon us, it is time to draw up a summer reading list […]

Sic transit gloria mundi

Erbil citadel gate under construction

By: Lara Fabian

The title of this post is a phrase in Latin that means “Thus does the glory of the world pass by”—so fleeting are our worldly creations. It was the first response of a colleague of mine when we saw the construction site pictured below, because this is not just any construction site. What you’re looking […]

Eating Ice Cream in Erbil

The citadel of Erbil

By: Lara Fabian

The other night, we went out for a walk and I ate my first Iraqi ice cream. My name is Lara Fabian, and I’m a graduate student at Penn studying archaeology. Because of the generous support of the Penn Museum, I am working during the first part of this summer in Iraqi Kurdistan on an […]

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