University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Ur Digitization Project: January 2014

Legrain Photo of the site of Palmyra in Syria, 1926.

By: Brad Hafford

Personal Records, 1926 Continued Spotlight on Legrain’s travels through his Letters and photos We have now completed scanning the curatorial records of Father León Legrain, or at least those that most directly concern the ancient city of Ur. I have now read through many of them, particularly those sent to Penn Museum director George Gordon, […]

Archives Photo of the Week: Dreaming of Warm Weather


By: Eric Schnittke

Philadelphia is cold. We were just hit with a snow storm, temperatures aren’t supposed to be above freezing for another week, and the thought of waiting outside for SEPTA just fills one with dread. Let’s think some better thoughts: warm sun, beaches, swimming in the ocean. This week’s photo of the week lends itself perfectly […]

Archives Photo of the Week: Bicycles, Horses, and a Golf Club


By: Eric Schnittke

The excavations at Nippur, Iraq are some of the University of Pennsylvania Museum’s most well known explorations. The seasons at Nippur resulted in numerous important artifacts and a plethora of new data and knowledge. Very serious work, however, calls for very serious party time. This week’s photo captures some downtime somewhere between 1899 and 1900. […]

Archives Photo of the Week: Happy Turkey Day!


By: Eric Schnittke

Happy Turkey Day! … What, you expected an actual turkey? This week’s photo is a view of Istanbul (then Constantinople) and the Galata Bridge. The Galata Bridge spans the Golden Horn, an inlet of the Bosphorus Strait, the waterway that separates Europe and Asia. The Galata Bridge is now in it’s fifth build, with this photograph showing the […]

Ur Digitization Project: November 2013

Father Legrain working on cuneiform tablets at the Ur Dighouse

By: Brad Hafford

Father Legrain’s Records Spotlight on travel sketches Trip back from Ur, 1925 In both the 1924-25 and the 1925-26 seasons, Father León Legrain was the epigrapher at Ur–the person whose expertise was in cuneiform script and whose duty it was to investigate the clay tablets as they were found. Father Legrain was curator of the […]

Archives Photo of the Week: Remembering John F. Kennedy


By: Eric Schnittke

As the nation remembers John F. Kennedy today on the fiftieth anniversary of his assassination, the Penn Museum Archives looks back to an exhibition of the late president’s library. From June 9 to 12, 1964, the Penn Museum hosted a collection of JFK’s doodles, writings, papers, furniture (including his famous rocking chair), photographs, and other […]

Archives Photo of the Week: Fun Find


By: Eric Schnittke

Every so often, you stumble across an oddity in the archives. This week, I found something that piqued my interest. A researcher was visiting the archives, looking through records from Erich Schmidt’s expedition to Persepolis, Iran. Part of this particular collection is a set of photo albums containing prints that Schmidt had collected  during his […]

Archives Photo of the Week: Baseball


By: Eric Schnittke

With baseball’s World Series starting this week, it’s fitting to pay tribute to the Fall Classic with the Photo of the Week. Featured in this image is a baseball team from an indemnity school, most likely Tsinghua College in Peking, China. Tsinghua College (now Tsinghua University) was created as a preparatory school as part of the Boxer […]

Archives Photo of the Week: Mummy Bundles


By: Eric Schnittke

This week’s photo of the week comes from Pachacamac in Peru. The Penn Museum excavations at Pachacamac were led by Max Uhle, a German philologist and archaeologist who was continuing the work that he had undertaken for the Ethnological Museum of Berlin. Uhle’s explorations of South America lasted from 1895 to 1897. Featured in the image are […]

Archives Photo of the Week: Sphinx


By: Eric Schnittke

You may have to squint, but this week’s archives photo of the week is still important. This image is the only known photograph of the Penn Museum’s Sphinx en route to Cairo for shipping to Philadelphia. The photo was sent by Flinders Petrie to then museum director George Byron Gordon. The 15-ton statue of Ramesses II […]

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