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.


How Beer Saved the World

How Beer Saved the World (2011)

By: Michael Condiff

Was beer critical in the development of civilization, agriculture, mathematics, bookkeeping, writing and language? Did beer help build the pyramids? Was beer used to treat certain afflictions and was it unknowingly used as an ancient antibiotic? Was beer safer to consume than water in the middle ages? Find out the answers to all these questions […]

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Dr. Pat’s Ancient Ales

By: Amy Ellsworth

When I first started working at the Penn Museum (back in 2006 CE), I inherited an office that had probably been used as a supply closet at one time or another. The shelves came stocked with publications about Mayan hieroglyphs, Etruscan armor, and a whole mess of those off-putting, 1-color pubs from the 80s. Among […]

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Dr. Pat’s New Biblical Beer Hits the Big Screen

By: Amy Ellsworth

Okay, so it hit the tiny youtube screen, but we like that even better. Dr. Patrick McGovern, has the tongue-tying title of Scientific Director of the Biomolecular Archaeology Laboratory for Cuisine, Fermented Beverages, and Health at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. (It’s just nice to see “fermented beverages” and “health” all […]

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The Golden Age of King Midas

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