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 the Museum's other digital content, visit The Digital Penn Museum.

Beauty Is Pain: A New Look at the Toiletry Kits from Ur

Examples for toiletry kits found on the internet: 1) 1-200AD, Rhineland, Roman Athlete’s kit 2) 400-700 AD, Oxfordshire, Anglo-Saxon toiletry kit  3) 800-1169AD, Ireland, Model of a Viking toiletry set 4) Our modern day version of a similar kit

By: Kyra Kaercher

Toiletry kits have been found around the ancient world from the Indus Valley to Britain, and range in time from the 3rd millennium BCE to the modern day, albeit in varied forms.  Nearly every publication that mentions these artifacts acknowledges that we do not know how they were used, but most interpret them as dealing […]

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Ur Project: March 2015

Screen shot from Ur-Online showing the assemblage from EHG46. This view was obtained by searching G46 in the main search box.

By: Brad Hafford

Toward a Digital Research Tool Spotlight on EHG46: Larsa/Old Babylonian grave assemblage Example usage of the Ur-Online test site We have opened our digital research tool — — in a test version to researchers around the world. This month I want to show one way it helps to speed up research by organizing contextual […]

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Digital Archaeology – Uncovering a Website


By: Michael Condiff

Sometime in 2009, before I came to the museum, there was a major migration in both server, platform and URL of the Museums’ website.  These were necessary and progressive moves in the ever changing technological landscape, however, it was not without cost.  In the same way time and earth might cover  over the traces of […]

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Native American Voices at the Penn Museum

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