University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology


By: Maureen Callahan

Philadelphia is expecting many of inches of snow, and the weather should start any minute now. It’s safe to say that the city has descended into a full-throated freak-out. So, let’s put it in perspective with some snow photos from the archives! So remember, if you’re going to go out, bring your parka made from […]

Did you say something?

By: Maureen Callahan

Surely these two guys and a gal have something to say.  Create dialogue for them in the comments section — the most clever (by our standards) will win a prize from the archives. Be sure to leave an email address so that we can let you claim your winnings.

Thanks to cellulose and tourists.

By: Alison Miner

It’s great when you find something that is beautiful and also conveys a great amount of information.
This is not one of those circumstances.
Pure 19th-century eye candy.

Stela! Steeeeeeeela! (Can’t you hear me yella?)

By: Maureen Callahan

You’re puttin’ me through Hella! Well, okay, Maya stelae are possibly less immediately dramatic than either Tennessee Williams or the Simpsons. And sure, it’s a different word with a different pronunciation. But the stone monuments in our Meso-American gallery might be my favorite part of walking into the archives in the morning. There’s something about […]

Summer Vacation

By: Maureen Callahan

Ah, our lantern slide collection. A cornucopia of preservation problems and cataloging head-scratchers. Here’s a sunny image for a rainy day here in Philadelphia: Sometimes working in the archives is like being a contestant on “What in the World?” We’re not experts in any one area, and it’s difficult to figure out what’s happening in […]

How to protect your home and family, the Sassanian way.

By: Alison Miner

Ok, I’ll be honest. At first I just chose this image of an Aramaic incantation bowl as the fun friday image of the week because: “look! cute child-like monster drawings!”. But the more I learn about this esoteric corner of the archaeological world, the more relevant these little bowls become. For several hundred years between […]

Desert Falconer

By: Maureen Callahan

Fire, Water, and the Closing of the Frontier

By: Maureen Callahan

If you ever want to make a genealogist cry (no judgment here — that could be an entertaining time), just mention the 1890 United States census. It was a victim of destiny and bureaucrats, first damaged in a fire in 1921 and later destroyed by bone-headed paper pushers in 1933. The first census to use […]

Weirdo gentlemen archaeologists and the archivists who love them

By: Maureen Callahan

There’s a qualitative difference, I’ve discovered, in researching the lives of antebellum and post-Civil War historical figures. When I read the papers of archaeologists of the late nineteenth century, I more or less understand their lives, the technologies that influence their work and the workings of their disciplines. Anything before 1860, however, leaves me lost. […]

More snakes than Indiana Jones

By: Alessandro Pezzati

While preparing for an upcoming presentation, I am finally taking a close look at the museum’s amazing film collection.  Though digitized and made available online in 2007-2008 by the Internet Archive,  the 675 reels of 16mm film are simply too much material for casual browsing.  Spending time with the films, however, is worth it. Comprised […]

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