University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

One Woman’s Efforts to Celebrate Women’s History


By: Pam Kosty

Robyn Young, who visited Senior Archivist Alex Pezzati and me at the Museum in mid-June, is on a singular mission: to bring the stories and accomplishments of Pennsylvania’s women into the broader conversation of Pennsylvania history. A few years ago, when she did an informal review of the approximately 1,600 official historical markers throughout the […]

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 […]

Archives Photo of the Week


By: Eric Schnittke

This week’s photo features an image from the Penn Museum’s excavations at Tikal in Guatemala. William Coe, former curator of the American Section at the museum, captured the excavation of an upside-down face sculpture in Structure 34 of the North Acropolis at Tikal. This image is featured in Archivist Alessandro Pezzati’s book Adventures in Photography: Expeditions of the […]

Blouse, Huipil [Object of the Day- #52]

Huipil, Blouse from Guatemala

By: Ashley Harper

This huipil or blouse is made of cotton and silk fibers. It consists of two pieces of material woven together. Most notable are the randa- elaborate shoulder bands. These designs portray animals and double headed eagles in colors like lavender, yellow, white, deep rose, green, purple silk and red cotton. This blouse is an example of […]

Maya Vase from Chama, Guatemala [Object of the Day #21]

Chama Pot

By: Amy Ellsworth

This Maya polychrome ceramic ware from Chama, Guatemala was made around the 8th century CE. This pot is decorated with pictoral designs painted in several tints of red-orange and sepia on cream slip, red and black lines with typical Chama chevron band at top and bottom. Seven human figures in ceremony are accompanied by two […]

Why are Zach and Courtney Hot Glueing Worry Dolls?

By: Amy Ellsworth

I walked into the Exhibits office today and saw bags and bags of what looked like little firecrackers. They always seems to have odd bulk shipments back there (fake hair, desiccated fruits, papier-mâché mummy parts), so I didn’t even question what they were doing with them. Upon closer inspection, I realized they were worry dolls, […]

Fun Friday Image of the Week – Long-nose Gods from Guatemala

By: Amy Ellsworth

These stone pendants from Alta Verapaz, Guatemala, depict the common theme of the “long-nosed God”, frequently identified with Chac, the rain god. The motif is also associated with a figure known as the jester God, a symbol of rulership. From left: H. 7 cm., H. 5.1 cm., H. 3.6 cm. Penn Museum Objects NA11371, NA11375, […]

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