University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Arctic Bow Drill

Close-up of hunting scene on bow drill.

By: Margaret Bruchac

Getting a Handle on the Past: An Arctic Bow Drill Object Analysis and Report for Anthropology of Museums by Ally Mitchem After several years at two different colleges, I’m good at research. I can find my way around online journals like a pro. You have an object in museum collections you’d like to know more about? Great, […]

Alaska Harpoon Rest

Figure 1: Alaskan Harpoon Rest from the Sledge Island Van Valin Collection. Photo with permission from the University of Pennsylvania Museum

By: Margaret Bruchac

Alaska Harpoon Rest: Supported by Bears, Whales, and Chains Object Analysis and Report for Anthropology of Museums by Enika Selby This Iñupiaq (also called Eskimo or Inuit) harpoon rest (Museum Object Number: NA4796) came to the Penn Museum from Sledge Island, Alaska, a tiny island off the Western coast. It is hand carved from walrus ivory, […]

Egyptian Wand [Object of the Day #97]


By: Alyssa Kaminski

  This Egyptian wand was created sometime between 1300 and 1200 BC and was found at a Temple in Beth Shan. It is created from a hippopotamus tusk, an animal that was once native to region that is now Syria/Palestine. On the wand, is the face of Hathor, goddess of love, music, and joy. She […]

Ivory Box [Object of the Day-#77]


By: Gabrielle Niu

This ornate ivory box is made by the Edo in Nigeria, Africa. The box lid includes representations of two human like figures (on the left) and a reptile like creature (on the right). The sides of the box are decorated with a three-ply two strand twist (each strand is three-ply). Additionally, the bottom of box […]

Gearing Up

By: Amy Ellsworth

Kathleen Ryan, Associate Curator of the African Section at the Penn Museum, approached me months ago about going to Kenya with her team to video tape her research on the Laikipia Plateau. “Sure!” I said, thinking I would never get approval from above. It seemed like too much of a fantasy opportunity to ever materialize […]

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