This Egyptian funerary mask from the late Ptolemaic or Roman Period (after 300 BCE) has a gilded face to suggest that the deceased had joined the gods in the afterlife. It meant that now, the owner had skin and bones of gold, just like the gods. On the headdress, alternating stripes of gold and blue [...]
How cool is this? While working on a post for our Artifact Lab blog, I Googled Ahanakht, the ancient Egyptian buried in an elaborately inscribed wooden coffin in our collection. Besides learning that Ahanakht I was the first Middle Kingdom governor of the Hare nome (province) in around 2000 BCE, I got a result citing [...]
Last week the preparations for the Artifact Lab (see my previous post) really began to gather speed. On Monday, Molly Gleeson the project conservator arrived and was immediately plunged into the preparations. Molly, a graduate of the UCLA/Getty program in the Conservation of Archaeological and Ethnographic Materials, has experience and interest in public outreach regarding [...]
Today’s object of the day is a new addition to the galleries. This colorful and beautifully decorated cartonnage mummy case lid is now on display in the Secrets and Science gallery. What is cartonnage? Cartonnage is a material consisting of several layers of linen or papyrus pasted together and covered by a thin layer of [...]
The Penn Museum’s Egyptian Mummy exhibition will soon include a new display highlighting the museum’s shabti collection. Shabtis – small, funerary figurines, either mummiform or in civilian dress – were important components of Egyptian funerary culture from the New Kingdom (ca. 1550 – 1070) onwards. Shabtis were believed to help perform labor for the tomb [...]
Starting in January of 1896, Max Uhle began his excavation of the Pachacamac cemetery in Peru. The site consisted of graves from different eras, but the best preserved layer dated from the late 6th century CE. From this site, the Museum has many objects in its collections (click here to see a few). The tombs from the 6th century layer [...]
Congratulations to Renee Campbell for winning the “Silk Road Smile Contest”. Here is the caption you all voted for… “Eyebrow maintenance is important! I am so happy I brought my brow-waxer with me to the after-life!” Thanks to everyone who participated!
Down in the exhibits department, we’ve been busily working on the upcoming Secrets of the Silk Road exhibit. There is a lot to create, coordinate, and figure out with an exhibit this size. One thing we really wanted to focus on for this exhibit was adding experiences where the visitors can interact with the exhibit. [...]