University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Creating Beth Shean After Antiquity

bethshean

By: Rebecca Vandewalle

This spring, I had the opportunity to sit in on a graduate seminar focusing on the ancient site of Beth Shean in northern Israel (Beth Shean After Antiquity, taught by Dr. Robert Ousterhout). When I first registered, I expected the class to be similar to other archaeology courses I had taken – mostly lectures, discussions, […]

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The Cosmos in Storage

Ubaid columns, Enheduanna, and jewelry from the Royal Cemetery at Ur

By: Katy Blanchard

 I know I’m not alone when I say that I get excited on Sunday nights to sit down and watch Cosmos. The re-envisioned Carl Sagan classic airs on Fox on Sunday nights with Neil deGrasse Tyson as host. I’m not going to gush about how he’s been my favorite astrophysicist since I basically learned what […]

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The Penn Museum Collection – Past and Present

Clockwise from top left: 2011-14-3A, Sculpture of Monk, Burma / 2011-14-1, Sculpture of Temple Dancer, Thailand / 2011-14-6, Bust of Buddha, Burma / 2011-14-13, Lacquered bowl, Burma. These objects are from a 2011 gift from Kathryn Smith Pyle. Pyle’s aunt, Aileen Pyle, and uncle, Robert Porter Sechler, had collected the objects while living and travelling in South and Southeast Asia in the 1950s and 1960s. This acquisition complements the Museum’s existing collection of Southeast Asian Buddhist and ethnographic materials.

By: Xiuqin Zhou

The Penn Museum Collection consists of archaeological and ethnographic materials from most regions of the world. The majority of the collection was formed in the late 19th century and the first half of the 20th century through hundreds of archaeological and anthropological expeditions. On April 1, 1970, the Penn Museum fundamentally changed the Museum’s acquisitions […]

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Entering a New Phase of Life: 2012 New Acquisitions

Briefcase (2012-29-2): When was this briefcase made? Was it ever used?

By: Stephanie Mach

This is the third entry in a series of posts on Collecting and Acquisitions. For over fifty years, the Penn Museum was home to renowned anthropologist Igor Kopytoff (1930-2013), Consulting Curator in the Museum’s African Section.  I was never personally acquainted with Igor, however, I, like many other young anthropologists, came to know him by […]

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Navajo Rug [Object of the Day #61]

Navajo Rug

By: Ashley Harper

This rug is an example of the beautiful geometric design, colors and skill of the Navajo weaver. Rugs and blankets like these have been prized by Europeans for many decades, especially in the late 1880’s. The market created by Europeans has helped sustain artisans as well as introduced new materials and techniques to their traditions. […]

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Egyptian Wand [Object of the Day #57]

Wand

By: Ashley Harper

This wand was carved from a hippopotamus tusk and decorated with nine magical figures including a lion, frog, gazelle, vulture and a cat.  Each of these figures are seated on top of a hieroglyph. The lion head is seen at larger end of the tusk and a jackal head decorates the pointy end of the […]

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New York Times Spotlights Stewart Culin’s work at the Brooklyn Museum

By: Josh

Philadelphia ethnographer Stewart Culin worked as director of the Penn Museum from 1892 to 1903 and was instrumental in acquiring the Historic Games Collection. After his time here, Culin became a curator at the Brooklyn Museum and helped establish their African gallery. A recent New York Times article has more on the subject and the […]

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The Silk Road Smile Contest

By: Josh

Meet the “Yingpan Man”. He is on display as part of our Secrets of the Silk Road exhibition which runs through March 15th with all mummies and artifacts. His mysterious smile has been compared to that of the Mona Lisa… What am I thinking? Submit your caption as a comment on Facebook and we’ll pick […]

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Inside Info: The Silk Road Exhibition

By: Josh

Hi! Social Media Josh here. Just got done my lunch break and decided to hop upstairs and pay a visit to the Secrets of the Silk Road Exhibition. The staff here really did an amazing job. The atmosphere, artifacts, music and mummies provide an experience that can’t be matched. The interactive portions all provide hands-on […]

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Boy Scouts at the Penn Museum

By: Bea Jarocha-Ernst

Every day that something cool comes out of our archives image database is a good day.  There are just so many amazing photos from years gone by relating to all sorts of stuff! Most recently we came across this gem. The Development Office’s awesome intern, Jessica, has been putting together some marketing and outreach letter […]

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The Golden Age of King Midas

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