University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Welcome to the Penn Museum blog. First launched in January 2009, the Museum blog now has over 800 posts covering a range of topics in the categories of Museum, Collection, Exhibitions, Research, and By Location. Here you’ll hear directly from our staff and Penn students about their work, research, experiences, and discoveries. To explore the Museum's other digital content, visit The Digital Penn Museum.

Fanny’s Reincarnation

“Fanny, my dear, I must admit that your appearance is altered.”

By: Alyssa Velazquez

The work in the Penn Museum Archives never ends. The backlog resists attempts at taming it. The Archives is happy to have a number of interns and volunteers who are willing to help organize, catalog, and preserve the documents, drawings, and photographs in the collections. Alyssa Velazquez is one such intern, who is presently reorganizing […]

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Poetry Read aloud at fireside: Sacred Ground II


By: Lucy Fowler Williams

By: Suzan Shown Harjo Opening Celebration March 1, 2014 Native American Voices: The People – Here and Now Sacred Ground II Eagles disappear into the sun surrounded by light from the face of Creation then scream their way home with burning Messages of mystery and power some are given to snake doctors and ants and […]

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National Poetry Month, Week 4

Inspired by an artifact on view, an Abington School District 2nd grader demonstrates the throwing of a spear in the Iraq's Ancient Past exhibition.  Photo: Dari Sutton

By: Jennifer Reifsteck

This week, Thomas and Max give us new ways to look at Harpoon-shaped Head: Pointy Sharp, Shiny Stabbing, Throwing, Battling What is it made of? Wood by Thomas Sharp Brown, Amazed Amazing, Interesting, Attracting How was it made? Awesome by Max

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National Poetry Month, Week 3

By: Jennifer Reifsteck

This week highlights two iconic objects from the Iraq’s Ancient Past exhibition:  Ram in the Thicket and Puabi’s Diadem and Headdress.  Here is what the guest interpreters had to say: Ram Caught in a Thicket Shiny A ram, Curious Kicking, Standing, Eating Why did they create this? Stuck by Marley Puabi’s Golden Headdress Pretty Big, […]

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National Poetry Month, Week 2

The Abington 2nd grade guest interpreters examine a case in the Iraq's Ancient Past exhibition.  Photo:  Dari Sutton

By: Jennifer Reifsteck

This week, Abington School District guest interpreters Jacob and Kaileb give us two new ways to look at Penn Museum’s iconic Lyre with Bearded Bull’s Head and Inlaid Panel. Horns Cool, Creepy Living, Snorting, Kicking Where did it come from? Brown by Jacob Bull-like Amazing, Surprised Attracting, Interesting, Amusing How did they make it? Beard […]

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National Poetry Month, Week 1

Abington School District 2nd graders piece together pots during a conservation workshop.

By: Jennifer Reifsteck

The month of April is a month full of dedications – everything from Fools (April 1) to Administrative Professionals (April 24) and even the whole Earth itself (April 22) receive a special day.  My personal favorite celebration for April is National Poetry Month. Back in February, second graders from Abington School District visited the Penn […]

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Poems by Nizami from 1584 CE [Object of the Day #90]

Poems by Nizami

By: Bob Thurlow

Born in Modern-day Azerbaijan in the mid-12th Century, Nizami is often considered the most important medieval Persian poet and his works remained highly popular as modes of artistic expression long after his death. His master work, “The Quinary” or “Khamsa” – which entered the public realm about the same time that The Song of Roland […]

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The Philadelphia Writing Project Partners with the Penn Museum

By: guestblogger

by Diane Waff Practice Professor, Penn’s Graduate School of Education The Philadelphia Writing Project (PhilWP) and the Philadelphia Arts and Education Partnership ( PAEP), the local affiliate for the 2012 Scholastic Art and Writing Awards, launched their call for submissions in the Rainey Auditorium at the University of PA Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. The […]

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The Golden Age of King Midas

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