University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

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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Xuanzang and the Silk Road Pt. 4

By: Stephen Lang

Back in June of 2010 I wrote about travelling to the Nara National Museum for an exhibition about China’s influence on Japan during the Tang Dynasty. see:  http://penn.museum/blog/museum/crating-and-packing/ During my trip I visited a temple called Yakushi-ji Temple.    Near the entrance there was one object that  caught my eye, a replica of the pedestal […]

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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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Fun Friday Image of the Week – Woman Smoking a Water Pipe, Iran 1932

By: Amy Ellsworth

A woman water pipe smoker “Kaliunchi” (‘nargilah’ in Arabic and Turkish) in a teahouse in Damghan, Semnan Province, Iran in 1932. Penn Museum Image #83371. Iran was an important part of the Silk Road trading routes. One of the many food items traded along the silk road was pistachios, a main export of Damghan. At […]

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Fun Friday Images of the Week: Camels!

By: Amy Ellsworth

Since we started planning for Secrets of the Silk Road, almost every powerpoint presentation I’ve seen has been festooned with pictures of camels. We’ve spent many a coffee break needling over whether or not the camels peppering the latest powerpoint were Bactrians or Dromedaries. Bactrian camels have two humps! Surely, you knew that already. At […]

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Exhibiting “Secrets of the Silk Road”

By: Gabrielle Niu

The Penn Museum’s Exhibits Department has been developing the interactive features for the Secrets of the Silk Road exhibition opening February 5th! Watch this video for a sneak peek into the exhibition and click here to see photos of the department at work.

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Xuanzang and the Silk Road Pt. 3

By: Stephen Lang

The iconography of Xuanzang, and its history,  is quite fascinating.   Bearing the typical shaved head of a Buddhist monk, Xuanzang is depicted in our painting with a large backpack of sutras, a canopy over his head (with a hanging incense burner) and holding a scroll in his left hand and a fly wisk in […]

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Silk Road Makes Appearance on the Shanghai Art Scene

By: Gabrielle Niu

The transmission of Buddhism from India to China via the Silk Road and the consequent role that Buddhism has played in shaping Chinese culture inextricably ties the histories of the two nations together. However, while many in China are aware of India’s historical past, they are not as in touch with the accomplishments of modern […]

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Mes Aynak

By: Gabrielle Niu

With the violence and religious extremism that has indelibly shaped the contemporary world’s perception of Afghanistan, it often goes unremembered that the region for centuries flourished as a cultural crossroads of trade and Buddhism along the Silk Road. Thirty kilometers (about nineteen miles) from the Afghan capital of Kabul, under layers of unexcavated earth, lays an […]

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Fun Friday Image of the Week – 2,500 Year-old Dress Looks Like New

By: Amy Ellsworth

Pullover wool dress, ca. 5th-3rd century BCE. Excavated from Tomb No. 55 of Cemetery No. 1, Zaghunluq, Charchan, Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region, China. © Xinjiang Uygur Autonomous Region Museum. This is one of the objects coming to the Penn Museum in the Secrets of the Silk Road exhibition in February 2011. I am trying to […]

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The Golden Age of King Midas

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