General Archaeology and Anthropology

 Beyond Keychains and Refrigerator Magnets: How to select the perfect travel souvenir
This illustrated lecture will help you understand what motivates us to buy a particular “souvenir” when we travel so you can actually make good choices, especially when visiting traditional markets in foreign countries.   Are you hoping to help preserve a traditional craft? Provide support for a local economy? We will also share lots of great tips on beginning life-long collections you will be proud to own, display and pass on to your kids.  Connie Kirker

To Market, To Market, To Buy?...How to Find What You Want at a Traditional Market
A lot can be learned from the experience of visiting a market and interacting with market venders, merchants and artisans. What is the best way to approach a traditional market where local goods are offered for sale with no price tags?  Americans are generally unfamiliar and even uncomfortable with this form of shopping common in many parts of the world. How do you know what products you should look for and what is a “fair” price? This lecture will reveal important hints and tips on how to get the most fun and value out of this special experience whether you are traveling to a distant country or a local flea market.  Connie Kirker

Trash Can Detective

The person who sat at a desk and used this trash can is missing.  Luckily, the trash can hasn't been emptied for a week.  Who is this person and what can we learn from the trash? To answer these question students excavate the trash can and in the process learn how archaeologists deal with similar problems. When archaeologists excavate a site they work back in time. The first level of artifacts is the most recent. The artifacts have to be carefully recorded and removed before the next level can be excavated.  As an excavation unfolds it is difficult to tell how levels and artifacts relate to each other. It is only when the earliest level is uncovered that the development of the site over time is revealed and its history can be written. Make sure to record all the objects otherwise you will miss the clues. Once the trash can is empty, the excavation is over and all that is left are the records. If the records are clear the mystery can be solved. Ann Guinan

Innovation and Forms of Ancient Glass
Tracing the origins of glass-making to the Near East and Egypt, this lecture examines the technological processes and mythological mysteries behind one of mankind’s most enduring innovations.  From Herodotus’s explanation of its invention, to the rise of Egyptian faience, to the spread of material trade across the Mediterranean, the causalities leading to changes in technology will be visited.  Why was most Egyptian faience blue?  How did glass-blowing come about and how did it almost spell disaster for the glass-making industry?  Has glass technology really progressed in the past 2000-years?  This lecture offers the ability to study one particular material across different cultures and time, connecting modern window glass to Phoenician sailors, drinking glasses of today to Roman symposiums, and the world we live in to a diverse, yet connected, cultural past.  (Suitable to children 10+ to adults) John Kuehne

Home Sweet Home: Houses Around the World
More than any other aspect of a culture, housing defines and embodies the cultural values and beliefs that define everyday life. What is it like to live in a Bedouin tent, a Venetian palazzo or an igloo? Join us on a journey through the communal centers, living rooms and bedrooms of dwellings throughout the world. We'll take you to the Amazon rainforest to look at the construction of grass houses, to the Middle East to look at houses made of mud brick, to Paros, an Aegean island where bedrooms can be on one side of the street and living rooms on the other. This illustrated talk will make use of the descriptions by anthropologists who have worked and lived in some of the world's most unusual houses. Ms. Ann Guinan

Libraries of the Ancient World
Libraries concentrate the knowledge and scholarship of a culture in one place. This talk will look at the libraries of ancient peoples such as the Assyrians and the Romans. How were ancient libraries used and what did they contain? It will also consider the politics and philosophy that inspired the construction of libraries and the acquisition of their documents. Ms. Ann Guinan

Masks, Make-Up & Mystery
On every continent and in every age, man has devised ways to cover his face. Masks of wood, feathers, shell and paint are often works of great beauty and power. This slide lecture looks at different functions of masks in many cultures and asks why these creations are made up and continue to haunt us. Mr. Steve Abrams

Someone Else's Shoes

Folk dance is part of our cultural heritage with roots in ancient rites. Costumes, footwear, geography, and politics all contribute to the unique form of each dance. Slides and music from all over Europe will be presented and demonstrations of gestures and steps are all combined in this program. Mr. Steve Abrams

Digging Up the Past
As detectives into the past, archaeologists uncover the lives, mysteries and achievements of people who lived hundreds or thousands of years ago. Archaeological method and professional archaeology are included in this discussion. (Suitable for ages 10 and up.) Ann Guinan

Rich and Poor: Everyday Life in the Ancient World

From the twisted alleyways of Babylon to the gracious houses of Pompeii, we will tour the streets, houses, courtyards and kitchens of the ancient world. What was it like to live in ancient cities? Museum exhibits of archeological treasures introduce us to the material goods of the wealthiest segment of society. As a result, it is easier to envision the lives of the "haves" and ignore lives of the "have-nots." In this visit to the ancient world, we will look at poverty as well as privilege. Ms. Ann Guinan

What Bones Tell and Archaeologist: Forensic Anthropology at an Excavation
Human Bones are one of the most common classes of artifacts found at an archaeological site. Excavators often find skeletons in formal burial sites as well as in a variety of other contexts. Even the skeletons in ancient cemeteries are come in a variety of types; each with needs to be decoded by conducting an anthropological study of the bones. Determining the age and the sex of the individual in a cemetery is the basic to interpreting how the living understood their own society, and how the passage to the afterlife is part of the life cycle itself.
Human bones also appear in many ritual contexts, either as intact specimens or as objects that have been fashioned from fresh bones. Bits and pieces of human skeletons can appear anywhere at an archaeological site. Their identification, and the evaluation of how these pieces got there, helps us to decode the archaeological record and reconstruct the ancient society. Dr. Becker's experience with skeletal analysis at over 100 excavations around the world is condensed into a brief, slide illustrated review of what a "bone man" does and what excavators should do until the doctor arrives. Dr. Marshall Becker


This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Trip Advisor
University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology | Penn Logo
3260 South Street | Philadelphia, PA 19104 | (215) 898-4000 | Contacts

With Art Philadelphia