“Nordic Grog” An Ancient Scandinavian Treat

HavorhoardwebIt turns out the ancient peoples of Scandinavia had more than a blazing fire to keep them warm. New biomolecular archaeological evidence recently published by Patrick E. McGovern, Scientific Director, Biomolecular Archaeology Project at the Penn Museum, and colleagues, points to a "Nordic Grog" with a long history. From northwest Denmark, circa 1500–1300 BC, to the Swedish island of Gotland as late as the first century AD, Nordic peoples were imbibing an alcoholic "grog" or extreme hybrid beverage rich in local ingredients, including honey, bog cranberry, lingonberry, bog myrtle, yarrow, juniper, birch tree resin, and cereals including wheat, barley and/or rye—and sometimes, grape wine imported from southern or central Europe.

Read about the latest chapter in Dr. McGovern's decades-long quest to understand the cultural and gustatorial history of alcoholic beverages here.

Photo: Ancient Roman imported drinking-set, comprised of a bucket (situla), a ladle and strainer-cup nested together, and several "sauce pans" or drinking cups, from a hoard under the floor of a settlement at Havor (Sweden) in the southern part of the island of Gotland in the Baltic Sea, first century AD (Photograph courtesy of E. Nylén and Statens Historiska Museum, Stockholm).

 

Touch Tours Program Featured by Associated Press

DSC 1345-smThe Penn Museum's "Insights into Ancient Egypt" Touch Tour program is back for its second year, offering blind and visually impaired visitors the unique opportunity to experience select Museum objects with their hands. Now, the national media have taken notice, with an illuminating article and video created by the Associated Press.

Watch the video below, and click here to read the full article.

Read more: Touch Tours Program Featured by Associated Press

 

Mayor's VIP Program Honors HS Freshmen

Mayor's VIPs Freshman Awards Ceremony at Penn Museum Celebrates Effort, Education

MarianawebIt was an afternoon for celebration, inspiration, and parental pride at the Penn Museum Thursday, November 21, as the Mayor's VIPs Program acknowledged—and rewarded—hundreds of Philadelphia High School freshman who have obtained perfect school attendance this semester.

Read more: Mayor's VIP Program Honors HS Freshmen

 

West Philadelphia Students Kick Off Sphinx Celebration

DSC 0121More than 100 sixth, seventh, and eighth graders from the neighboring Lea and the Penn Alexander schools in West Philadelphia visited the Penn Museum on Friday, October 18, to help kick off the centennial celebration of the Penn Museum's Sphinx—the largest in the Western Hemisphere—in  Philadelphia.

Read more: West Philadelphia Students Kick Off Sphinx Celebration

 

“Touch Tours” for Blind Visitors Return to the Penn Museum

Penn Museum Welcomes Overbrook School for the Blind
as First Guests for Expanded "Touch Tours" Program

touch tour overbrook school copyPenn Museum's "Insights to Ancient Egypt" Touch Tours program for blind and low-vision visitors is off and running for a second season, now through December 16. Trish Maunder, Project Coordinator for Special Tours and a disabilities program consultant for the Penn Museum, expanded and revamped the Touch Tours program in response to feedback from members of the community. New for 2013 is a longer tour, assistant docents who themselves are blind or have low vision, the opportunity to touch and feel stone artifacts in the Upper Egypt gallery, a classroom mummification component allowing guests to feel replicas of a brain hook, canopic jar and special commissioned scale replicas of artifacts too large or too fragile to handle directly.

Read more: “Touch Tours” for Blind Visitors Return to the Penn Museum

 

"Art from the Archives" Showcases Northwest Coast, Inuit Art

ThunderbirdA new display at the Penn Museum features "Art from the Archives: Northwest Coast and Inuit Prints and Drawings." Comprised of artwork from our archives, this installation offers colorful views into the lives of this region's indigenous people.

Read more: "Art from the Archives" Showcases Northwest Coast, Inuit Art

 

Mütter Museum, Penn Museum Ticket Partner, Opens New Exhibition

Broken Bodies, Suffering SpiritsThe Penn Museum offers a special double ticket with the Mütter Museum of the College of Physicians of Philadelphia, good for discounted admission to both Museums. Now, a new permanent exhibition at the Mütter Museum offers another great reason to take advantage of this deal.

Read more: Mütter Museum, Penn Museum Ticket Partner, Opens New Exhibition

 

Dr. Patrick McGovern Nominated for "Scientist of the Year" by Philly Geek Awards

PatMcGovern 0017This year's Philly Geek Awards are just around the corner. Among this year's nominees is Dr. Pat McGovern, Scientific Director of the Biomolecular Archaeology Project at the Penn Museum, and author of Uncorking the Past: The Quest for Wine, Beer, and Other Alcoholic Beverages. Dr. McGovern is in the running for "Scientist of the Year," in recognition of his work researching and identifying ancient fermented beverages, several of which have been recreated through collaboration with Dogfish Head Craft Brewery.

Read more about Dr. McGovern's work, and look through the rest of the 2013 Philly Geek Award categories and nominees.

 

Year-Long “Syrinx Journey” Project Visits the Penn Museum

MimiInGreeceVertWEBMimi Stillman, acclaimed flutist, founder and Artistic Director of Philadelphia's Dolce Suono Ensemble, and a University of Pennsylvania alumna (Masters in History, 2003; ABD for Ph.D., 2006), has embarked on an ambitious musical adventure. Stillman's project entitled "Syrinx Journey" honors composer Claude Debussy's 150th birthday. Since August 22, 2012, Stillman has performed Debussy's "Syrinx for Solo Flute" every day in various locations around the world. She recently inquired about including the Penn Museum as part of this incredible homage—and was invited to bring her flute and her hauntingly beautiful two-and-a-half-minute "Syrinx" to the galleries on Monday, August 5—just weeks before her year-long project concludes.

Read more: Year-Long “Syrinx Journey” Project Visits the Penn Museum

 

The Penn Museum Expands Digital Access to Its Collections and Research Projects—Partners with Digital Antiquity and tDAR to Increase Global Scholarly Access to Its Research Publications

JUNE 2013—As a repository of wide-ranging, international collections, original field notes and archival data from roughly 300 archaeological and anthropological expeditions around the world, the Penn Museum in Philadelphia is committed to open, global, digital access for scholars and the public. In 2012, celebrating the Museum's 125th anniversary, the Penn Museum launched two online projects to expand access to its collections and share information about its research history: the online Collections Database and interactive Research Map and Timeline. While those projects continue to grow, the Museum has partnered with Digital Antiquity to further expand research data access to scholars.

Increased Data, Accessibility on www.penn.museum

Launched in January 2012, the online Collections Database has gradually expanded over the past 18 months with a wealth of additional content. It now contains more than 332,851 object records representing 692,850 objects, and more than 90,000 images illustrating 34,067 object records. In addition to the growth in available data, the functionality of the online interface has also been improved, allowing more refined searching and browsing of the Museum’s collections, and—new this month—the ability for online visitors to download the Museum’s collections metadata to sort, study, and use it to suit their own research interests under a CC BY 3.0 Creative Commons license.

Read more: The Penn Museum Expands Digital Access to Its Collections and Research Projects—Partners with...

 

New Evidence on Origins of Winemaking in France

NEW BIOMOLECULAR ARCHAEOLOGICAL EVIDENCE
POINTS TO THE BEGINNINGS OF VINICULTURE IN FRANCE
* * *
9,000 Year Old Ancient Near Eastern "Wine Culture," Traveling Land and Sea,
Reaches Southern Coastal France, Via Ancient Etruscans of Italy, in 6th-­5th Century BCE

winepressPHILADELPHIA, PA June 3, 2013—France is renowned the world over as a leader in the crafts of viticulture and winemaking—but the beginnings of French viniculture have been largely unknown, until now.

Imported ancient Etruscan amphoras and a limestone press platform, discovered at the ancient port site of Lattara in southern France, have provided the earliest known biomolecular archaeological evidence of grape wine and winemaking—and point to the beginnings of a Celtic or Gallic vinicultural industry in France circa 500-400 BCE. Details of the discovery are published as "The Beginning of Viniculture in France" in the June 3, 2013 issue of Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Dr. Patrick McGovern, Director of the Biomolecular Archaeology Laboratory at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology and author of Ancient Wine: The Search for the Origins of Viniculture (Princeton University Press, 2006) is the lead author on the paper, which was researched and written in collaboration with colleagues from France and the United States.

Read more in this article by BBC News.

 

Bone Tumor in 120,000-Year-Old Neandertal Discovered

Bone Tumor Identified in 120,000-Year-Old Rib of Neandertal
From Famous Cave Excavation Site of Krapina in Central Europe

BoneTumorwebPHILADELPHIA, PA, June 2013—The first-known definitive case of a benign bone tumor has been discovered in the rib of a young Neandertal who lived about 120,000 years ago in what is now present-day Croatia. The bone fragment, which comes from the famous archaeological cave site of Krapina, contains by far the earliest bone tumor ever identified in the archaeological record. Details of the tumor confirmation, announced by an international research team led by Penn Museum Associate Curator and Paleoanthropologist Janet Monge, is available in a research paper, "Fibrous dysplasia in a 120,000+ year old Neandertal from Krapina, Croatia," in the online scientific journal PLOS ONE.

Read more about the discovery in this story from National Geographic.

 

Instagram Contest Invites Visitors to Take their Best @pennmuseum Shots

KaminWEB

Penn Museum is fairly new to Instagram, and we're been loving all the great Museum photos that our visitors have posted.

We want to see more! This May, we're featuring a special contest to find the best Penn Museum photo on Instagram. The prize: two FREE double tickets good for admission to the Penn Museum and the Mütter Museum in Philadelphia!

Read more: Instagram Contest Invites Visitors to Take their Best @pennmuseum Shots

 

Children's Book Drive Now Through Mother's Day

GroundSwell, Penn Museum, Kick off PHILADELPHIA READS Children’s Book Drive

PHILAReadsMore than 400 people visited the Penn Museum Wednesday evening, April 10, for the Philadelphia READS Community Night, presented in conjunction with the Greater Philadelphia Cultural Alliance’s GroundSwell initiative. The event marked the official kick off of a book drive for Philadelphia children. Kids and families enjoyed music, dance, and poetry performances, created their own poems, learned how to write in ancient Sumerian and in Egyptian hieroglyphs—and heard stories from books—as read by Museum curators and collections keepers throughout the many-cultured galleries. By night’s end, the Museum had collected more than 350 books for PHILADELPHIA READS, a non-profit organization that provides free books to Philadelphia pre-school and elementary school educators for use in their classrooms and programs.

Read more: Children's Book Drive Now Through Mother's Day

 

Richard Dawkins Receives the Wilton Krogman Award

Richard Dawkins received the Penn Museum's Wilton Krogman Award for Distinguished Achievement in Biological Anthropology Wednesday evening, March 12, 2013. The award was presented by Julian Siggers, Williams Director, Penn Museum, at the sold-out 2013 Bicentennial Philomatheon Society Annual Oration, held in the 1,500-seat Irvine Auditorium on the University of Pennsylvania campus.

Read more: Richard Dawkins Receives the Wilton Krogman Award

 

$100,000 Check from Treasures Sale & Show

Treasures Jewelry Sale & Show, Women’s Committee Fundraiser, Source of $100,000 Gift to the Penn Museum

Read more: $100,000 Check from Treasures Sale & Show

 

Children Measure the Penn Museum’s Iconic Sphinx in Unique Interactive Math Lesson

On a recent morning, ninety-nine years after the Sphinx arrived at the Penn Museum, Dr. Benjamin Ashcom posed a question to a group of sixth and seventh graders: How much does the Sphinx weigh?

Read more: Children Measure the Penn Museum’s Iconic Sphinx in Unique Interactive Math Lesson

 

Richard Dawkins to Receive Penn Museum's Wilton Krogman Award

RICHARD DAWKINS TO RECEIVE
PENN MUSEUM'S WILTON KROGMAN AWARD MARCH 12
* * *
Sold Out Philomatheon Society Lecture, Where Award will be Presented, is Featured Part of University of Pennsylvania's "Year of Proof"

Read more: Richard Dawkins to Receive Penn Museum's Wilton Krogman Award

 
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