World-famous Etruscan Scholars Share Latest Research, Theories at International Symposium at University of Pennsylvania Museum

Symposium Offered in Celebration of "Worlds Intertwined: Etruscans, Greeks, and Romans," Permanent New Suite of Classical World Galleries

28 FEBRUARY 2003, PHILADELPHIA, PA—The Etruscan civilization, the preeminent culture of central Italy from 800-100 BC, has attracted a renaissance of interest among scholars and the public in recent years. From the Etruscan alphabet and the language, to the furnishings, architecture, fashion and city planning initiatives, these inventive pre-Roman people have left an enduring legacy. They shocked Greeks and Romans with the freedom of their women, their technological prowess, and their control of the sea—and then gradually lost it all to Rome's military campaigns. Yet, with little in the way of actual Etruscan texts preserved, the cultural artifacts that remain—strange, beautiful, sometimes seductive or frightening—pose challenges to archaeologists and historians eager to tease out a better understanding of the Etruscan contributions to the Roman culture that eventually subsumed them.

Read more: World-famous Etruscan Scholars Share Latest Research, Theories at International Symposium at...

 

University of Pennsylvania Museum to Conserve Seven Ancient Ceramic Coffins from Nippur, Iraq

Conservation Made Possible in Part with IMLS Matching Grant

01 JUNE 2003, PHILADELPHIA, PA—Seven ancient ceramic coffins from the southern Mesopotamian site of Nippur in present-day Iraq - all part of the University of Pennsylvania Museum's Nippur collection and the only such coffins in the United States - will receive the conservation they need, thanks in part to a prestigious matching grant from the Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS), a federal agency. The year-long conservation project will be carried out by independent conservator Julia Lawson with the advice and assistance of Virginia Greene, the Museum's Senior Conservator, and Dr. Richard Zettler, Penn Museum's Associate Curator in the Near East section.

Read more: University of Pennsylvania Museum to Conserve Seven Ancient Ceramic Coffins from Nippur, Iraq

 

Cache of Seal Impressions Discovered in Western India Offers Surprising New Evidence For Cultural Complexity in Little-known Ahar-banas Culture, Circa 3000-1500 B.C.

Find Provides New Insight into Widespread Trade, Cultural Exchange in Region

03 JUNE 2003, PHILADELPHIA, PA—Excavating at the ancient town of Gilund in southern Rajasthan, India, one of the largest sites of the little-known Ahar-Banas culture, archaeologists led by teams from the University of Pennsylvania Museum and Deccan College, Pune, India have discovered a bin filled with more than 100 seal impressions dating to 2100-1700 B.C. The existence of the seals, and their particular styles, offer surprising new evidence for the apparent complexity of this non-literate, late and post-Indus Civilization-era culture, according to Dr. Gregory Possehl, UPM curator and excavation co-director.

Read more: Cache of Seal Impressions Discovered in Western India Offers Surprising New Evidence For Cultural...

 

Indus Civilization Publication by UPM Curator Gregory Possehl is Winner of 2003 Choice Magazine Award for Outstanding Academic Book

16 JANUARY 2004, PHILADELPHIA, PA—The Indus Civilization: A Contemporary Perspective, a new book by Dr. Gregory Possehl, Asian Section Curator of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, has been awarded the prestigious Choice Magazine Award for Outstanding Academic Book for 2003.

A leading expert in the history and archaeology of the ancient Indus Civilization, Dr. Possehl has been engaged in archaeological research in India and Pakistan since 1964. His research interests have taken him from Iron Age megaliths to Mesolithic encampments, and he has directed excavations at Rojdi in Gujarat and, currently, Gilund in southern Rajasthan, India. In addition to his curatorial position at UPM, Dr. Possehl is Professor of Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania.

Read more: Indus Civilization Publication by UPM Curator Gregory Possehl is Winner of 2003 Choice Magazine...

 

Penn Museum Awarded Three Year $301,000 Grant From the National Science Foundation for Native American Research Opportunities for Undergraduates

25 MARCH 2004, PHILADELPHIA, PA—The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology has been awarded a three year, $301,000 grant from the National Science Foundation to support an innovative research experience for undergraduates: "Native Voices, Past and Present, Studies of Native American Collections at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology."

Over the duration of the grant, 36 undergraduate students--18 Native American students and 18 University of Pennsylvania students--will have the opportunity to develop and engage in original research projects using the Museum's rich North American Indian collections, including ethnographic and archaeological materials.

Read more: Penn Museum Awarded Three Year $301,000 Grant From the National Science Foundation for Native...

 

Archaeologists Discover Evidence that Courtiers Were Sacrificed to Accompany Early Egyptian Kings into the Afterlife

Dig at Abydos Yields Important Discoveries About Egypt's First Dynasty

25 MARCH 2004, PHILADELPHIA, PA—The practice of sacrificial burials at First Dynasty (ca. 2950-2775 BC) royal tombs and enclosures has been suggested by Egyptologists since the late 19th century but never proved. However, archeologists working in the desert sands of Abydos, Egypt - more than eight miles from the river Nile - have uncovered strong evidence to suggest that the custom did exist. Moreover, recent excavations have also discovered two new mortuary enclosures - and the royal owner of one has been positively identified.

Read more: Archaeologists Discover Evidence that Courtiers Were Sacrificed to Accompany Early Egyptian Kings...

 

9,000 Year History of Chinese Fermented Beverages Confirmed By Penn Museum Archaeochemist and an International Team of Scholars

01 JANUARY 2005, PHILADELPHIA, PA—Chemical analyses of ancient organics absorbed, and preserved, in pottery jars from the Neolithic village of Jiahu, in Henan province, Northern China, have revealed that a mixed fermented beverage of rice, honey, and fruit was being produced as early as 9,000 years ago, approximately the same time that barley beer and grape wine were beginning to be made in the Middle East.

In addition, liquids more than 3,000 years old, remarkably preserved inside tightly lidded bronze vessels, were chemically analyzed. These vessels from the capital city of Anyang and an elite burial in the Yellow River Basin, dating to the Shang and Western Zhou Dynasties (ca. 1250-1000 B.C.), contained specialized rice and millet “wines.” The beverages had been flavored with herbs, flowers, and/or tree resins, and are similar to herbal wines described in the Shang dynasty oracle inscriptions.

Read more: 9,000 Year History of Chinese Fermented Beverages Confirmed By Penn Museum Archaeochemist and an...

 

Penn Museum's Tiwanaku Archaeological Project Begins Groundbreaking New Effort to Collect Detailed Subsurface Data on this Enigmatic World Heritage Site with 1.05 Million Dollar National Science Foundation Collaborative Grant

Penn School of Engineering Joins Forces with Penn Museum, External Collaborators to Develop New Prototype Data Retrieval Systems for Archaeological Sites

06 JANUARY 2005, PHILADELPHIA, PA—University of Pennsylvania Museum archaeologists working at the renowned ancient site of Tiwanaku in Bolivia--a site sometimes called the "American Stonehenge"--have joined forces with a team of engineers, mathematicians, computer scientists and anthropologists from the University of Pennsylvania's Department of Computer and Information Science, School of Engineering, the Center for Advanced Spatial Technologies, University of Arkansas, and the Department of Anthropology, University of Denver, to begin a large-scale, subsurface surveying project using equipment and techniques that may one day serve as a model for future archaeological efforts worldwide.

Read more: Penn Museum's Tiwanaku Archaeological Project Begins Groundbreaking New Effort to Collect...

 

Asian Section Curator Gregory Possehl Named Honorary Fellow of the Indian Archaeological Society

31 JANUARY 2005, PHILADELPHIA, PA—Dr. Gregory L. Possehl, Curator of the Asian section, University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, and Professor of Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania, was made an Honorary Fellow of the Indian Archaeology Society in recognition of his life-long contribution to India archaeology, especially the study of the enigmatic Harappan Civilization (2500-1900 B.C.). The award was confired at the Society's annual meeting held at the Rai Uma Nath Bali Auditorium in Lucknow, India, 28-31 December 2004.

Read more: Asian Section Curator Gregory Possehl Named Honorary Fellow of the Indian Archaeological Society

 

University of Pennsylvania Museum Receives Prestigious Grant for Conservation of Ancient Sumerian Metal Objects From Institute of Museum and Library Services

Artifacts are Part of Famous Museum Collection from the Site of Ur and the Royal Tombs at Ur in Iraq

02 AUGUST 2005, PHILADELPHIA, PA—More than 800 copper, copper-alloy and iron objects, all about 4,500 years old and excavated in the 1920s and early 1930s at Ur (a site in modern-day Iraq), and at the royal tombs of Ur , are receiving the conservation treatment and rehousing that they need, thanks to a competitive grant awarded to the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology from the Conservation Project Support program of the Federal Institute of Museum and Library Services (IMLS).

Read more: University of Pennsylvania Museum Receives Prestigious Grant for Conservation of Ancient Sumerian...

 

Penn Museum Curator Gregory Possehl Sets Sail Beside the Re-created Reed Boat "Magan" Following Historic Trade Route Journey From Oman to India

08 SEPTEMBER 2005, PHILADELPHIA, PA—On September 7, eight adventurous archaeologists are scheduled to set sail on a voyage from Oman to India on the Magan, a small boat made of reeds covered with black bitumen tar, as they seek to recreate the voyages of ancient mariners of 4,500 years ago--and prove that it is possible to travel across a 500-mile stretch of the sea in a boat made with Bronze Age technology, propelled by the wind and navigated by the sun and the stars. The reconstructed "Black Boat of Magan" was undertaken by the Joint Hadd Project of which the University of Pennsylvania Museum's curator of the Asian Section, Dr. Gregory L. Possehl. is a co-director, along with colleagues Dr. Maurizio Tosi at the University of Bologna (who is the acknowledged "god father" of the Magan Boat) and Dr. Serge Cleuziou of the Centre National de la Recherche Scientifique in Paris. Joined with their Omani collaborators, and Naval Architect Tom Vosmer, they have experimented for over five years with ancient reed boat technology and feel that the current craft is ready to go to sea.

Read more: Penn Museum Curator Gregory Possehl Sets Sail Beside the Re-created Reed Boat "Magan" Following...

 

Naomi Miller, Archaeobotanist at Penn Museum, Selected to Be a Sigma Xi Distinguished Lecturer

Dr. Naomi F. Miller with a variety of modern seeds and seed-filled mudballs she prepared for a demonstration garden of native plants that is part of the interpretive program for the museum at the archaeological site of Gordion in Turkey (June 28, 2006). Photo courtesy N.F. Miller02 JANUARY 2007, PHILADELPHIA, PA Dr. Naomi Miller Senior Research Scientist at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, was selected to be a Sigma Xi Distinguished Lecturer for July 2007 through June 2009. Dr. Miller, an archaeobotanist who has worked extensively on Penn Museum archaeological excavations and other projects throughout the Near East, will offer her newest research and insights in three lecture programs offered to Sigma Xi members, students and the public: "Past, Present and Future of the Landscape in the Land of King Midas: Gordion, Turkey"; "Has it Always looked like This? Long-term Vegetation Changes in the Near East"; and "People and Plants: The Present as Key to the Past, Ethnoarchaeology in an Iranian Village."

Read more: Naomi Miller, Archaeobotanist at Penn Museum, Selected to Be a Sigma Xi Distinguished Lecturer

 

Penn Museum Brings Together International Research Team for Day-long Ancient Greek Symposium "At the Altar of Zeus: The Mt. Lykaion Excavation and Survey Project"

14 FEBRUARY 2007, PHILADELPHIA, PA—The origins of Greek cult and Greek athletics--long a subject of fascination for Greek scholars--may be found at the mountaintop sanctuary of Zeus on Mt. Lykaion in Arcadia, Greece. Famous in antiquity as the site of an open air ash altar to Zeus and athletic contests rivaling those at nearby Olympia, this sanctuary is undergoing new excavations and study, in an international project, the Mt. Lykaion Excavation and Survey Project, that is a joint collaboration between the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology and the University of Arizona, under the auspices of the American School of Classical Studies at Athens, with Greek collaborators, representatives of the Greek Archaeological Service.

Read more: Penn Museum Brings Together International Research Team for Day-long Ancient Greek Symposium "At...

 

Two 4600 Year Old Skulls from Famous Excavations at Royal Tombs of Ur, Iraq Traveled to the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania For CAT Scans

16 APRIL 2007, PHILADELPHIA, PA—Two ancient skulls, circa 2600 BCE, one bedecked with gold ornaments, one with a copper helmet, traveled from storage at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology to the Radiology Department at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania, for a state-of-the-art CAT scan procedure.

Read more: Two 4600 Year Old Skulls from Famous Excavations at Royal Tombs of Ur, Iraq Traveled to the...

 

Dan Rather Reports at Penn Museum

Dr. Jerry Sabloff and Mr. Dan Rather in Penn Museum's Mesoamerican gallery. 21 May 2007, PHILADELPHIA, PA—Long-time national news journalist Dan Rather and a television crew came to Penn Museum to tape interviews and footage for the HDNet Dan Rather Reports program. In Penn Museum's Archives, Mr. Rather interviewed Dr. Miguel Diaz-Barriga, Professor of Anthropology at Swarthmore College, and Dr. Jerry Sabloff, Penn Museum's Interim Director and an expert on the ancient Maya, for an in-depth report on the Zapatista Movement in Chiapas, Mexico--including the history of the indigenous Maya people of that region.

Read more: Dan Rather Reports at Penn Museum

 

Origins of Cattle Pastoralism in East Africa is the Focus of a New Three-Year Study by Penn Museum and International Research Team

National Science Foundation Awards Team a $185,000 Research Grant

22 AUGUST 2007, PHILADELPHIA, PA—In Africa today, cattle pastoralism and dairy farming are principal livelihoods for millions of people, integrated into most aspects of cultural life. In the last few years, harsh and unpredictable climate fluctuations in East Africa—probable signs of global warming—have affected the region’s pastoralists, and threaten their long-term ability to continue their semi-nomadic way of life. Surprisingly, until recent decades little research had been conducted on the origins and spread of cattle domestication across that huge continent.

Read more: Origins of Cattle Pastoralism in East Africa is the Focus of a New Three-Year Study by Penn...

 

The Middle Mekong Archaological Project, Joint Effort of Penn Museum and Department of Museums and Archaeology in Laos, Completes Survey and Test Excavation Seasons

International Partnership Project Seeks to Fill in the Blanks of Southeast Asian Prehistory

19 OCTOBER 2007, PHILADELPHIA, PA—As archaeologists in the last half century have set about reconstructing the prehistory of Southeast Asia, data from one country—centrally located Laos—was conspicuously missing. Little archaeology has occurred in Laos since before World War II, and beginning in the mid-1970s, Laos shut its doors completely to outside researchers. International scholars had to content themselves with information from excavation and survey work mostly from neighboring Thailand.

Read more: The Middle Mekong Archaological Project, Joint Effort of Penn Museum and Department of Museums...

 

The Earliest Chocolate Drink of the New World

New Chemical Analyses Take Confirmation Back 500 Years and Reveal that the Impetus for Cacao Cultivation was an Alcoholic Beverage

Bottle from an unidentified site in northern Honduras corresponding to a type produced between 1400 and 1100 BC at Puerto Escondido. Barraca Brown Burnished type (Ocotillo phase, 1100-900 BC). Collection of the Instituto Hondureño de Antropología e Historia, Museo de San Pedro Sula, Honduras. Drawing courtesy of Yolanda Tovar.13 NOVEMBER 2007, PHILADELPHIA, PA—–The earliest known use of cacao––the source of our modern day chocolate––has been pushed back more than 500 years, to somewhere between 1400 and 1100 B.C.E., thanks to new chemical analyses of residues extracted from pottery excavated at an archaeological site at Puerto Escondido in Honduras. The new evidence also indicates that, long before the flavor of the cacao seed (or bean) became popular, it was the sweet pulp of the chocolate fruit, used in making a fermented (5% alcohol) beverage, which first drew attention to the plant in the Americas.

Read more: The Earliest Chocolate Drink of the New World

 

New Discoveries at the Ash Altar of Zeus, Mt. Lykaion, Offer Insights into Early Origins of Ancient Greece's Most Powerful God

Mt. Lykaion Excavation and Survey Project Finds Early Activity Atop Arcadia’s Famous Mountain

22 JANUARY 2008, PHILADELPHIA, PA—The Greek traveler, Pausanias, living in the second century, CE, would probably recognize the spectacular site of the Sanctuary of Zeus at Mt. Lykaion, and particularly the altar of Zeus. At 4,500 feet above sea level, atop the altar provides a breathtaking, panoramic vista of Arcadia.

Read more: New Discoveries at the Ash Altar of Zeus, Mt. Lykaion, Offer Insights into Early Origins of...

 

First Mycenaean Harbor and Port Town Offers a New Opportunity to Understand the Rise and Fall of a Great Expansionist Ancient Greek Civilization

20 MARCH 2008, PHILADELPHIA, PA—Homer, living centuries before the Classical era of Athens, is renowned for his epic tales of an even earlier time, when the Mycenaeans of the Late Bronze Age (ca. 1600–1100 B.C.)—with a rich warrior aristocracy and wide-ranging trade—came to rule the land and the seas.

Archaeologists have uncovered great Mycenaean cities, like Mycenae and Pylos, extraordinary circular burial chambers, elegant frescoes, even written language, as well as widespread evidence of Mycenaean expansion and trade—but no harbors or port towns to help them understand the far-flung connections, or the rapid expansion and equally sudden demise, of this ancient Greek culture—until now.

Read more: First Mycenaean Harbor and Port Town Offers a New Opportunity to Understand the Rise and Fall of...

 

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