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.
09 FEBRUARY 2008, PHILADELPHIA, PA—Sunday, 10 February 2008, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m., the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology offers it’s second annual Darwin Day and Evolution Teach In, a free event held in honor of the 199th birthday of Charles Robert Darwin, the world-renowned author of On the Origin of Species—and the originator of the modern theory of evolution.
19 DECEMBER 2007, PHILADELPHIA, PA—If you’re a rat, this is your year! The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology celebrates the Year of the Rat, Saturday, 26 January 2008, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., with its 27th annual Chinese New Year Celebration! Music and dance performances, food and martial arts demonstrations, games, workshops, arts, crafts, children's activities and much more - topped off with the traditional Chinese Lion Dance grand finale - are all part of the spectacular day-long celebration, FREE with Museum admission donation ($8 general admission; $5 students and seniors; free for children under 6, Museum members and PENNcard holders).
New National Science Foundation Funded Traveling Exhibition Focuses on the Process of Human Evolution and Its Outcomes
04 DECEMBER 2007, PHILADELPHIA, PA—Surviving: The Body of Evidence, a new, interactive exhibition that explores the process of evolution and its profound impact on humans, opens at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in Philadelphia 19 April 2008 through 03 May 2009, before beginning a multi-city, national tour. The innovative exhibition, three years in the planning, is made possible in large part by a nearly two million dollar grant from the National Science Foundation, with additional support from individual, corporate, and foundation donors.
29 NOVEMBER 2007, PHILADELPHIA, PA—Lewis and Clark Revisited: A Trail in Modern Day, a traveling exhibition of 60 black and white photographs taken by professional photographer Greg Mac Gregor while he retraced Lewis and Clark’s legendary journey, opens at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology 15 December 2007 through 10 February 2008.
In 1804, Thomas Jefferson commissioned Meriwether Lewis and William Clark, with a small brigade, to explore the land obtained by the Louisiana Purchase and to find a passageway to the Pacific Ocean. Referred to as the Corps of Discovery, Lewis and Clark’s unprecedented overland expedition across North America and back pioneered the western exploration and expansion of the United States.
29 NOVEMBER 2007, PHILADELPHIA, PA—In September 2006, Penn Museum sent out a major, two-year loan of Mesopotamian artifacts--complete with a catalog written by Dr. Richard Zettler, Associate Curator of the Mesopotamian section--to the Beijing World Art Museum, Beijing, China, to be a part of their long-awaited, long-term exhibition, “The Great Civilizations.” Artifacts from Penn Museum's exceptional Mesopotamian section collection constitutes the entire Mesopotamian section of "The Great Civilizations" exhibition.
New Chemical Analyses Take Confirmation Back 500 Years and Reveal that the Impetus for Cacao Cultivation was an Alcoholic Beverage
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.
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.
Penn Museum Presents a Special Afternoon Program with “Fan”fare:
HARRY POTTER AND THE MAGICAL MUGGLE MUSEUM
Sunday, 11 November 12:30 to 4:45 p.m.
Hold on to your hats (wizard hats, that is)!
06 OCTOBER 2007, PHILADELPHIA, PA—Sunday, 11 November 2007, the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology opens at 12:30 p.m.—half an hour early—to fit in all the magic, as the Museum presents HARRY POTTER AND THE MAGICAL MUGGLE MUSEUM. Designed for Harry Potter aficionados and novices of all ages, the afternoon, free with Museum admission donation, includes a potions class, a sorting hat, lectures by Hogwarts (and University of Pennsylvania) professors, a game of Wizard Chess with real people, Diagon Alley and Ollivander’s wand making shop, a tour of magical muggle objects on display in the Museum, grand finale concert appearances by “The Moaning Myrtles” and “The Whomping Willows”—and in between, much more.
Penn Museum's Popular New Exhibition, Developed to Complement the Blockbuster "Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs" Exhibition at The Franklin Institute, To Remain Open
02 OCTOBER 2007, PHILADELPHIA, PA—Amarna, Ancient Egypt's Place in the Sun, the University of Pennsylvania Museum's popular new exhibition about the city of Amarna, Tutankhamun's childhood home, will remain open as a long-term exhibition, adding to the Museum's suite of ancient Egyptian galleries that offer the public a year-round opportunity to explore more than 5,000 years of ancient Egyptian culture, art, and history.
Exploring Iran: The Photography of Erich F. Schmidt, 1930-1940, a new exhibition of more than 50 archival photographs from Iran, complemented by a representative sampling of ancient artifacts, including painted pottery, alabaster and copper/bronze figurines from the archaeological excavations at the Bronze Age site Tepe Hissar, opens at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology October 2nd through December 9th, 2007.
In 1931, the University of Pennsylvania Museum launched the first American archaeological expedition to Iran, in conjunction with the Philadelphia Museum of Art, to excavate at the Bronze Age site of Tepe Hissar. Erich F. Schmidt, a young German archaeologist trained at Columbia University, was chosen to lead the groundbreaking expedition, which yielded surprising new evidence of a sophisticated Bronze Age culture and society that dates to about 4500 B.C.E. (Before the Common Era), or 6,600 years ago.
25 SEPTEMBER 2007, PHILADELPHIA, PA—Last year, 1,100 guests from 107 countries, including Turkey, Anguilla, Myanmar, Maldives, Iran, Azerbaijan, Benin, Rwanda, China, Albania, India, Colombia, and Australia, met and mingled at the annual International Students Reception at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.
International students, scholars and professionals new to the Delaware Valley are invited to attend, in their ethnic best dress, if they wish, this year’s annual welcoming reception Friday, 12 October from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. The event is held in the majestic Chinese Rotunda at Penn Museum, 3260 South Street on the University of Pennsylvania campus.
12 SEPTEMBER 2009, PHILADELPHIA, PA—The many sounds, sights, tastes, arts and traditions of Japan come together on Saturday, 29 September from 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., when the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology offers Celebrate Japan!
Co-sponsored by the Japan America Society of Greater Philadelphia, the Center for East Asian Studies at the University of Pennsylvania, and the Friends of the Japanese House and Garden (Shofuso), this spectacular, family-friendly event features the mesmerizing beats of Taiko drumming, a traditional Japanese tea ceremony, and an Aikido demonstration. The day also includes presentations on sushi preparation, flower arrangement, and calligraphy, Japanese anime (cartoons), a kimono display and dressing lecture, Japanese games, kabuki face painting, a display of traditional dolls—even a chance to experience Shiatsu massage and a Reiki healing treatment—and more! Celebrate Japan! is FREE with Museum admission donation ($8 general admission; $5 students and seniors; free for children under 6, Museum members and PENNcard holders).
07 SEPTEMBER 2007, PHILADELPHIA, PA—River of Gold: Precolumbian Treasures from Sitio Conte opens at the University of Pennsylvania Museum with an afternoon public celebration, free with Museum admission donation, featuring music and dance of Panama, modern metal jewelry-making demonstrations, plus “golden” jewelry-making opportunities for children and their families. Curator Dr. Pamela Jardine, co-author, with Dr. Robert Sharer, of the book, River of Gold: Precolumbian Treasures from Sitio Conte, offers a talk, “Going for the Gold,” and a book signing, while Museum docents share insights and answer questions in the special exhibition.
28 AUGUST 2007, PHILADELPHIA, PA—Richard Hodges has been named the Williams Director of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.
Hodges joined Penn October 1 from his position as director of the Institute of World Archaeology at the University of East Anglia in the United Kingdom.
A world-leading classical and early medieval archaeologist specializing in western Europe, Hodges has been director of both The Prince of Wales’ Institute of Architecture in London and The British School in Rome. For the past nine years, he has worked extensively on archaeological and cultural heritage projects in Albania including the creation of a large cultural heritage institute in Tirana and a new archaeological museum in Butrint.
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.
Exhibition at Penn Museum July 14th through September 23rd
27 JUNE 2007, PHILADELPHIA, PA—Founded in 1887, the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology has conducted more than 400 field expeditions in its 120-year history, studying cultures, past and present, from every inhabited continent. To document their research and discoveries, the Museum’s scholars have employed a number of tools over the years—including cameras.
ADVENTURES IN PHOTOGRAPHY: Expeditions of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology is on view at Penn Museum from July 14 through September 23. Forty black-and-white photographs, selected from the tens of thousands of expedition images in Penn Museum’s extensive Archives, offer a kaleidoscopic view of some of the Museum’s many field projects. To round out the exhibition, a small selection of Penn Museum Photography Studio cameras, dating from 1911 to the 1960s, are on display, offering insight into the rapidly changing technology of expedition and artifact photography.
Opens at Penn Museum Sunday, September 23, 2007
27 JUNE 2007, PHILADELPHIA, PA—The Rio Grande de Coclé in central Panama, subject to flooding during the region’s rainy season, has had a long history of shifting its course. In the early 1900s, stories began to circulate of children playing marbles with gold beads found in the great river. It wasn’t until the late 1920s, however, when large quantities of gold ornaments were discovered, that news of the phenomenon—a veritable “river of gold”—really began to spread. In 1940, a Penn Museum expedition excavated rich and remarkable evidence of a thriving, Precolumbian civilization that had inhabited the region more than a thousand years before.
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.