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.
17 MAY 2007, PHILADELPHIA, PA—-Susan W. Catherwood was named Penn Museum’s “Volunteer of the Year” for 2007. Dr. Jeremy A. Sabloff, Interim Director of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, announced the award at the Museum’s annual Volunteer Luncheon on April 23rd.
“Susan Catherwood is a wonderful champion of Penn Museum, and a tireless volunteer who continues to contribute her time and talents to furthering the Museum’s outreach, research and educational mission,” noted Dr. Sabloff. “Museum volunteers are at the backbone of what this unique Penn cultural institution is and does, and Susan exemplifies the intelligence and dedication that make our volunteers—-more than 250 of them working in all areas of the Museum—-so valuable.”
07 MAY 2007, PHILADELPHIA, PA–Children and their families are treated to a wide range of international music, dance, and theater this summer, when the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology presents its Summer Wonder 2007 Performance Series. Eight Summer Wonder programs, all free with Museum admission, run Wednesday mornings, June 27 through August 15, at 10:30 a.m. Performances last about one hour. Pre-registration is required for groups of 10 or more.
07MAY 2007, PHILADELPHIA, PA—-Dr. Andrea Baldeck became the latest recipient of the Angell Medal—-so named in honor of Marian Angell Godfrey Boyer—established by the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology to honor distinguished service to Penn Museum by a Museum supporter. Dr. Jeremy A. Sabloff, Interim Director of the University of Pennsylvania Museum, surprised Ms. Baldeck, an active, long-time Penn Museum member of the Board of Overseers and Penn Museum benefactor, with the award at the May 3rd Board Meeting.
“Over these years, Andrea, you have shared with us your time, your wisdom and your strength of character,” said Dr. Sabloff. “We can never thank you appropriately, but please accept this award—the Angell Medal—in honor of your distinguished service to the Museum.”
02 MAY 2007, PHILADELPHIA, PA—Mongolian Ambassador to the United States Ravdan Bold, and Mongolia’s former Ambassador to the United Nations Dr. J. Enksaikhan, will be among several speakers at a free public forum, From Genghis Khan and the Mongol Empire to Mongolia’s Place in the World Today, Thursday, 10 May 2007 from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. in the Rainey Auditorium at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, 3260 South Street in Philadelphia.
08 MAY 2007, PHILADELPHIA, PA—On Monday, May 14th at 6:00 p.m., the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology offers a special free program, What is Happening Today in Iraq and Afghanistan?, a timely update on cultural heritage and cultural property issues in war-torn Iraq and Afghanistan. Dr. Richard Zettler, Curator-in-charge, Near East Section, Penn Museum, and Dr. Fredrik Hiebert of the National Geographic Society, a Research Associate at Penn Museum, share their perspectives at this program, co-sponsored by the Center for Ancient Studies and the Middle East Center, University of Pennsylvania:
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.
10 APRIL 2007, PHILADELPHIA, PA—The Voice of America, a multimedia international broadcasting service funded by the U.S. government, named Penn Museum its Website of the Week on April 6th 2007. Reporter Art Chimes interviewed Penn Museum interim director Jerry Sabloff about the website's content. "The University of Pennsylvania Museum's website is really a natural outcropping of our mission," Dr. Sabloff noted. "First is archaeological and anthropological research around the world. Secondly, our collections, which number more than a million objects that have been collected over a 120-year history of the museum. And finally, public education."
Mommies Can Celebrate Mother’s Day a Little Early as Moms Get in FREE When Accompanied by Their Children
09 APRIL 2007, PHILADELPHIA, PA—The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology continues its “Year of Egypt” programming Saturday, May 5th, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m., with a special pre-Mother’s Day Mummy Day celebration, featuring tours of the ancient Egyptian mummy gallery, talks on motherhood, mummies, and embalming in ancient Egypt, music from Verdi’s classic opera “Aida,” ancient Egyptian-style crafts and games for the family—and treats for moms. With Mother’s Day just a week away, moms of all ages get in FREE, when accompanied by their child or children!
02 APRIL 2007, PHILADELPHIA, PA—More than 250 people from several continents gathered at Penn Museum on 27-28 March 2007 for the annual Paleoanthropology Society Meeting. The two-day conference was held in the Harrison Auditorium, with a bustling afternoon Poster Session on Tuesday afternoon, when Paleoanthropology researchers presented their research in a more informal session. Topics ranged from fossil fauna in Zambia, to assessment of age at death in Neandertal dental remains, to consideration of an "optimal" speed for human running. Founded in 1992, the Paleoanthropology Society includes researchers who deal with human evolution through several fields: archaeology, physical anthropology, genetics, geology, and dating.
23 MARCH 2007, PHILADELPHIA, PA—On 06 January 2007, the Embassy of Haiti in Washington, DC celebrated the 203rd anniversary of Haiti’s independence, which also marks the birth of the first independent black nation and the only nation ever formed from a successful slave revolt. Penn Museum’s Publications Department, in cooperation with photographer Andrea Baldeck, donated 500 copies of Baldeck’s book The Heart of Haiti for distribution at the four-day gala. The book is a collection of 50 black and white tritone prints of photographs that Baldeck took while visiting Haiti several times in the 1980s and 90s. Baldeck’s first experience of Haiti was as a volunteer physician at the Valley’s Hôpital Albert Schweitzer in 1981. Moved by the resilience of its people, she returned as a photographer in the mid-90’s and provided both Creole and English translations of Haitian proverbs to accompany her photographs.
07 MARCH 2007, PHILADELPHIA, PA—Of all the times in ancient Egypt’s long history, the Amarna Period (circa 1353 to 1336 BCE) is one of the most intriguing. In little more than a generation, the religious, artistic, and political order of Egyptian civilization was radically altered—and then restored. Egyptologists continue to make important discoveries about this time—and to debate their meaning.
On Saturday, March 31, the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology hosts a gathering of prominent Egyptologists from two continents, offering a variety of perspectives on this revolutionary period. “Amarna: New Research and Discoveries in the Age of Akhenaten and Tutankhamun,” a full day public symposium, is co-sponsored by Archaeology Magazine and the Center for Ancient Studies at the University of Pennsylvania.