20 MAY 2008, PHILADELPHIA, PA—After 37 years as Head of Conservation at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Virginia Greene retires, officially if not entirely, June 30, 2008—and it is safe to say that she will not be forgotten by her colleagues or by the many students and interns she helped to train at the Museum.
With about one million archaeological and anthropological artifacts collected from all over the world, Penn Museum has been a never-ending source of conservation opportunities and challenges. Unlike many conservators who specialize in archaeology or ethnography or certain kinds of materials, Ms. Greene has maintained a Renaissance woman’s wide-ranging interest and capabilities. Among the thousands of artifacts she has examined and conserved over her tenure at the Museum are such diverse objects as the world-famous bull-headed lyre and Lady Pu-Abi’s dazzling gold and lapis lazuli headdress, both from the famous ancient Sumerian site of Ur; intricately woven masterpiece baskets from the Pomo Indians of California; poison darts and textiles from the Dayaks of Borneo; and South American feather headdresses.
27 JUNE 2008, Philadelphia, PA—Dr. Richard Hodges, Williams Director, Penn Museum, is pleased to announce a gift of $1 million from an anonymous donor to endow the Mediterranean Section Keepership in memory of Dr. Keith DeVries, longtime associate curator of the Museum’s Mediterranean section and associate professor of Classical Studies at Penn.
Like most major geographical “sections” at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, the Mediterranean Section has a “Keeper”—a full time staff person responsible for the care of and access to the 34,000 artifacts in Penn Museum’s ancient Mediterranean section collections. Lynn C. Makowsky, the section’s Keeper since 2000, is the Museum’s first Keith Devries Keeper. Ms. Makowsky holds an M.A. in Museum Studies from San Francisco State University. For the past six seasons, she has been part of the staff at the joint Penn Museum/Southern Methodist University/Franklin and Marshall College Mugello Valley Archaeological Project and Poggio Colla Field School in Italy.
A New Exhibition Opening 13 September 2008 at the Penn Museum Tells the Long-Unspoken Story of the Region’s Local Native Americans
01 AUGUST 2008, PHILADELPHIA, PA—Conventional histories of Pennsylvania declare that all but a few elderly Lenape people left the state by the opening of the 19th century. Many Lenape were indeed driven westward, and ultimately established communities in Oklahoma, Kansas, Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, and in other parts of the United States and Canada. Yet, many remained here in secret. Children of the little known Lenape-European marriages of the 1700s stayed on the Lenape homelands (New Jersey, Pennsylvania, northern Delaware and southern New York) and continued to practice their traditions covertly. Hiding their Lenape heritage, they avoided discovery by both the government and their neighbors for more than two hundred years. Now, the descendants of these people have come forward to tell their story.
07 OCTOBER 2008, PHILADELPHIA, PA—”Iyare!”—”May you go and return safely!”—is the phrase onlookers shout when Edo nobles head for the Benin Kingdom’s palace in the West African country of Nigeria.
The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology invites visitors to a new exhibition that focuses on the rich art and cultural heritage, as well as the ongoing traditions, of the Edo people of Nigeria’s Benin Kingdom. IYARE! Splendor and Tension in Benin’s Palace Theatre opens with a public celebration Saturday, 08 November 2008.
Nearly 100 objects from the Penn Museum's world-renowned collection of cast bronzes, carved ivories and wooden artifacts (16th to the 21st centuries A.D.) from the Kingdom of Benin, form the core of this new exhibition. Photographs from contemporary palace life, text, video, regional Nigerian art, and international art inspired by Benin culture, help to tell the story. The exhibition includes many Penn Museum pieces that have not been on display for decades, as well as loans of significant works from the Smithsonian's National Museum of African Art, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Baltimore Museum of Art. IYARE! is an outgrowth of a University of Pennsylvania Halpern-Rogath History of Art curatorial seminar, and a curatorial collaboration between its students and African art historian and professor Dr. Kathy Curnow.
07 OCTOBER 2008, PHILADELPHIA, PA—How do you say “welcome to Philadelphia”—in every language of the world? Every year, as many as 1,000 guests from 100 or more countries network and make friends 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, if they wish, this year’s annual welcoming reception Friday, 17 October from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. The event is held in the majestic Chinese Rotunda at the Penn Museum, 3260 South Street on the University of Pennsylvania campus.
Public forum, “Climate Crises in Human History,” will conclude two-day conference at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.
16 OCTOBER 2008, PHILADELPHIA, PA—For the first time in human history the Earth’s climate is changing—and we know about it in advance. The ancient Egyptians, the Maya, the Roman Empire and medieval Europeans—all of whom faced dramatic climate change—did not. Some adapted to changing conditions; some did not. What can we learn from their strategies—both the successful and the unsuccessful, as we face our own climate crisis?
PENN MUSEUM'S FREE HOLIDAY FAMILY CELEBRATION, SUNDAY, 07 DECEMBER 2008 FROM 1:00 TO 4:00 P.M.
10 NOVEMBER 2009, PHILADELPHIA, PA—Grab your “Holiday Passport” and get into the spirit of the holiday season Sunday, December 7th, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m., when the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology celebrates its 13th annual FREE Peace Around the World family-oriented afternoon. Continuing with last year’s tradition, this year’s theme is “Holiday Passport to Cultures,” and all visitors receive Museum “passports” with itineraries to visit Penn Museum International Classroom speakers and learn about holiday traditions in countries around the world. The day also features international music, choir music by children and adults, exotic face painting, balloon art, international family crafts, free treats for children, and more!
This year's event is in honor of Elaine Garfinkel, who founded Peace Around the World at Penn Museum in 1995. Elaine was an active member of the Penn Museum women's community for fifteen years. Her kindess and compassion live on through this special event.
21 NOVEMBER 2008, PHILADELPHIA, PA—Co-curator of Penn Museum's Fulfilling a Prophecy and a student at the University of Pennsylvania, Ms. Seldin has been awarded a 2009 Rhodes Scholarship.
Ms. Seldin is a senior in the Department of Anthropology of Penn’s School of Arts and Sciences.
08 DECEMBER 2009, PHILADELPHAI, PA—Effective beginning January 2009, the new admission donation requested for entrance at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology will be as follows: $10 general admission; $7 senior citizens (65 and above); $6 for children 6 to 17 and full-time students with college ID; free for children 5 and younger, Penn Museum members and Penncard holders.
21 DECEMBER 2009, PHILADELPHIA, PA—Enter the New Year with the strength and determination of an Ox! The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology announces the 28th annual Chinese New Year Celebration, the Year of the Ox, Saturday, 24 January 2009, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.! Music and dance performances, healing and martial arts demonstrations, games, workshops, 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 ($10 general admission; $7 seniors and $6 students with ID; free for children under 6, Museum members and PENNcard holders).
Darwin Day Celebration is a Highlight Event for Philadelphia’s YEAR OF EVOLUTION
14 JANUARY 2009, PHILADELPHIA, PA— Charles Robert Darwin, the world-renowned author of On the Origin of Species—and the originator of the modern theory of evolution—has his 200th birthday in February, and the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology celebrates it in style, with the third annual free Darwin Day and Evolution Teach In Sunday, 15 February 2009 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.
The free afternoon program features short “teach in” talks in galleries by renowned experts, curator-led tours of Penn Museum’s National Science Foundation-funded evolution exhibition Surviving, The Body of Evidence, and a physical anthropologist’s “touchables” corner with casts of hominid skulls and other bones. An “Origins” scavenger hunt, a family program on dinosaurs, a game of Evolutionary Twister, an orchid display, and the opportunity to play some badminton, reputedly a favorite pastime of the evolutionary thinker, are also part of the afternoon. Darwin himself (or a reasonable likeness) promises to make an appearance to enjoy the festivities—and partake of the free birthday cake!
Penn Museum Explores Daily Life During Politically Tumultuous Times
A world-renowned collection of ancient Maya painted pottery, excavated by the University of Pennsylvania Museum nearly a century ago and reinterpreted in light of recent research in the field, provides the centerpiece for Painted Metaphors: Pottery and Politics of the Ancient Maya, a new exhibition opening at the Penn Museum 05 April 2009. Painted Metaphors runs through 31 January 2010, before beginning a multi-city national tour.
Like so many pieces of the famous Chama pottery that conservators meticulously put back together at the Penn Museum, Painted Metaphors yields new clues to understanding everyday life—and changing politics—of the ancient Maya of Guatemala 1,300 years ago.
“ANTHROPOLOGISTS IN THE MAKING” FOR CHILDREN AGES 7 TO 13
10 FEBRUARY 2009, PHILADELPHIA, PA—For the summer of 2009, adventurous children ages 7 through 13 can experience a day camp that takes them through time and across continents at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology on Penn’s campus in Philadelphia.
21 FEBRUARY 2009, PHILADELPHIA, PA—Music and dance of Africa, storytelling, arts and crafts, gallery tours, culture and cuisine—it all comes together at the 20th annual Celebration of African Cultures Saturday, February 21, 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. throughout the galleries of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. The event is FREE with Museum admission donation ($10 for adults; $7 for seniors, 65 and above; $6 for students and children 6-17; free for Museum members, children under 6, and PENNcard holders).
22 FEBRUARY 2009, PHILADELPHIA, PA—ZAP! ZOOM! POW! Superheroes, super villains, and their sidekicks have enjoyed an honored place in American comics and movies—as they have in cultures around the world. Watch out on Sunday, 22 March 2009 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m., as superheroes, traveling through time and across continents, invade the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology on the Penn campus in an afternoon of super antics, super games—and super fun!
It’s WOW! Superhero Day, free with Museum admission donation, featuring activities for all ages: heroic talks and programs, comic book drawing workshops, superhero-style storytelling, a heroic scavenger hunt and heroic gallery tours, a balloon maker, a superhero marketplace with games and comics, Superhero Twister, comic hero mask making, and opportunities to learn and play popular superhero games. All superheroes and super villains who attend in costume receive discount admission ($2 off adult; $1 off children and senior citizens)—and the chance to win super prizes throughout the afternoon!
WOW! Superhero Day at the Penn Museum is a featured event of a year-long celebration, POW: Comics, Animation, and Graphic Novels, running Fall 2008 through Spring 2009 at the University of Pennsylvania.
Superheroes are the focus of three short programs. Peter Struck, Associate Professor of Classical Studies, University of Pennsylvania, looks back in time at “Ancient Heroes and Superheroes” at 1:15 p.m. "Costumed Culture Warriors" is the title of a short program featuring movie clips by Andrew J. Douglas, Ph.D., Director of Education at the Bryn Mawr Film Institute, at 2:00 p.m. “The Physics of Superheroes, or Why Can’t We All Ignore the Laws of Nature?” an interactive program by Bill Berner, Penn Physics Demonstration Laboratory Coordinator, takes a scientific view of the possible and impossible feats performed by a range of well-known superheroes at 3:00 p.m.
04 JANUARY 2002, PHILADELPHIA, PA—Discovery of grisly evidence of strangulation and decapitation, and bizarre arrangements of human and animal bones, has solved the longstanding mystery about the Celtic presence at Gordion, Turkey, where the University of Pennsyvlania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology has been excavating since 1950. The chronologically rich site, long renowned as the capital of Phrygia in the 8th century B.C. and the center from which the famed King Midas once ruled, is about 60 miles southwest of Ankara in central Turkey.
Project to Create World's First Dictionary of the First Written Language Gets Re-Defined in New Age of Internet Communications Technologies
02 APRIL 2002, PHILADELPHIA, PA—The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology's Pennsylvania Sumerian Dictionary Project was awarded a two-year, $302,000 grant from the National Endowment of Humanities, an independent federal agency.
Anthropologist Peggy Reeves Sanday Seeks to Redefine the Meaning of Matriarchy In Women at the Center, New Book Detailing Her Research among the Minangkabau
01 MAY 2002, PHILADELPHIA, PA—For the last century, historians, anthropologists and other scholars have searched both human history and the continents to find a matriarchy-a society where the power was in the hands of women, not men. Most have concluded that a genuine matriarchy does not exist, perhaps may never have existed.
Anthropologist Peggy Reeves Sanday disagrees. After years of research among the Minangkabau people of West Sumatra, Indonesia, she has accepted that group's own self-labeling, as a "matriarchate," or matriarchy. The problem, she asserts, lies in Western cultural notions of what a matriarchy "should" look like-patriarchy's female-twin.
First Example Ever Found of These Special-Use Bricks, Known from Ancient Texts to be Used in Childbirth
01 JULY 2002, PHILADELPHIA, PA—University of Pennsylvania Museum archaeologists have discovered a 3700-year-old "magical" birth brick inside the palatial residence of a Middle Kingdom mayor's house just outside Abydos, in southern Egypt. The colorfully decorated mud birth brick-the first ever found-is one of a pair that would have been used to support a woman's feet while squatting during actual childbirth.