University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Fall 2009: Armature design

By: Lynn Grant

While cleaning continued, we began planning for the new armature that would support and stabilize the reliefs.  Since August, when we got accurate weights on all the pieces, it had been clear that we could not put the reliefs back together permanently as each relief weighed approximately 9000 lbs and we would not be able […]

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August 2009: Disassembly

By: Lynn Grant

After a long and fraught hunt, we located a rigging firm with art experience and the right equipment for our problem pieces (a cantilever gantry). But they were completely booked for the next six weeks, so we weren’t able to disassemble and move the reliefs until the end of August. We still had no idea […]

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April, 2009: Conservation begins

By: Lynn Grant

Julie began working on the reliefs in situ in the Harrison Rotunda in April. The work location was a no-brainer, since we didn’t know how to move them or have any place to take them (they definitely wouldn’t fit in our Conservation Lab, even if we could have gotten them there).  Our carpenter built us […]

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What Came Before

By: Lynn Grant

The stone reliefs depicting two of the favorite horses of Emperor Taizong (r. 626-649) are among the Museum’s greatest treasures. They had been on exhibit in the Harrison Rotunda for at least 75 years. In 2008, a request for loan of the artifacts led to their being closely examined. That examination showed that the mending, […]

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On to Kitengela

By: Amy Ellsworth

That night, we all invaded the bar at the hotel. The owner operates on the honor system, and simply counts the Tusker bottle caps the next morning to put it on your bill. Another guest joined our group. He works for the African Wildlife Federation and does a lot of work in Laikipia and at […]

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Ole Koringo’s Malaria Medicine

By: Amy Ellsworth

I woke up to the hee hawing of a very articulate donkey. He seemed to be practicing his hee haw for one of those pull string toys with recordings of farm animals. The donkey says… Hee Haw. (clearing of the throat)… Hee Haw. No, once more with feeling. HEE HAW! Well done! Today we picked […]

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Visiting the First Boma in Ensukero

By: Amy Ellsworth

We drove south to Loitokitok in Maasailand, a sprawling district of about 40,000 people at the foot of Mount Kilamanjaro. We passed through Emali, which Paul referred to as the onion town because the road is lined with vendors with wooden carts hung with red bags of onions. We stopped at a restaurant that Paul […]

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All the Pretty Photos

By: Amy Ellsworth

I have been uploading images on a very slow international DSL connection so I haven’t been able to post all of Jenn’s photography on the blog posts. See all the photos on flickr or in this slideshow: Created with flickr slideshow.

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Kissing Giraffes

By: Amy Ellsworth

Today, we went back to the Nairobi National Museum to make some arrangements for our trip to Loi Tok Tok in Maasailand (The Maasai pronounce it “Loi Toki Tok”.) Jenn, Bill and I had some time to visit the Giraffe Center and the Kazuri bead shop, both NGOs that support community development. At the giraffe […]

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Calling all Kenyans

By: Amy Ellsworth

Jenn, Bill and Komande photographed the 13 cairns around Mpala Ranch and found four more. The cairns seem to pop up everywhere, but it takes a keen eye to distinguish a random pile of rocks from a burial cairn. They usually have a reinforced edge around the perimeter, but this isn’t always obvious. Peter, from […]

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