University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Box Lid [Object of the Day-#81]

By: Gabrielle Niu

This crescent shaped box comes from the Kasai District of the Belgian Congo (Central Africa). The box is made from carved wood and features many geometric patterns on the sides and top of the box. For example, the rim features horizontally set diamond shapes with a line across the center of each one. Additionally, the […]

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Javanese Puppet [Object of the Day #80]

By: Alyssa Kaminski

  Today’s object is a Javanese puppet made in the early 20th century. It is a male figure wearing a black, gold, and red fez cap. His red hair is tied up into a bun at the back of his neck with a black and white striped band. The puppet is clothed in a tight […]

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Ubaid Figurine [Object of the Day #79]

By: Alyssa Kaminski

  With her hands on her hips and a bitumen wig, the most defining characteristic of this figurine may be her bird head. Created in Iraq during the Ubaid Period, this figure represents a nude woman. The figurine is made from terracotta and bitumen. It was created using an incising method which uses sharp tools to […]

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Earthenware Bowl [Object of the Day #78]

By: Alyssa Kaminski

  This earthenware bowl was created in New Guinea in the early 1900s. Earthenware is one of the oldest types of pottery. It is porous in texture and is usually fired at lower temperatures. The bowl has an elliptical shape with a rounded bottom and is decorated around the rim with moldings that include two animal-like handles. […]

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Ivory Box [Object of the Day-#77]

By: Gabrielle Niu

This ornate ivory box is made by the Edo in Nigeria, Africa. The box lid includes representations of two human like figures (on the left) and a reptile like creature (on the right). The sides of the box are decorated with a three-ply two strand twist (each strand is three-ply). Additionally, the bottom of box […]

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Foundation Tablet and Statuette [Object of the Day #76]

By: Alyssa Kaminski

  Found in a baked brick box beneath the foundation of the Temple of Enki, at Ur. This statuette and tablet were inside one, of many, baked brick boxes found in the foundations of sites around southern Mesopotamia. They are one of the few that have been well-documented in an archeological context. The objects are […]

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Sculpture of Female Attendants [Object of the Day- #75]

By: Gabrielle Niu

These two statues are from Northern Thailand (19th Century). The one of the right, kneeling with her hands folded in front of her chest, represents a female attendant to the Buddha. To her left is a male attendant. He sits with one hand on his knee and the other holding a staff. Both pieces are […]

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Mangbetu Effigy Vessel [Object of the Day #74]

By: Alyssa Kaminski

  Throughout the Penn Museum collection there are objects known as effigy vessels. These vessels are found in countries ranging from Mexico to Africa – but what exactly IS an effigy vessel? Commonly, they are defined as containers that are sculpted in the likeness of a human or an animal. The one pictured above originated […]

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