University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Welcome to the Penn Museum blog. First launched in January 2009, the Museum blog now has over 800 posts covering a range of topics in the categories of Museum, Collection, Exhibitions, Research, and By Location. Here you’ll hear directly from our staff and Penn students about their work, research, experiences, and discoveries. To explore the Museum's other digital content, visit The Digital Penn Museum.


Sitio Conte in Real Time: December 27, 1939

By: Lee Roueche

“A great deal however depends on the individual in the field, his good judgement, his diagnosis on the condition of the specimen and just how it should be handled, the character of the material he has to treat, how much time is available and its reaction to certain kinds of treatment.” -Louis Schellbach to J. […]

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Sitio Conte in Real Time: December 23, 1939

By: Lee Roueche

“We really ought to be leaving about this time and so have to step on the gas to get ready as soon as possible.” J. Alden Mason to Louis Schellbach, December 23, 1939 As 2014 comes to an end, the museum is in the final stages of installing a new exhibition. Beneath the Surface: Life and […]

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Meet Ayşe Gürsan-Salzmann, Assistant Director of the Gordion Project

By: Ayşe Gürsan-Salzmann

In 1995 I joined the Gordion Archaeological Project to study the socio-economic structure of the traditional villages in the region. The ultimate goal was to inform the ancient economic practices of the Phrygian kingdom, using the method of ethnographic analogy from the nearby contemporary villages, to help interpret the archaeological evidence. The ancient economy was […]

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How to Make Cuneiform Tablet Cookies

By: Tom Stanley

In my own opinion, the best recipes go beyond the taste buds, and serve as a topic of discussion as well. A pre-made jar of salsa doesn’t facilitate conversation, but a recipe with unique ingredients or preparation—something that says something about the person who made it—is all the more valuable for its ability to make connections between the people […]

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Monumental Grandeur of the Mississippi Valley : Great Wonders Lecture Series

By: Megan Kassabaum

Stretching over 2,500 miles from Minnesota to the Gulf of Mexico, the Mississippi River Valley is among the richest archaeological regions on the North American continent. Home to thousands of earthen mounds, it contains both the oldest and the most elaborate monumental architecture in North America. The earliest of these monuments was constructed at least […]

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Mounting the Mounts: A Behind the Scenes of Beneath the Surface

By: Lee Roueche

Matt Gay, the mount maker here at the museum, allowed a sneak peak of what he has been working on for the upcoming exhibition, Beneath the Surface today.  After months of careful planning, measuring, drafting, and constructing the various mounts for all the objects going on display, he was able to put some elements together for […]

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Ecuador, Audiovisual Heritage, and Watson Kintner shines again.

By: Kate Pourshariati

Watson Kintner’s 1940s films have deep significance for people in Ecuador

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Ur Project: November 2014

By: Brad Hafford

Tool Complete with Handle Spotlight on U.8783 (Penn Museum No. B17463) Awl, Chisel, or Punch from grave PG 422 The Ur Project database is shaping up well and as we add information to it, we have moved on to the examination of metal tools and weapons from the site in the Penn Museum. Recently we […]

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