University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Sitio Conte in Real Time: January 9, 1940

By: Lee Roueche

“GOVERNMENT AUTHORIZES” -Schaeffer to Mason, January 9, 1940 On January 9th, Mason received this cable granting the Penn Museum permission for archaeological excavations in Panama at the site of Sitio Conte. The Museum’s agent in Panama, Charles Schaeffer sent a more detailed letter that same day stating that: “the Secretary of Public Instruction, this morning, assured […]

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A Short Tour of Yassıhöyük (Gordion) Village

By: Ayşe Gürsan-Salzmann

Generally, when visitors arrive at Gordion, they see the monumental Midas Mound, the tomb of the Phrygian king, and the Museum where a collection of excavated artifacts are displayed. Next to the Museum is the tea-house, “çayevi”, where tea, cold drinks and freshly baked thin-layered crusty bread, (gözleme), and pita type bread (bazlama) are served […]

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Sitio Conte in Real Time: January 8, 1940

By: Eric Schnittke

Everything is unsettled and hectic. The expedition has been arranged so suddenly.  – Mason to Merrill, January 8, 1940 The chaotic nature of planning a last minute archaeological expedition was dragging upon Mason, as his letter of the 8th of January to Bob Merrill indicates. In it, he officially hires Merrill as draftsman for the expedition, saying: […]

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Teaching elementary languages in the Penn Museum

By: Joe Farrell

Since its founding in 1887, the Penn Museum has been an important hub for teaching and learning on the University of Pennsylvania campus. Penn undergraduates and graduate students have a unique opportunity to wander the galleries, delve into the archives, and ‘excavate’ within the Museum’s artifact collections as part of their coursework and individual research. […]

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Ringo’s Repatriation Appeal

By: Alyssa Velazquez

The work in the Penn Museum Archives never ends. The backlog resists attempts at taming it. The archives is happy to have a number of interns and volunteers who are willing to help organize, catalog, and preserve the documents, drawings, and photographs in the collections. Alyssa Velazquez is one such intern, who is presently reorganizing […]

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Sitio Conte in Real Time: January 5, 1940

By: Lee Roueche

“In the meantime we are making all arrangements so that the moment that information arrives we can start the wheel going.” -Mason to Lothrop, January 5, 1940 As the dust from the holidays settled, Mason returned to work firing off correspondence about everything the team would need down in Panama. Luckily back in December, Samuel K. Lothrop […]

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Ur Project: December 2014

By: Brad Hafford

Tool Complete with Handle (Again) Comparisons to and a closer look at U.8783 (Penn Museum Nr. B17463) Awl, Chisel, or Punch from grave PG 422 With the expansion of the Penn Museum’s scientific lab and teaching space (Center for the Analysis of Archaeological Materials, CAAM) the Museum has acquired a digital x-ray suite. This new […]

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Teaching with Objects in ANTH 128: “Peopling Prehistory: Archaeology of Native North America”

By: Megan Kassabaum

This course explored over 10,000 years of the North American archaeological record, investigating the unwritten histories and material evidence of Indigenous peoples prior to European contact. Throughout the class, archaeological studies of prehistory were interwoven with contemporary Native interpretations—much as they are in the Penn Museum’s Native American Voices exhibit. The students visited this exhibit […]

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