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Baby Carrier from Borneo [Object of the Day #7]

By: Amy Ellsworth

This baby carrier, or ba’, was made around 1890 by the Kayan people of Borneo. Baby carriers not only serve a functional purpose, but have a spiritual significance as objects of ceremony and protection. The carrier may take 3 months to create and will be used until the baby is around two years old. The […]

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Anthropoid Coffin from Beth Shean [Object of the Day #6]

By: Amy Ellsworth

Anthropoid coffins are remnants of the Egyptian presence in the Levant, and date to end of the Late Bronze and early Iron Ages. The tomb in which this coffin was found probably dates to the Iron Age, sometime in the twelfth century BC. Anthropoid coffins, made from coarse clay, resemble the human form and are […]

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19th Century Cayuga Lacrosse Bats [Object of the Day #5]

By: Amy Ellsworth

The game of lacrosse originated among native North American peoples, where its symbolism reveals its affinity with warfare and highlights the relationship between game and battle. For the Iroquois, the game’s sacred associations are linked to the seven Thunder Gods whose powers support both war and healing. Today lacrosse is stilled played in some communities […]

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Iron Throwing Knife from Zaire [Object of the Day #4]

By: Amy Ellsworth

This Mogwandi throwing knife from Zaire has a straight iron blade slightly narrowing to a large triangular blade at right angle to the end and with pointed vertical extension at its proximal end. On the other side from the end is a vertical crescent blade. Triangular spur at base of blade on the same side […]

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Gold Scythian Panther Head, 400 BCE [Object of the Day #3]

By: Amy Ellsworth

This gold panther head decorated a wooden rhyton or drinking vessel that was part of the Maikop Treasure. The Maikop Treasure consists of more than 300 objects ranging in date from the Bronze Age through the Medieval period, currently held in four institutions—the Staatliche Museen, the Museum für Vor- und Frühgeschichte in Berlin, the Penn […]

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Sakhmet Necklace, 500 BCE [Object of the Day #2]

By: Amy Ellsworth

This string of 30 gold cowrie shell-shaped beads, one gold pomegranate shaped bead with granulation, and two large barrel-shaped beads, one gold and one chalcedony. Cast gold pendant shows the goddess Sekhmet standing with her hands at her sides. Often shown with the head of a lioness, the goddess Sekhmet was a very powerful deity. […]

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Decadrachm Coin from Syracuse, 400 BCE [Object of the day #1]

By: Amy Ellsworth

This Syrakosion (meaning “of the Syracusans”) coin from around 400 BCE is a decadrachm—a silver coin equal to ten drachmas. It depicts the head of the goddess Arethusa surrounded by four dolphins on one side. Greek coins often display a god on the obverse. Later, in the Hellenistic and Roman period the portrait of a […]

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Photos from the MAYA 2012 Opening Celebration

By: Amy Ellsworth

The opening weekend of the MAYA 2012 exhibition was a huge success. The Museum was filled with colorful sites, sounds, and the smells of great Maya-inspired food. Some macaws and a turtle even showed up. Here are just a few of the pics of the day:

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Why are Zach and Courtney Hot Glueing Worry Dolls?

By: Amy Ellsworth

I walked into the Exhibits office today and saw bags and bags of what looked like little firecrackers. They always seems to have odd bulk shipments back there (fake hair, desiccated fruits, papier-mâché mummy parts), so I didn’t even question what they were doing with them. Upon closer inspection, I realized they were worry dolls, […]

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Free Hip Hop Concert Tonight! [audio]

By: Amy Ellsworth

Back in January 2012, local hip hop artists visited the African, Egyptian, and Imagine Africa galleries at the Penn Museum to draw musical (and lyrical) inspiration from the African art and artifacts. The artists, selected by local hip hop radio DJ, Zachariah Hardin aka T.H.E., include godHead The General, Magnum O, Darian The Great, KNomadz, […]

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