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.


Happy 147th Birthday, Alexander Stirling Calder

The Swann Memorial Fountain in Logan Circle, with sculptures created by Alexander Stirling Calder, ca. 1920-24. Photo by Tom Stanley.

By: Tom Stanley

January 11 marks the birthday of Alexander Stirling Calder, a man who left his indelible mark on the city of Philadelphia—and here at the Penn Museum, as well. To mark the occasion, Erin Gregory, a graduate student at the University of the Arts who interned in the Museum’s Marketing & Communications office last semester, wrote […]

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The “Idea Lounge”

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By: Tom Stanley

The third floor of the Penn Museum is home to our smallest gallery, which we refer to simply as our Special Exhibitions Gallery. Despite its limited size (approx. 300 square feet), this gallery has hosted some fascinating exhibitions in recent years—most recently, a cross-cultural survey titled Sex: A History in 30 Objects. A new installation […]

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Digging Deeper at Gordion

Sarah Leppard, who is supervising the western trench, gives instructions to Işık Abaci (Istanbul University) and Braden Cordivari (University of Pennsylvania).

By: Tom Stanley

When it comes to the Citadel Mound at Gordion—the primary focus of the Gordion Archaeological Project’s work this year—one thing is quite clear, even to a newcomer such as myself: this is a very large site. As I mentioned before, it measures 450 x 300 meters, which equals roughly the size of 19 American football […]

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Ankara and Gordion: First Days on the Ground

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By: Tom Stanley

I boarded a plane at the Philadelphia International Airport last Tuesday at around 10:30 am. Two layovers and 20 sleepless hours later, I landed at Esenboga Airport in Ankara, Turkey, at roughly 1:30 pm local time. I found my checked bag, exchanged some US currency for Turkish Lira, and got myself a yellow cab at […]

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Going to Gordion

Gordion site photo

By: Tom Stanley

Hi friends. Tom Stanley here, your favorite Penn Museum social media manager, reporting for summer excavation duty. Last year, I was quite fortunate to be sent on my first expedition to a beautiful corner of the US known as Wilkinson County, Mississippi, where my job was to document a portion of the first season of […]

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Heart Health Month at the Museum

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By: Tom Stanley

There’s plenty to celebrate in February. February is Black History Month; it’s part of the internationally recognized Season for Nonviolence; it’s also the shortest month of the year, which is nice when you earn a monthly salary (same pay for fewer days of work), but not as nice when you’re paid hourly (same monthly bills, but fewer days to earn money […]

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Field Trips

The team takes a stroll along the bluff. Photo by David Cranford.

By: Tom Stanley

The Smith Creek Archaeological Project is a new Penn Museum research project, conducting its first season in the field during the late spring of 2015. The Penn Museum’s Social Media Coordinator, Tom Stanley, is blogging about the project. Our excavation team has wrapped up its fieldwork for the summer after four weeks of working hard […]

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Shades of the Soil: Searching for Archaeological Features

Features 17 and 18 in the south plaza, as viewed through a windowbox. Photo courtesy of the Smith Creek Archaeological Project.

By: Tom Stanley

The Smith Creek Archaeological Project is a new Penn Museum research project, conducting its first season in the field during the late spring of 2015. The Penn Museum’s Social Media Coordinator, Tom Stanley, is blogging about the project. Archaeology is all about using material remains to learn about people and cultures of the past. In […]

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What are we finding?

Zhenia and our intrepid volunteer, Tim, sift dirt through a 1/2-inch screen.

By: Tom Stanley

The Smith Creek Archaeological Project is a new Penn Museum research project, conducting its first season in the field during the late spring of 2015. The Penn Museum’s Social Media Coordinator, Tom Stanley, is blogging about the project. My time onsite down in Mississippi was planned in such a way that I’d be around for […]

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Digging In

Kyle Olsen standing in the excavation unit on Mound A.

By: Tom Stanley

The Smith Creek Archaeological Project is a new Penn Museum research project, conducting its first season in the field during the late spring of 2015. The Penn Museum’s Social Media Coordinator, Tom Stanley, is blogging about the project. By the time I arrived down here in Mississippi, the team had already been at work for […]

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Native American Voices at the Penn Museum

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