University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Category: Museum


A Special Performance (and Special Guest) for the Penn Museum Summer Campers

By: Tom Stanley

Being a camper in the Museum’s “Anthropologists in the Making” Summer Camp comes with plenty of perks. Campers go for informative gallery tours with their counselors; they make spectacular arts & craft projects based on ancient cultures of the world; sometimes, they even get to dig for artifacts in our inner gardens (in sandboxes, that […]


Notes from the Field: On Watching and Waiting – Kathryn Diserens

By: Anne Tiballi

Tihosuco, Quintana Roo, Mexico May 29, 2017   If I were to characterize my field season up until this point in two words, they would be watching and waiting.  Now in my fourth year researching, working, and living in Tihosuco, located in the state of Quintana Roo on the Yucatan Peninsula in Mexico, I am […]


Fishing for Clues on the Smith Creek Archaeological Project

Ashley Terry sifts dirt through a 1/2-inch screen, during the Smith Creek Archaeological Project's 2015 season.

By: Tom Stanley

In addition to this Sunday, June 18 being Father’s Day, it’s also something called “Go Fishing Day”—at least, according to the Internet, it is. To me, it’s a leisure activity; to others throughout the history of the Americas, it’s been a necessity for subsistence. For those of us who don’t have time to drive out […]


The Other Artifact Lab

By: Lynn Grant

Penn Museum’s Conservation Department is a happening place these days, with lots and lots of projects going on simultaneously. The upcoming renovation of our signature Egyptian Galleries is providing a special set of challenges. Among them are the many monumental architectural pieces that have been on exhibition since the galleries opened in 1926. These will […]


Anatomy of the Book: The Sunshade Chapel of Meritaten from the House-of-Waenre of Akhenaten

By: Page Selinsky

The quartzite architectural block E16230 is a rather unassuming large stone object that dates to ancient Egypt’s Amarna Period (ca. 1353-1336 BCE). Although it had once been part of a highly decorated, royal Sunshade chapel, it finished its pre-museum days as a threshold in a medieval building in Cairo. The block had sat in plain […]


Decolonizing Museums: A Visit to the Tomaquag Museum

By: Stephanie Mach

In June of 2016, the Wampum Trail research team visited the Tomaquag Museum in Exeter, Rhode Island. Our team consists of Project Director Dr. Margaret Bruchac and two graduate students in Anthropology at the University of Pennsylvania, Lise Puyo and myself, as research assistants. Funding from the Penn Museum has enabled us to visit museums […]


The Digital Penn Museum

By: Michael Condiff

The Digital Penn Museum has officially launched and is the culmination of multiple projects over what amounts to, after some reflection, almost the entirety of my seven years at 3260 South Street. None of these projects were full-time endeavors but steady, incremental progress over time allowed for it all to come together as a fantastic […]


Happy 147th Birthday, Alexander Stirling Calder

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 […]


The “Idea Lounge”

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 […]


Sharing a Passion for Ancient Egypt, or Who Is as Smart as a Nine-Year-Old?

By: Pam Kosty

More than 23,000 people from around the world signed up to take Introduction to Ancient Egypt and Its Civilization, a free online class with Dr. David Silverman, Curator-in-Charge of the Penn Museum’s Egyptian Section, via Coursera. I am one of those 23,000 people. And now a confession: I started the class, but grew nervous about […]


Native American Voices at the Penn Museum

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