University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Category: Museum

The Digital Penn Museum

The Digital Penn Museum 2017 -

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

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 […]

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 […]

November 29, 1729: The Natchez Revolt

By: Megan Kassabaum

As a graduate student at the University of North Carolina, and now Weingarten Assistant Curator in the American Section of the Penn Museum, I have spent over a decade working on prehistoric Native American sites in the area surrounding Natchez, Mississippi. Many of you may have read about our recent work there in these previous […]

Celebrating 50 Years of Professional Conservation at the Penn Museum

Molly Gleeson, Schwartz Project Conservator, jointly presenting at they Symposium with Eve Mayberger, Mellon Fellow in Objects Conservation at the Museum of Fine Arts, Boston on conservation at the excavations at Abydos, Egypt.

By: Nina Owczarek

The Conservation Department is celebrating its 50th anniversary this fall. The lab was first established in 1966 and is one of the first archaeology / anthropology conservation labs in the US staffed by professional conservators. In the early years, the focus was on conservation treatments. But under the leadership of Virginia Greene, who began working […]

Worth the Wait – Michael Freeman

The full skeleton. Photo by Michael Freeman.

By: Anne Tiballi

Apollonia Pontica was a 7th century Greek colony dedicated to Apollo. The well-placed port town, located on the Black Sea coast of modern-day Bulgaria, would stand through Classical, Hellenistic, and Roman times until it was ultimately rechristened “Sozopol” during the Christian era, meaning “The City of Salvation” in Greek. The Milesians who laid the foundations […]

After Excavation Ends, the Real Work Begins – Kurtis Tanaka

Byzantinist George Makris resurveying fields. Photo by Kurtis Tanaka.

By: Anne Tiballi

For a grad student in archaeology, summers usually mean being on the move, to sites, cities, and schools. Certainly this was true of mine—a simplified itinerary would look something like this: Athens, Rome, Athens, Berlin, Thessaloniki, Komotini, Istanbul, and Athens again. A peripatetic summer such as this reflects the many necessities and duties (or perhaps […]

Gather ‘Round the Pleistocene Fire – Aylar Abdolahzadeh


By: Anne Tiballi

Les Eyzies, located in the Périgord region, is one of the most beautiful towns in southwestern France. This region is rich with rock shelters, prehistoric caves, medieval castles, and archaeological materials. Hotels, restaurants, stores, and local markets are crowded with tourists who want to know everything about this part of France’s culture and the region’s […]

The Hypocaust that Never Was, or, the Case of the Missing Floor- Jane Sancinito

Me in “my”  trench, working on cleaning off wall rubble and roof tiles. Behind me, the wall of phase two.

By: Anne Tiballi

This summer I traveled to Transylvania, Romania, to break ground on what is believed to be the central building of a Roman-era villa complex. The site is just outside a small village about a half an hour outside of Deva, the regional capital, and sits at the foot of a majestic volcanic plug, Magura Uroiului. […]

Native American Voices at the Penn Museum

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