University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Category: Research


Menq sirum enk Hayastan! (We love Armenia!)

By: Colin Roberts

For the month of June 2018, a team from the University of Pennsylvania surveyed Vayots Dzor, Armenia, under the direction of Dr. Peter J. Cobb from the Center for the Analysis of Archaeological Materials (CAAM) and Dr. Elvan Cobb of Cornell University, as part of the Open Archaeology project. Support for the project came from the […]


Robert H. Lamborn: An Atypical Collector in 19th Century Philadelphia

By: Sarah Linn

By Sheridan Small, Penn Museum Fellow 2017-2018 Although I never had a chance to meet Robert Henry Lamborn, I feel like we have become close friends. I have studied him over the past seven months through my research for my senior honors thesis in Anthropology as a Penn Museum Fellow. I have spent hours in […]


What’s the Deal with Roman Walls, Anyway? Autopsy and Analysis of Rome’s Topography – Jordan Rogers

By: Anne Tiballi

I was warned about the alluring charms of Rome before I left. “You’ll fall in love.” “Coming back will be difficult.” “It’s hot in the summer.” The latter statement admittedly more enticing than I had expected. I jokingly replied that I might just remain for the year—where else should I be doing my research, after […]


A Vision of Color: Contextualizing a Peyote Rattle in Time and Space

By: Margaret Bruchac

Object Analysis by Margaret Bruchac and Sheridan Small During the era of American westward expansion, many Native American peoples were forced from their ancestral lands and confined to reservations. The Winnebago people, for example, went through several territorial dislocations as a result of three major cession treaties with the fledgling United States. They were removed […]


Butterfly Maiden Katsina: What Makes an Object Beautiful?

By: Margaret Bruchac

Object Analysis by Anastasia Hutnick Some Native objects can inspire awe in non-Native viewers, much in the way that one might respond to a fine work of art without knowing the cultural background of the imagery. The most intriguing objects (in my professor’s opinion) are those that “remind us of what came before” and that […]


Living Tradition: The Penobscot Root Club

By: Margaret Bruchac

Object Analysis by Malkia Okech Two Penobscot root clubs collected by A. H. Gottschall (object # 97-84-2123 and 97-84-2124) came to the Penn Museum from the Academy of Natural Sciences in 1936. Adorned with intricate carving and paint, root clubs are a long-standing tradition of the Penobscot tribe located in Maine.[1] Although we know nothing […]


Inquisitive Students: A Review of “Curious Revolutionaries” at the American Philosophical Society

By: Margaret Bruchac

Museum Exhibition Review by Sheridan Small Throughout the semester we have been discussing how modern museums resemble and differ from their predecessors, particularly cabinets of curiosities. Therefore, it was intriguing to see an exhibit that told the story of an early museum that seemed like a cabinet of curiosities, but was adamantly not an assortment […]


Visualizing Native People in Philadelphia’s Museums: Public Views and Student Reviews

By: Margaret Bruchac

Material representations of Indigenous history in public museums do more than merely present the past. Exhibitions are always incomplete and idiosyncratic, revealing only a small window into the social worlds of diverse human communities. Museums create, in essence, staged assemblages: compositions of objects, documents, portraits, and other material things that have been filtered through an […]


All the Museum’s a Stage, and All the Visitors Players: Theatricality in the Museum of the American Revolution

By: Margaret Bruchac

Museum Exhibition Review by Anastasia Hutnick Enter the Visitor, strolling down sunny Old City Philadelphia streets, passing by crowds of people, feet slapping along the brick sidewalk. One can imagine children playing around the stone cannons, following their imaginations back in time to become stalwart revolutionaries, becoming a part of the museum. Or perhaps one […]


Hidden Histories at the Historical Society of Pennsylvania

By: Margaret Bruchac

Museum Exhibition Review by Malkia Okech An old brick building in downtown Philadelphia, almost hidden, tucked away between main streets, houses the Historical Society of Pennsylvania. This local history museum focuses on Philadelphia and the surrounding region; a similar museum in Pittsburgh is the Historical Society of Western Pennsylvania. Both act as community resource centers, […]


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