University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Category: Research

Ur Digitization Project: March 2013

By: Brad Hafford

This month we had a week-long visit from archaeo-metallurgists from the Deutches Bergbau-Museum, the University of Franfurt am Main, and the University of Toulouse, Le Mirail. They brought with them some impressive equipment for spot analysis of many metal objects from Ur and will do more in-depth studies of the results back in their home […]

Special visitor in the Artifact Lab

By: Molly Gleeson

If you ask me, there is always something interesting going on in the Artifact Lab, and yesterday was no exception. If you have been following the Artifact Lab blog, you will know that we have been working on one of the mummies in our collection, who we refer to as PUM I. PUM stands for […]

Looting Reported at Tam An Mah Cave

By: Beth Van Horn

Tam An Mah Cave Buried jar site, Luang Prabang province, Laos “In January 2010, Joyce White, MMAP co-director Bounheuang Bouasisengpaseuth, and other scholars from the United States, Italy, Ireland, Australia, England, Thailand, the Philippines, and Laos conducted a short but intensive excavation at a rock shelter site named Tham An Mah (Horse Saddle Cave). This […]

Ur Digitization Project: December 2012

By: Brad Hafford

Archival documents of the month Spotlight on Field Photo Numbers 0002 and 1365 The Dig House Archaeologist C. Leonard Woolley spent as much as five months (typically November to March) every year in the field, living at a small house he had built near the site of Ur. It was a basic Expedition house for […]

Report from the Field: Luang Prabang 1

By: Ardeth Abrams

In late December 2012, the fourth and final phase of the $300,000 Penn Museum Luce Program to Strengthen Southeast Asian Archaeology begins. Its focus is Luang Prabang Province, Laos, where the Museum’s Middle Mekong Archaeological Project (MMAP) has conducted surveys, test excavations and related multi-disciplinary studies since 2005. Nattha Chuenwattana, a Thai PhD student from […]

Suburban Development Threatens Archaeological Site in Gordion, Turkey


By: Naomi Miller

The Penn Museum project at Gordion has been working to preserve the site and over 100 related burial mounds (“tumuli”) that constitute an amazing historical landscape. Agricultural and suburban development are destroying the rural character of the region at a rapid rate, and an immediate threat to the archaeological remains is caused by plowing and irrigating of many […]

Seek and Ye Shall Find

By: Paul Mitchell

More updates on the dig in Laikipia, Kenya, to come soon. I’m cooking up a longer post, but it needs to simmer for a while. For the moment, enjoy these beautiful molars that we’ve uncovered!

Kenya 2012: A Petit Primer on the Genetics of Lactase Persistence – The Suckling Saga 2/2

By: Paul Mitchell

(Continued from the first part of this post: “Lactation, Lips, and Other Mammalian Curiosities”) Now, consider the facts in the first part of this post about the mammalian milk bar and take a look at these orphan elephants at the David Sheldrick Wildlife Trust in Nairobi. I visited these trunky critters with Kathleen and Louise […]

Kenya 2012: Lactation, Lips, and Other Mammalian Curiosities – The Suckling Saga 1/2

By: Paul Mitchell

Below you’ll find some of the thoughts that have bubbled up in my mind while I’ve been pleasantly bumbling about Kenya. All of these things connect to the project which we’re undertaking in some way, but I hope you’ll indulge by ramblings on natural history just a smidgen, even if they seem somewhat far afield […]

Kenya 2012: Bones, Bodies, Misbehavior*

By: Paul Mitchell

Note: The internet comes and goes at Kenya in the moment. Mostly goes. As such, this post is a few days late. Pardon our tardiness. We’ll get back on schedule lickety-split. ***** I would say the weather in Nairobi is temperate. Gray clouds floated by today without dropping their contents, except for the short but […]

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