University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Category: World


Shuidonggou – A Time and Space Tunnel of China’s Archaeology Study – Li Li

By: Anne Tiballi

Shuidonggou is a beautiful national park located in Ningxia province, North West China. The Shuidonggou Site is the earliest Paleolithic site in China, and is called the “Birthplace of Prehistoric Archaeology in China.” Shuidonggou was first discovered by a Belgian paleontologist named Kent while he was doing missionary work in China in 1920. He found […]


Summer in Sant’Angelo Muxaro – Braden Cordivari

By: Anne Tiballi

The town of Sant’Angelo Muxaro sits on a rocky crag above the Platanis River Valley in south-central Sicily, about an hour drive up into the mountains from the famous temples at Agrigento. I visited the site during a weekend trip away from excavating at Morgantina as part of Dr. Alex Walthall of University of Texas […]


Getting the Right Perspective

By: Anne Tiballi

This summer, I got to spend two awesome months in Italy. I am a fourth-year PhD candidate in the Art and Archaeology of the Mediterranean World program, recently recovered from my last year of coursework and PhD exams and about to jump headfirst into a dissertation. This summer was particularly valuable for me at this […]


Archaeological Survey in Vayots Dzor

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 […]


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 […]


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