University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Category: World


Investigating a Pipe Tomahawk

By: Margaret Bruchac

How does a tomahawk, as an object typically associated with violence, come to be connected to a smoking pipe used in rituals and ceremonies associated with peace? Who devised the idea of welding these different objects together to bring pipe tomahawks into being, and what are the cultural significances surrounding their presence? File these queries […]


Moose Hair Embroidered Birchbark Trays: French, Native, or Both

By: Margaret Bruchac

The intricate detailing on these birchbark trays was the first thing that caught my eye. It is difficult to fathom the amount of labor and intensive effort it takes to embroider such complex designs into a thin piece of wood. As seen in the images below, these three trays differ in shape, size, and content, […]


The Salmon Basket & Cannery Label

By: Margaret Bruchac

This salmon basket from the land of the Tlingit and Yakutat people is a useful piece of art, woven from spruce root, grass, and maidenhair fern in a twined fashion, and originally made to carry lightweight materials. It shows minimal evidence of wear. In size and shape and weaving patterns, it closely resembles other baskets […]


A Fine Line Between Town and Country

By: Anne Tiballi

Hello from China! My name is Alex and I’ve just completed my first year in the cultural anthropology PhD program. I am conducting fieldwork in southeast China currently, where I am working with a social enterprise that conducts social impact trip for Chinese high school students hoping to attend college in the US or UK. […]


Coins for Moo: A Cosa Story

By: Anne Tiballi

Cosa has been featured a half-dozen times in the Summer Fieldwork blogs over the past few years. Penn has sent a sizeable contingent of archaeologists, historians, and philologists to the site to participate in the excavation of the bath complex at the Mid-Republican colonial site in Central Italy. The mere existence of the Bath Complex […]


Getting Comfortable with Discomfort

By: Anne Tiballi

As a second year PhD student in Anthropology about to enter my third and final year of coursework, I was nervous as I planned my summer. I had spent the last year researching the history of the region surrounding the town of Comas on the eastern slopes of the central Peruvian Andes. And I had […]


Looted Landscapes of Upper Egypt –

By: Anne Tiballi

As a graduate student, my research focus has been on the interaction between local communities and cultural heritage in Upper Egypt. One of the things I am keen to understand is the unauthorized exploitation of archaeological sites, what we often hear referred to as looting. What are the socio-economic, cultural, and historical factors that stimulate […]


A Day in the Field

By: Anne Tiballi

This summer, with funding from the Penn Museum, I served as a field supervisor and teaching assistant at the Smith Creek Archaeological Project (SCAP) run by Dr. Megan Kassabaum (Assistant Professor of Anthropology, Weingarten Assistant Curator for North America) in Wilkinson County, Mississippi. As a field supervisor, my daily duties consisted of supervising students digging […]


Return to Morgantina

By: Anne Tiballi

There is something great about returning to an archaeological project that you’ve worked on before. The streets are familiar. The faces are familiar. The dirt is familiar. Working for the Contrada Agnese Project at Morgantina in Sicily this past summer, I was able to live in my beloved mountainous town of Aidone again. I saw […]


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 […]


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