University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Category: World


Day Six

By: Amy Ellsworth

While a group of us were waiting for the rest of the team to muster, a loud squawk came from a bag piled against the wall amid other bags of rice and oranges. We all started and stared. “Did that bag just move?” Kathleen asked. Just then the bag seemed to inflate and a black […]


Day Five Digging at Tham An Mah

By: Amy Ellsworth

The team has dug the one by two down to about a meter revealing a beautiful pot completely in tact. Joyce deliberated with BeunHoung about digging a square meter around the pot to get the whole thing out. This of course means more sifting. She said it was most likely a burial pot from the […]


Mount Phousi

By: Amy Ellsworth

Yes, that is an Oreo cookie. While sight seeing around Luang Prabang, we had to start with the climb up Mount Phousi. The route is peppered with marigolds and sticky rice offerings. Little orange candles also pop up in unexpected spots. Tourists were buzzing around the Wat snapping photos of other tourists smiling in front […]


Digging at Tham An Mah

By: Amy Ellsworth

The third day of digging at the cave site, the trenches were down to about a foot or so. Two large bones were sticking out of the one-by-one. Helen said they looked human, but they wouldn’t know until the rest of them was uncovered. A piece of skull revealed itself in the one-by-two as well […]


Party with the Villagers of Xieng Mouk

By: Amy Ellsworth

[youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wmyvg5qEpJg] One the way back down from Tham An Ma, we walked through the village of Ban Xieng Mouk. (Ban means Village so that’s a bit redundant.) The people were celebrating a wedding. A few women women were frying seaweed and cooking pho on the outdoor clay ovens. People seated at a picnic table under […]


First Day in Luang Prabang

By: Amy Ellsworth

I was terrified to see that our airplane actually had propellers, but the flight was surprisingly steady. The airport was right out of Fantasy Island. Even the customs and visa staff were smiling ear to ear. We met Elizabeth from the MMAP team and two other researchers and took a van into town. The drive […]


About MMAP

By: Amy Ellsworth

The Mekong River is one of the world’s great rivers, but very little is known about its prehistoric human settlement. The Middle Mekong Archaeological Project (MMAP), conceived in 2001, seeks to investigate human settlement of the Mekong Valley with a research program beginning in Luang Prabang in northern Laos. Since 2005, MMAP has conducted a […]


Happy New Year!

By: Amy Ellsworth

We arrived in bangkok last night about half an hour before it turned midnight. The hotel shuttle drove us past flickering relfections of fireworks in the river! My traveling companion is 6 and a half feet tall, and it was a miracle that we were able to upgrade to Business class on the flight from […]


Typhoid, Malaria, and Hepatitis

By: Amy Ellsworth

As the departure date gets closer, I’m realizing there are many more things to consider when preparing to visit a developing country as opposed to plain old Europe. Visas I had to overnight the Visa application to the Lao Embassy along with the passport, three 2″ pictures, postage-paid return envelope, and a $50 money order. […]


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