University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Penn Museum in Asia

March 21, 2012

Penn Museum has done archaeological research in Southeast Asia for the past 45 years. I have been lucky to work as an archaeological illustrator for one of the Penn projects, the Ban Chiang Project, since I was a grad student in the Penn Fine Arts School in 1990. Over the years I took on web duties and most recently put together a video interview of my boss, Dr. Joyce White, Associate Curator of the Asian Section of the Penn Museum. Dr. White was asked to provide a brief video on her experiences with Penn’s Luce Program for Asian Archaeology for use by the Luce Foundation.

In the video we used archival images from past Penn excavations in Thailand, as well as recent still images from Laos and the Museum, plus footage filmed by Amy Ellsworth when she visited the Middle Mekong Archaeological Project (MMAP) in 2010 in Luang Prabang, Laos. Read Amy’s 2010 Blog.

This video will be combined with those from other institutions receiving Luce grants for Southeast Asian archaeology (Universities of Hawaii, Washington, and Illinois), and will be used for PR purposes by the Luce Foundation.

It was a bit of a rush job and turns out, it was my first stab at putting together a short interview of this sort. But I was up for the challenge.

  • Irv Jacob

    I am visiting Thailand and acquired your book on BanChiang.
    I note your mention of a preponderance of child burials, more than ought to have been expected.
    Was there any evidence of ritual sacrifice using children, considering that many of the children are decorated with elaborate bracelets etc. Were there any signs of wonds on bones as found in the Andies? in Peru and elsewhere.
    Infantacide or population control was one hypothesis you mentioned, but that seems unlikely in an area heavy with work and rich with food producing resources.
    Did you look at the possibility of ritual sacrifice?
    thanks in advance for your reply.

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