University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Elephants Ate My Roof

By: Amy Ellsworth

Komande had to drive us through the wait-a-minute trees to our bomas because the herd of elephants was not budging. We teetered over the uneven packed dirt and two huge elephants appeared in the headlights just a few meters away from the door of my boma. I had been given two keys and I didn’t […]

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Dumpster Diving in Laikipia

By: Amy Ellsworth

Last night the elephants herd took over the camp. They hung around until 6am. When I asked Jenn how she slept, she said bluntly, “I had elephants.” They surrounded her banda and started rubbing up against it. They were kicking stones around and actually broke a water pipe to drink the water. Jenn said she […]

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Digging at Clifford Rocks

By: Amy Ellsworth

Mulu’s philosophy on the mental state of archaeologists There are elephants outside my banda right now. I can hear them trumpeting. I also found out that the whooping noises are hyena. As the ascari (guard) walked me through the darkness, I shined my flashlight into the acacia bushes and saw the most sinister eye shine. […]

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Baby Elephants!

By: Amy Ellsworth

I was finally able to upload Jenn’s pictures from the Elephant Orphanage.

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What to do in Case of a Cackle

By: Amy Ellsworth

Kathleen and Jenn have arrived! They were finally able to eat dinner by the time they got here. Paul Kunoni, Kathleen’s Maasai translator, who is a medical doctor, was tending to both of them and determined that it might have been the gailardia virus on top of a food-born parasite. We still suspect the chips. […]

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Monkeys, Rainbows, and Lady Gaga

By: Amy Ellsworth

Chapati is my new favorite culinary fixation. It’s a simple wheat tortilla, thick and floury, but yeasty at the same time. It’s cousin is the mandazi which is like a round puff ball with the perfect combination of sweet and salty. Last night we had chapati with lentils and carrots. I was in amino acid, […]

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First Wild Elephant Sighting

By: Amy Ellsworth

I am in the Mpala Research Library. Again, this place is right out of a movie. I expect Robert Redford or Ben Kingsley to walk around the corner with jodpers and a machete. The swallows are chirping and swooping right outside the window. Maybe they’re showing off for the ornithologist who is staying here. I […]

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Twende!

By: Amy Ellsworth

We divided the luggage into mushable and non-mushable piles, jammed the mushables into the back of the van and headed north with Komande, me, Bill, Simon, Paul Watene, Chris, and Mulu mushed into our seats. Komande drove us through some of the most amazing countryside, punctuated every few miles with small towns, some of which […]

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Elephant Orphanage

By: Amy Ellsworth

I am in a van, avoiding the rain at the National Museum which has the only functioning wireless connection around. Apparently a Japanese fishing trawler ripped up the fibroptic cable in the middle of the Atlantic, and the whole country lost internet service for two days. This sounds a little overblown and I admit I […]

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National Museum of Kenya

By: Amy Ellsworth

The Museum was started in 1910 by the East Africa and Uganda Natural History Society as a place for British colonial scientists and naturalists to store, study, and conserve collections and specimens. When Kenya gained independence in 1963, the institution became the National Museum of Kenya and has since expanded to manage 19 Museums across […]

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