University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Jambo Nairobi!

By: Amy Ellsworth

The past few days are a blur. After 30 hours of travel, the bulk of which included meandering deliriously around the Johannesburg Airport, we finally made it to Nairobi. Kathleen’s old friends, Joseph and his son Justus met us at the airport and drove us to the United Kenya Club conveniently located between the National […]

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Two more flights to go

By: Amy Ellsworth

We finally made it to the airport after a series of delayed and rescheduled flights. The philadadelphia airport was buzzing with high school students in varying hues of swishy nylon going back home after the Penn Relays. A very lucky and well-behaved group on our plane to Atlanta were heading back to Barbados. So we’re […]

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Hurry Up and Wait

By: Amy Ellsworth

We still don’t know if the new cloud of volcanic ash is going to affect our flights in and out of Amsterdam later today. We’ve been monitoring the flight status but it’s all still up in the air! All my clothes, boots, and equipment are still in piles. I can only commit to packing under […]

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Eyjafjallajoekull Volcano

By: Amy Ellsworth

“Are you allergic to eggs?” she asked as she reached into the mini-fridge. When someone asks a question as specific as that, I am determined to come up with the answer as honestly and dramatically as possible. “Uh…” I searched my memory for any possible egg-related sniffling. “No,” I said, conclusively. I was not allergic […]

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The Kenya Team

By: Amy Ellsworth

The blog posts in the “Kenya” category document Kathleen Ryan’s research project on the Laikipia Plateau of Kenya from April 21 through May 11, 2010. After visiting the National Museum of Kenya in Nairobi, we move on to Laikipia where Dr. Ryan begins excavation of five possible sites. One site will be a Later Stone […]

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Research

By: Amy Ellsworth

Eastern Africa is famous for its rich archaeological and paleontological sites as well as an abundance of wildlife and scenic beauty. It is now generally agreed among researchers that Kenya, and the eastern African region in general, form the “cradle of humankind.” It was in this region that the first steps were taken towards the […]

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Kenya Overview

By: Amy Ellsworth

The Laikipia Plateau of Kenya, East Africa, was home to some of our earliest ancestors. Overlooking the Great Rift Valley, often referred to as the “cradle of mankind,” it has evidence of hominid occupation from the Early Stone Age to the present. The focus of the present study is on the period of transition from […]

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Maasai Mama

By: Amy Ellsworth

Kathleen was telling me about some of the people we will be meeting including Paul Kunoni, our Maasai translator and other archaeologists from the National Museum of Kenya, when she referred to a Maasai woman as her “co-wife.” Risking bad manners for the sake of curiosity, I asked her what she meant by co-wife… She […]

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Gearing Up

By: Amy Ellsworth

Kathleen Ryan, Associate Curator of the African Section at the Penn Museum, approached me months ago about going to Kenya with her team to video tape her research on the Laikipia Plateau. “Sure!” I said, thinking I would never get approval from above. It seemed like too much of a fantasy opportunity to ever materialize […]

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Good questions!

By: Maureen Callahan

I recently received a very thoughtful email from a reader (a graduate student in a museum studies program) who had some questions about what we do here at the archives — I thought that I would post his thoughts and my replies for our readers’ edification. His email: Hello. I am a graduate student taking […]

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