University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Welcome to the Penn Museum blog. First launched in January 2009, the Museum blog now has over 800 posts covering a range of topics in the categories of Museum, Collection, Exhibitions, Research, and By Location. Here you’ll hear directly from our staff and Penn students about their work, research, experiences, and discoveries. To explore the Museum's other digital content, visit The Digital Penn Museum.


Choctaw Beaded Sashes: Crossing Histories

By: Margaret Bruchac and Erica Dienes

In 1901, during the Wanamaker Pan-American Expedition, Penn Museum Curator Stewart Culin purchased a selection of Choctaw objects from Louisiana.[1] The collection included two elaborately beaded red wool sashes—objects #38472 and object #38473—which were identified, in the Choctaw language, as ska-bo-chai.[2] The coiled designs evoke ancient motifs seen in Eastern Woodland Mississippian and Early Historic […]

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Field Trips

By: Tom Stanley

The Smith Creek Archaeological Project is a new Penn Museum research project, conducting its first season in the field during the late spring of 2015. The Penn Museum’s Social Media Coordinator, Tom Stanley, is blogging about the project. Our excavation team has wrapped up its fieldwork for the summer after four weeks of working hard […]

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In Situ(lin): Digging with Diabetes – Alexandria Mitchem

By: Anne Tiballi

Every year, the Penn Museum provides support to Penn undergraduates and graduate students as they deepen their understanding of the human experience outside the Museum’s walls. Follow these blog posts from our intrepid young scholars as they report on the sights and sites that they encounter throughout their travels in the field. I was diagnosed […]

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Shades of the Soil: Searching for Archaeological Features

By: Tom Stanley

The Smith Creek Archaeological Project is a new Penn Museum research project, conducting its first season in the field during the late spring of 2015. The Penn Museum’s Social Media Coordinator, Tom Stanley, is blogging about the project. Archaeology is all about using material remains to learn about people and cultures of the past. In […]

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What are we finding?

By: Tom Stanley

The Smith Creek Archaeological Project is a new Penn Museum research project, conducting its first season in the field during the late spring of 2015. The Penn Museum’s Social Media Coordinator, Tom Stanley, is blogging about the project. My time onsite down in Mississippi was planned in such a way that I’d be around for […]

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Notes from Mississippi – Alexandria Mitchem

By: Anne Tiballi

Every year, the Penn Museum provides support to Penn undergraduates and graduate students as they deepen their understanding of the human experience outside the Museum’s walls. Follow these blog posts from our intrepid young scholars as they report on the sights and sites that they encounter throughout their travels in the field. When thinking about […]

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Digging In

By: Tom Stanley

The Smith Creek Archaeological Project is a new Penn Museum research project, conducting its first season in the field during the late spring of 2015. The Penn Museum’s Social Media Coordinator, Tom Stanley, is blogging about the project. By the time I arrived down here in Mississippi, the team had already been at work for […]

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Let’s Meet the Team

By: Tom Stanley

The Smith Creek Archaeological Project is a new Penn Museum research project, conducting its first season in the field during the late spring of 2015. The Penn Museum’s Social Media Coordinator, Tom Stanley, is blogging about the project. Excavation is underway at Smith Creek, and we have a stellar team of students, both graduate and […]

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The Unusual Legacy of J. Ashley Sibley

By: Tom Stanley

The Smith Creek Archaeological Project is a new Penn Museum research project, conducting its first season in the field during the late spring of 2015. The Penn Museum’s social media coordinator, Tom Stanley, is blogging about the project. Scattered archaeological work has been conducted on mound sites in the Lower Mississippi Valley dating back as […]

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Why Would We Dig Here?

By: Tom Stanley

The Smith Creek Archaeological Project is a new Penn Museum research project, conducting its first season in the field during the late spring of 2015. The Penn Museum’s social media coordinator, Tom Stanley, is blogging about the project. The Smith Creek Archaeological Project focuses on a little-known site in rural Mississippi, land that was reshaped […]

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Native American Voices at the Penn Museum

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