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.


Happy 159th Birthday Max Uhle (1856-1944): Father of Peruvian Archaeology

Border Textile, Andean, Peru. Museum Object Number: 29684

By: Lee Roueche

“In Americanist studies the first thing that had to be done was to introduce the idea of time, to get people to admit that the types could change over time.” -Max Uhle, May 15, 1923 Today, March 25th 2015, marks the 159th birthday of the German archaeologist, Max Uhle, who excavated in Peru for the […]

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A really big show

An example of a very large textile that wouldn't fit in our standard cabinets.

By: Lynn Grant

One factoid about the Museum that never fails to amaze in conversation is the estimate that what’s on exhibition is less than 5% of our total collections.  The usual response is, “where’s the rest of the stuff?”  The answer is ‘in storage’.  The Museum has a whole array of storerooms (my usual joke is that […]

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Pachacamac Survey Project: Wrapping Things Up

By: Fran Baas

It’s hard to believe that our year here is coming to an end. We’re wrapping up the final details and writing our final reports on our IMLS Pachacamac Survey Project.  When I wrote my last blog post, we were in full photography and housing mode.  I am delighted to report that we have finished that […]

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Pachacamac Survey Project: Ceramics Update

Team Pachacamac (Top left) Jacob Bridy, Elizabeth Levitz, Laura Walsh, Nicole Bull, Hong-Gyu Shin (Bottom left) Elissa Meyers, Fran Baas, Ainslie Harrison

By: Ainslie Harrison

So we are almost at the end of our IMLS survey of Pachacamac textiles and ceramics. As mentioned in previous blog posts, this one-year grant covers a detailed condition assessment, photography, and rehousing of the archeological textiles and ceramics from Max Uhle’s 1896 excavation at Pachacamac, Peru.  We have gotten a lot done over the last 10 […]

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Pachacamac Survey Project: Textile Update

By: Fran Baas

Time is quickly passing, but we are making great strides and accomplishments in the IMLS grant-funded Pachacamac Survey Project!  This one-year grant covers a detailed condition assessment, photography and rehousing of the archeological textiles and ceramics affiliated with Max Uhle’s 1896 excavation in Pachacamac, Peru.  All these steps (and a few more) are going on […]

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“Get Your Fiber On!”

By: Fran Baas

Last Friday, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter proclaimed March “Fiber Art Month” during the opening ceremony of FiberPhiladelphia 2012!  In honor of that proclamation, I wanted to post a few photographs of some inspiring ancient Peruvian textiles I’ve seen during my IMLS-funded condition assessment survey. With simple tools, every process of textile manufacture was by hand. The thoughtful […]

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Meow! Ancient Peruvian Textile

By: Fran Baas

As I mentioned in my staff introduction, I am working at the University Of Pennsylvania Museum Of Archaeology and Anthropology (Penn Museum) on a IMLS funded post-graduate conservation fellowship.  During this one year fellowship, my responsibilities include conducting a conservation assessment of approximately 2900 archeological textiles from Max Uhle’s excavation at Pachacamac, Peru.  The overarching […]

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Team Pachacamac

By: Ainslie Harrison

During the Pachacamac project Fran Baas and myself will move, survey, photograph, and rehouse 2800 textiles and 1000 pots (stay tuned for more about the survey process!). In order to complete this immense amount of work, we will be relying on our team of wonderful interns, volunteers, and work studies. While they come from different […]

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Mummy of the Month: Pachamac Mummy Bale No. 26626

By: Gabrielle Niu

Starting in January of 1896, Max Uhle began his excavation of the Pachacamac cemetery in Peru. The site consisted of graves from different eras, but the best preserved layer dated from the late 6th century CE. From this site, the Museum has many objects in its collections (click here to see a few). The tombs from the 6th century layer […]

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Magic in the Ancient World

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