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.


Ur Digitization Project: January 2014

Legrain Photo of the site of Palmyra in Syria, 1926.

By: Brad Hafford

Personal Records, 1926 Continued Spotlight on Legrain’s travels through his Letters and photos We have now completed scanning the curatorial records of Father León Legrain, or at least those that most directly concern the ancient city of Ur. I have now read through many of them, particularly those sent to Penn Museum director George Gordon, […]

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Ur Digitization Project: November 2013

Father Legrain working on cuneiform tablets at the Ur Dighouse

By: Brad Hafford

Father Legrain’s Records Spotlight on travel sketches Trip back from Ur, 1925 In both the 1924-25 and the 1925-26 seasons, Father León Legrain was the epigrapher at Ur–the person whose expertise was in cuneiform script and whose duty it was to investigate the clay tablets as they were found. Father Legrain was curator of the […]

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Crating and Packing

By: Stephen Lang

After spending some time in Osaka seeing the sites, ( bunraku, fugu, kobe beef, Ceramics Museum, shopping) I headed to the city of Nara ready to get down to work.  I arrived at the museum with the intention of condition reporting  our statue and its base and then overseeing the crating of each.  If time […]

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Courier Trips

By: Stephen Lang

Courier Trips. If you peruse the admin meeting minutes you may notice that every so often a registrar or keeper is away on a courier trip. What are these trips and what do they entail? The answer varies widely depending on the section and the final destination. Courier trips occur when we loan an institution […]

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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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Native American Voices at the Penn Museum

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