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.


Wampum Field Report Part 2: Kaianerasere’Kówa – Stephanie Mach

Richard W. Hill Sr. explaining wampum imagery to the author. Photo by Dr. Bruchac.

By: Stephanie Mach

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. This is Part 2 […]

Read the Blog Post


Wampum Field Report Part 1: Blueberry Stands, Beaver Dams, and Mannequins – Stephanie Mach

Sarah Parkinson (left) and Stephanie Mach studying ROM 911.3.130.B. Photo by Dr. Bruchac.

By: Stephanie Mach

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. This season I continued […]

Read the Blog Post


Of Words and Matter: Glass Wampum

Penn students Sarah Parkinson (left) and Stephanie Mach (right) meet with Richard W. Hill Jr. (Tuscarora), Coordinator of the Indigenous Knowledge Centre at Six Nations Polytechnic, Ohsweken, Ontario.

By: Margaret Bruchac

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. Student Report from the […]

Read the Blog Post


Deconstructing Knowledge; Reconstructing Meaning

Zhenia Bemko at Harvard Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnography. Photograph by Margaret Bruchac.

By: Margaret Bruchac

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. Student Report from the Wampum […]

Read the Blog Post


Wampum Research: Notes from the Trail – 2014-2015

Detail of mid-18th century wampum belt showing the inclusion of a single blue glass bead in the original weave of shell wampum beads. Photograph by Lise Puyo.

By: Margaret Bruchac

In May 2014, three members of the “Wampum Trail” research team (Dr. Margaret Bruchac with research assistants Lise Puyo and Stephanie Mach) set out to follow a century-old trail left by University of Pennsylvania anthropologist Frank G. Speck. With funding from the Penn Museum and the Department of Anthropology, we made an ambitious list of wampum […]

Read the Blog Post


On the Rail to the Wampum Trail

Photo from the Vermonter Line

By: Anne Tiballi

May 12, 2015 Amtrak Train to Springfield, MA – Sarah Parkinson This morning, I boarded an Amtrak train on its way to Springfield, Massachusetts. From there, I will start my three week journey with the “On the Wampum Trail” team to research wampum in museum collections throughout the Northeast and Canada. There’s something about being […]

Read the Blog Post


On the Wampum Trail: Balancing Traditional and Museological Care of Wampum

Reproduction of the 1794 George Washington Treaty of Canadaigua wampum belt. Made with electrical wire insulation and artificial sinew by Jake Thomas. Object # III-I-1867, Canadian Museum of History. Photo by Stephanie Mach.

By: Stephanie Mach

My name is Stephanie Mach and I am the Student Engagement Coordinator at the Penn Museum. I work closely with Penn Museum’s collections, University classes, and student researchers. My position acts as a bridge between the Museum and the Penn community, therefore, I am often asked about issues of cultural heritage, repatriation, museum best practices, […]

Read the Blog Post


Shells & Nails on the Wampum Trail

P1040563

By: Margaret Bruchac

In May, my research assistants Stephanie Mach and Lise Puyo joined me for field research in the northeastern US and Canada, visiting nine museums, four tribal communities, and several private collectors to examine colonial-era wampum (woven shell bead) belts and collars. (For more details, see our blog, On the Wampum Trail.) Our travels on the wampum trail […]

Read the Blog Post



Magic in the Ancient World

© Penn Museum 2016 Sitemap / Contact / Copyright / Disclaimer / Privacy / Upenn