The Museum Bulletin

Originally published from 1930–1958, the Museum Bulletin includes articles which may not reflect the current views and values of the Penn Museum.

Opening quotation mark.
The editor has now determined ... to issue The University Museum Bulletin, published monthly from November to May, which will include short accounts of the current excavations, descriptions of recent acquisitions to the collections, and the activities of the Museum that are of general interest.
Annoucement — Museum Journal Volume XX - Number 3-4 (1929)
Agnes Lake washing a marble head at the Minturnae excavations.

Minturnae Expedition

In 1931, the Penn Museum was able to secure permission from the Italian government to excavate the ancient Roman and pre-Roman city of Minturnae, 50 miles from Naples. Situated along the Appian Way, the site featured a well-preserved aqueduct, several temples, a theater, and baths, as well as important collections of marble sculpture.

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View of a stepped pyramid with a stairway in the middle being excavated.

Piedras Negras Expedition

The ancient city of Piedras Negras, deep in the jungle of the Petén district of Guatemala, was the Museum’s first large-scale excavation of a Maya ruin. It is known for its elaborately carved and well-preserved monuments, many of which were on display in the Penn Museum for years. The work, directed by J. Alden Mason and Linton Satterthwaite, lasted from 1931 to 1939.

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Mask Parade catalogue cover.

Mask Parade

Mask Parade was a special Halloween exhibit in 1947. The practice of mask-making is nearly universal. Is there a basic motive underlying man’s almost universal preoccupation with false laces? Surely part of the appeal to the observer of a mask collection is conjecture as to this motive.

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The Babylonian Collections catalogue cover.

The Babylonian Collections

The Museum is the oldest of its kind in America. The Babylonian Section was the first section opened and indeed the very excuse for the establishment of the Museum, and the first important Assyrian monument to reach this country-as early as 1853-belongs to it. Since that time, the Museum has undertaken many excavations in Mesopotamia which have dramatically extended our knowledge of cultural sequence and activity in that area.

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The American Collections catalogue cover.

The American Collections

The American Halls contain one of the world’s best collections of objects produced by the ancient Maya civilization in Guatemala and adjacent regions, and by some of the other advanced cultures of Middle America. Especially noteworthy are the collection of Maya ceramics, the great Maya stone sculptures from Piedras Negras in Guatemala, the gold and pottery collections from Coclé and Chiriquí in Panama.

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