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From the Publisher

By: Beyond the Labs and Amanda Mitchell-Boyask

In September 2014, we opened the Center for the Analysis of Archaeological Materials (CAAM), housed in a renovated and well-equipped suite of teaching labs, to train Penn students in archaeological science disciplines used in the field. As readers will see many times in this issue, students in CAAM are now applying research methods learned in […]


From the Williams Director

Connecting with Our Neighbors

By: Christopher Woods

Dear Friends, Last issue I shared with you the Penn Museum’s expanded commitment to community consultation and partnership as we create more accessible galleries and programs. By working hand in hand with our neighbors, we learn about our community and its history—and are better positioned to meet its needs. Working with partners including the Black […]


From the Publisher

A Snapshot in Time

By: Amanda Mitchell-Boyask

Our cover image offers a glimpse behind the scenes this past spring, as Bill Wierzbowski, Keeper, American Section, worked with Head of Preparations Ben Neiditz (not pictured) to install a new commission in Native American Voices by X̱’unei Lance Twitchell and Yéil Ya-Tseen exploring language loss and current efforts in the Tlingit language community (page […]


From the Williams Director

Community Partnerships

By: Christopher Woods

Dear Friends, By the time you read these thoughts, my family and I will have officially taken up residence in Philadelphia, where my younger son will start high school; we look forward to settling into a new home in such a vibrant city. For myself, I can’t wait to meet regularly in person with Museum […]


Diverse Perspectives

From the Publisher

By: Amanda Mitchell-Boyask

In the last issue of Expedition I was, with my co-interim directors Melissa Smith and Steve Tinney, on the other side of this page. I couldn’t be more delighted that our new Williams Director Christopher Woods will take that spot going forward. Chris’s commitment to bringing new, contemporary voices to speak to the collections and […]


Ancient Collections, New Voices

An Interview with Christopher Woods

Christopher Woods became the Penn Museum’s twelfth Williams Director on April 1, 2021. He shared with Expedition what drew him to the Penn Museum, what it has in common with Chicago’s Oriental Institute (where he was Director from 2017–2021), and how museums with ancient collections can engage with their communities and inspire contemporary voices. You’ve […]


From the Editor

By: Jane Hickman

We are fortunate to have many public gardens in the Philadelphia region that are wonderful places to visit in all seasons. During these uncertain times, gardens serve as a peaceful respite from the concerns of everyday life. This expanded issue of Expedition focuses on local gardens and the archaeological research that provides The Editor at […]


From the Co-Interim Directors

By: Steve Tinney and Melissa Smith and Amanda Mitchell-Boyask

Dear Friends, Our gardens are part of the Penn Museum experience. All year, the Warden Garden and Stoner Courtyard invite us to pause and admire the fountains and koi pond, to take a lunch break in the shade, to enjoy a moment of calm and greenery. Gardens, as this issue explores, are integral not only […]


Eight Years with Julian Siggers

At the Museum

Over the past eight years, Williams Director Julian Siggers led the way in transforming our Penn Museum. Re-imagining how visitors experience our building and our galleries led to the most extensive renovation of the Museum in a century, including moving the massive Sphinx of Ramses II. New K–12 programs invited students to engage with the […]


An Introduction to the Garden History of Philadelphia

By: Chantel White

ONE OF THE GREATEST GIFTS offered by gardens is the enduring way they connect the living world to the past. Gardens reflect a complex interwoven history between people and plants that stretches back for millennia. It might surprise a modern-day gardener to learn how many years of botanical knowledge are contained within a single potato […]