Volume 29 / Issue 1


Issue Cover

Special Issue: Museum Artifacts

On the cover: Dukduk Lumlum on beach with a big man in traditional decoration, Southern New Ireland.
Photo by Stephen M. Albert

Reproducing Our Ancestors

The University Museum's Casting Program

By: Alan Mann and Janet Monge

A hundred and thirty-one years ago, quarry workers in the Neander Valley (“Tal” in German) came across the mineralized remains of a brutish-looking, primitive creature (Fig. I). For several years, there was considerable debate as to the nature of this animal. Initially identified as a bear by the quarry owner, the fossils were later considered […]

The “Speck Iroquois Collection” in The University Museum

By: Elisabeth Tooker

Among the objects of Iroquois manufacture in The Univer­sity Museum are a number collected by Frank G. Speck, some given to the Museum by Samuel Fernberger, and a larger number given by Samuel W. Pennypacker, some of which he may have col­lected himself. These objects reflect Speck’s interests, most particularly his research on the religious […]

Frank G. Speck

By: Elisabeth Tooker

Frank G. Speck In 1951, A. Irving Hallowell wrote an obituary of Frank Speck in Amer­ican Anthropologist. Following are excerpts from that piece. “Speck not only studied American Indians, but was deeply attached to them. They were as much a part of his personal as his professional life . . . In fact, the abiding […]

The Worn “Back” Face

Isolated Scenes

In the new reconstruction, the top register shows the king in a common position of adoration, with one hand raised to his lips. He must therefore be facing a divinity.  A problem of interpretation is, however posed by his extended left arm. One possibility is that the king is being led before the god by […]

The Empire of Ur-Nammu under His Descendants

By: Richard Zettler

Ur-Nammu established an independent state centered on Ur in 2112 B.C. After Ur-Nammu’s death, his son Shulgi expanded the territorial limits of the state, mainly to the east of the Tigris in what is today southwestern Iran or, in ancient times, the land of Elam. He also undertook a series of important political, administrative, and […]

A Monumental Puzzle

Reconstructing the Ur-Nammu Stela

By: Jeanny Vorys Canby

The puzzle began with bits and pieces of limestone found in the 1920s at ancient Ur. Now part of the Mesopotamian collection of The University Museum, these fragments, derived from a single large slab covered with low relief carving, are still dispersed. The larger blocks together with smaller fragments with recognizable figures and scenes are […]

Etruscan and South Italian Bird-Askoli

A Technological View

By: William D. Glanzman

The pottery vessels of Classical antiquity represent some of the finest ever produced in the Old World. They come in numerous distinct shapes and often carry painted decorations which scholars have been able to assign not only to narrow time spans, but also to various regions of production and even to specific workshops. The vast […]

The Earliest Pharaohs and the University Museum

Old and New Excavations: 1900-1987

By: David O'Connor

Although the detailed discus­sion of a significant ancient art work or archaeological artifact can in itself be a fascinating exercise, in this essay I should like to focus on a major collection. This collection of artifacts from Early Dynastic royal tombs is certainly amongst the most important within The University Museum’s general Egyptian holdings of […]


Masks and Men in Southern New Ireland, Papua New Guinea

By: Steven M. Albert

Two rather obscure axes in The University Museum’s Melanesian collection (Figs. 1, 2) reveal interesting facets of a secret male masking society. The axe handles (here supplemented with blades obtained from European traders around the turn of the century) have a distinctive sectioning that is often adorned with a conical face (see Figs. la, 4). […]

The Sanusi

By: Stephen Epstein

The Sanusi order, founded by Muhammad Ibn al-Sanusi (ca. 1787-1859), is part of the Sunni or orthodox branch of Islam. Al-Sanusi was disheartened by the internal divisiveness that he saw in the Islam of his day, and sought to revive the simplicity and purity of the early days of that faith. While the Sanusi are […]