Volume 53 / Issue 1


Issue Cover

Cover Image: Detail from Afghan war rug shown on page 13. Amanullah Khan, depicted here, helped lead Afghanistan to independence in 1919. Photo by Textile Museum of Canada.

Archaeometry and Shipwrecks

A Review Article

By: James D. Muhly

From Mine to Microscope: Advances in the Study of Ancient Technology edited by Andrew J. Shortland, Ian C. Freestone, and Thilo Rehren (Oxford: Oxbow Books, 2009). 230 pp., numerous black and white photographs and drawings, $120.00, ISBN 978-1-84217-259-9. The volume From Mine To Microscope represents an important collection of articles by colleagues and former students […]

A Month in Montalcino

By: Adrianna de Svastich and Jennifer McAuley

Led by Richard Hodges, Stefano Campana, and Michelle Hobart, 14 undergraduates joined the excavations at San Pietro d’Asso in July 2010. Two of these students reflect on their experiences in field school and time spent in the Italian countryside. Our adventures began the moment our plane touched down on Italian soil. Getting to Rome was […]

In Search of San Pietro d’Asso

By: Stefano Campana and Michelle Hobart and Richard Hodges

The Via Cassia was one of the main arteries connecting Rome to its northwest provinces. It crossed the rolling hills of Tuscany, passing by way of Siena, before veering towards the river Arno and then northwards. With the transformation of Rome into a holy city in medieval times, the Cassia became the Via Francigena (the […]

Resurrecting Gordion

Preserving Turkey’s Phrygian Capital

By: Frank G. Matero and C. Brian Rose

Archaeology and heritage conservation have become important partners in the excavation, preservation, and display of archaeological sites around the world. With rare exception, most archaeological sites are created through excavation, and they become “heritage” through a complex process of study intervention, and visitation that involves a number of disciplines beyond archaeology. It is largely tourism […]

Afghanistan’s War Experience

By: Brian Spooner

Afghanistan entered history in 1747. Nadir Shah, the Iranian ruler of the region, had been assassinated in Meshed (now northeastern Iran). One of his Afghan generals launched a new Afghan Empire from Qandahar (now southern Afghanistan), taking advantage of the decline of the Mughal Empire in India. When emissaries from the British Imperial Government in […]

Afghan Wars, Oriental Carpets, and Globalization

By: Brian Spooner

The Afghan war rugs on exhibit at the Penn Museum from April 30 to July 31, 2011, raise a number of interesting questions—about carpets, Afghanistan, and the way the world as a whole is changing. These rugs, which come in a variety of sizes and qualities, derive from a tradition of oriental carpet-weaving that began […]

Penn Museum and Afghanistan

From the Director

By: Richard Hodges

Penn Museum has long had a part in revealing Afghan archaeological history. In 1953, at Director Froelich Rainey’s instigation, Rodney Young, Curator of the Mediterranean Section and Director of the Gordion excavations, conducted excavations at the ancient city of Bactra, modern-day Balkh. Young was drawn to the site because the great city on the Oxus […]

Jim Thompson, the Thai Silk King

From the Archive

By: Alessandro Pezzati

Younger generations may not know Jim Thompson (1906-1967?), but in the 1950s and 1960s he was famous throughout the world asa Thailand’s “Silk King,”  and as an arbiter of international taste. Born of a wealthy Delaware family, Thompson graduated from Princeton and attended the University of Pennsylvania School of Architecture. Though he never completed his degree, […]

Telmu and Petrui: A Rediscovered Romance?

What in the World?

By: Jean MacIntosh Turfa

Some rare evidence for social change in ancient Etruria reposes in the Penn Museum’s Mediterranean Section, in two large ovoid urns inscribed with Etruscan names. Even empty, the vases tell an unusual story about life in Etruria during the Roman takeover (ca. 350-100 BC). The Iron Age tradition of using the family’s water jars for burials […]

Guerilla Fashion: Textiles in Motion Push Change in Indian Art

From the Field

By: Lucy Fowler Williams

Patricia Michaels is not new to fashion, but she is new to Santa Fe’s celebrated Southwest Indian Art Market, a proving ground for Native American artists, which takes place in August of each year. Michaels made her mark at last year’s 88th show with “Weathered Text: No Trespassing by the Taos War Chief,” a stunning, provocative […]