Volume 53 / Issue 3


Issue Cover

On the Cover: This portion of a famous Minoan fresco depicts both women (white figure) and men (brown figure) engaged in the sport of bull-leaping. It was recovered from the palace at Knossos in Crete, and dates to ca. 1450–1400 BC.
Photo courtesy of the Heraklion Museum, Crete.

The Refuse of Urban History

Excavating the Roman Forum at Butrint

By: David R. Hernandez

For at least eight centuries, Roman generals marched in triumphal celebrations through the forum Romanum, the central town square of ancient Rome, to display to their fellow citizens booty and prisoners captured in military campaigns. The Roman Empire was a system built on the pursuit of plunder. The irony, of course, is that at no […]

Butrint, Albania: In the Shadow of Butrint

From the Field

By: Oliver Gilkes and Valbona Hysa

Butrint is a place of contrasts. The main archaeological site with its forum and public buildings—described by Virgil as “Lofty Buthrotum on the height”—is shrouded in trees, and is the haunt of exotic birds, butterflies, and woodland life. Just across the Vivari Channel that connects Lake Butrint to the deep blue Ionian Sea lie the […]

Penelope’s Geese

Pets of the Ancient Greeks

By: Kenneth Kitchell

Most people are familiar with the strong character of Penelope, who waited at Ithaca while her husband Odysseus was away 20 long years. In Homer’s Odyssey we watch in admiration as she holds together Odysseus’ kingdom and keeps a horde of suitors at bay until he returns. But many readers quickly pass over the fact […]

Museum Mosaic – Winter 2011

People, Places, Projects

Renovations of the Museum’s Original Wing Continue Following the installation of a climate-control system and the renovation of the gallery housing the long-term exhibition Iraq’s Ancient Past in fall 2010, restoration of the other four galleries in the Museum’s West Wing, including new windows, millwork, and radiator covers, took place this fall. Generous support was […]

The Corinth Excavations of 2011

From the Field

By: Charles K. Williams, II

The greek theater of ancient Corinth was reconstructed by the Romans when they re-established the destroyed city as Colonia Laus Julia Corinthiensis in 44 BC. At that time they redesigned the theater to Roman specifications, adding a free-standing single-room hall at either end of the new stage building. It is the hall at the west […]

Animals and Ethics

Book News & Reviews

By: Jacob Morton

Reviewed by Jacob Morton, Ph.D. student in the Graduate Group in Ancient History at the University of Pennsylvania. This valuable book seeks to address a series of questions that have come to occupy an important place in contemporary ethical discussions: Are humans different from all other animals? Ought humans to treat these other animals with justice […]

Animals in Antiquity

From the Editor

By: Jane Hickman

The winter 2011 issue on animals in antiquity began with a suggestion by Donald White two years ago. White, Curator Emeritus of the Mediterranean Section, has always had a keen interest in horses, having owned them since childhood. He thought that an article on horses incorporating images of Equus caballus from the Penn Museum’s Mediterranean […]

Bulls and Bull-leaping in the Minoan World

By: Jeremy McInerney

In cretan culture, the bull is everywhere. Horns of consecration adorned the top of Minoan shrines and may have decorated palaces at Knossos, Mallia, and Phaistos. Great ceremonial axes of bronze, perhaps suggesting the sacrificial slaughter of bulls, were recovered from palatial contexts. Objects such as the Hagia Triada sarcophagus, dated to the early 14th […]

Imagine Africa with the Penn Museum

From the Director

By: Richard Hodges

Penn museum has been changing, gallery by gallery. The old Museum presented glorious objects in an often dry and uninspiring idiom. Ironically, for a museum which 40 years ago pioneered the importance of provenance for antiquities on the market, the Museum’s own exhibitions often provided limited context for the wonderful materials on display. Like countless […]

Collection Notes- The Museum’s Online Searchable Database

Penn museum is making information about its collections more accessible than ever before with the launch of a new online database feature on its website that will allow the public to explore theMuseum’s Collection, including many objectsthat are not on display. This is made possible, in part, by new collections management software now in use at the Penn Museum that […]