University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Athropology


Volume 54 / Issue 2 (2012)


Issue Cover

On the Cover: The Undersea Grizzly Bear Helmet was collected by Penn Museum Curator Louis Shotridge in 1917. The helmet, dated ca. 1770–1790, is Tlingit and comes from Klukwan, Alaska. It is made of wood, pigment, spruce root, human hair, abalone shell, and copper. Shotridge wears a similar helmet on page 12 of this issue.
Collection Object Number: NA5739
Penn Museum Image #151906


A Marvel of Maya Engineering

Water Management at Tikal

By: Peter D. Harrison

Maya structures are often described as great feats of engineering. Perhaps no site in the Maya Lowlands illustrates this more than the ancient city of Tikal in Guatemala. When the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology first excavated at Tikal between 1955 and 1969, the investigation of tombs, palaces, and temples was considered […]


The Tlingit Map of 1869

A Masterwork of Indigenous Cartography

By: John Cloud

In July 1869, George Davidson of the US Coast Survey and a small party of men climbed into several large cedar boats on the shore of Sitka, Alaska. The fleet was commanded by the celebrated Tlingit clan leader Kohklux; they were bound for his village of Klukwan, the capital of the Tlingit Indians of the Chilkat […]


Buried in the Height of Fashion

Research Notes

By: Jean MacIntosh Turfa

“Lock of hair from the skull of the skeleton” was penned in a bold 19th century hand across the lid of an old yellow and red cardboard box used to store visiting cards. Crouching over the drawer, I pulled it out. Could it really hold ancient hair from an Italian tomb? Sometimes discoveries occur in […]


Remembering Bernard Wailes

A Portrait

By: Peter Bogucki and Genevieve Fisher and Ron Hicks and Susan A. Johnston and Tom McCulloch and Bailey Young and Pam Crabtree

Dr. Bernard Wailes was Associate Professor Emeritus of Anthropology and Associate Curator Emeritus of the Penn Museum’s European Archaeology Section. Bernard was born in Mawgan Porth in Cornwall, and he received his education at St. Catherine’s College, Cambridge, including his B.A. (1957), M.A. (1961), and Ph.D. (1964). He was a student of Grahame Clark, Raleigh […]


The Ghost of a Courageous Adventurer

By: Lucy Fowler Williams

Tlingit art holds Tlingit histories and, as Louis Shotridge insisted, the native point of view enables us to understand its meaning. One object Shotridge collected embodies some of the indigenous knowledge recorded on the map that Kohklux and his wives drew for outsiders in 1869. “The Ghost of Courageous Adventurer” dagger is a Tlingit war […]


Communicating the Thrill of Discovery

An interview with Julian Siggers

Expedition sat down with Julian Siggers during his second week as Williams Director of the Penn Museum. Below are excerpts from that conversation. Since joining the Penn Museum, what has impressed you as particularly noteworthy about our collection? I have known of the Penn Museum’s collection for over 25 years, since my first year as […]


Analyzing Race

Book News & Reviews

By: Paul Mitchell

Race? Debunking a Scientific Myth by Ian Tattersall and Rob DeSalle (College Station, Texas: Texas A&M University Press, 2011). 256 pp., hardback, $35.00, ISBN 978-1-60344-425-5 Reviewed by Paul Mitchell, B.A. and M.A. student in Biological Anthropology, University of Pennsylvania, and Assistant to the Associate Curator of the Physical Anthropology Collection, Penn Museum. From the politics of […]


Hidden Earthworks in the Forests of the Bolivian Amazon

By: John H. Walker

The Andes and the coast of Peru are famous for spectacular places and things: the mountaintop city of Machu Picchu, the mysterious Nazca lines, and elaborate Moche gold work. Archaeologists in the lowlands point to other phenomena: the first pottery in the Americas from the lower Amazon River, and archaeological sites stretching for kilometers beneath modern […]


Museum Mosaic – Fall 2012

People, Places, Projects

By: Anonymous

New Collections Study Room Opens In March 2012, the Museum opened a new facility as part of an initiative to enhance accessibility to its collections. Located on the first floor of the Mainwaring Wing, the Collections Study Room serves as a laboratory where students can examine Museum objects first hand in conjunction with University classes. […]


The Father of American Archaeological Photography

Book News & Reviews

By: Peter Cobb and Paul Mitchell

John Henry Haynes: A Photographer and Archaeologist  in the Ottoman Empire 1881–1900 by Robert G. Ousterhout (Istanbul: Kayık Yayıncılık; Hawick, UK: Caique Publishing Ltd., 2011). 148 pp., 107 color plates, paperback, $35.00, ISBN 978-0-9565948-1-5 Reviewed by Peter J. Cobb, Ph.D. candidate in the Graduate Group in the Art and Archaeology of the Mediterranean World, University […]