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Volume 58 / Issue 2


Issue Cover

Mummies Beyond the Grave

On the Cover:

Archaeologist Johan Reinhard examines a mummy found on the summit of Llullaillaco.

The Curious Case of Mrs. Ellenbogen

Illustration of Leidy
Saponification and Deceit in 19th-Century Philadelphia

By: Anna N. Dhody

Old and probably ugly, with a nut-cracker profile. That is how Joseph McFarland, M.D., referred to the Soap Lady, one of the Mütter Museum’s most famous and enduring specimens. McFarland, the Curator of the museum from 1937 to 1945, also called her “one of the most revolting objects that can be imagined.” And, while it […]

Tangled Afterlives

How an Egyptian Papyrus Became the Mormon Book of Abraham

By: Paul Mitchell

After 2,000 years of repose, 11 mummified human corpses and a few scrolls of papyrus entombed at Thebes became entangled in the interwoven threads of an Egyptian autocrat’s ambitions, the American public’s fascination with displays of the odd and exotic, and the formulation of the United States’ most prominent homegrown religion. Life after death has […]

In the Labs – Spring 2016

Photo of Orr
Archaeometallurgy at the Penn Museum: Then and Now

By: Moritz Jansen

Archaeometallurgy is the scientific investigation of the technology and provenance of ancient metals. The study of the production, processing, and exchange of metal in prehistoric and historic times has a long tradition at the Penn Museum. The Center for the Analysis of Archaeological Materials (CAAM) now integrates archaeometallurgy into Penn students’ education. Many leading archaeometallurgists […]

Member News

Photo of the Coyles
Meet Our Members: Ed and Pay Coyle GED05

New Galleries of the Ancient Middle East Previewed On June 2, members of the Expedition Circle and Loren Eiseley Society enjoyed cocktails in the Warden Garden and a design preview of the Museum’s new Galleries of the Ancient Middle East, set to open in Fall 2017. Afterward, Loren Eiseley Society members celebrated at the annual […]

Museum News – Spring 2016

New Acquisitions The American Section gratefully received 15 Pre-Columbian ceramic objects from the North Coast and Sierra of Peru, which were collected by Dr. Stuart G. Younkin during his business trips to Peru between 1961 to 1968. The vessels date from 1000 BCE–1430 CE and represent a wide range of vegetables, fruits, and animals native […]