University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Athropology


Author: Julian Siggers

From the Director – Crossroads of History

Beth Shean, Israel

By: Julian Siggers

My first glimpse of Beth Shean occurred in the 1990s. I was a graduate student at the University of Toronto working on the excavation of a Neolithic farmstead in Jordan. At night, in the distance, we could see lights from the town of Beth Shean, which had been restored as a Roman town and was […]


The Adventure Continues

From the Director

By: Julian Siggers

A major anniversary is a wonderful reason for an institution to reflect on the people, events, and achievements that have brought it to where it is, but it is also a great opportunity to look forward. As the Penn Museum celebrates the 125th anniversary of its official founding on December 6, 1887, we are busy […]


From the Director – Transforming Understanding of the Native American Experience

By: Julian Siggers

In the last issue of Expedition, I introduced our new mission statement: The Penn Museum transforms understanding of the human experience. Native American Voices, the first exhibition to open since we distilled what we do in the context of this mission, will transform understanding of the issues facing Native Americans by presenting objects which represent […]


From the Director

The Thrill of Discovery

By: Julian Siggers

Since arriving at the Penn Museum in July 2012, it has been one of my great privileges as Williams Director to be able to allocate—from the Director’s Field Fund—seed funding for new and ongoing projects led by Penn Museum researchers. 5rough this fund, in summer 2013, we were able to support many di6erent types of […]


Building Transformation

The Heart of the 2013–2020 Penn Museum Strategic Plan

By: Julian Siggers

The Penn Museum has been committed to public engagement since it was founded. Great strides have been made in a wide variety of programming and temporary exhibitions, but many of the permanent galleries have been left untouched for decades. A museum’s permanent galleries, their design, execution, and the stories they tell, are how a museum […]


From the Director – Fall 2014

Transforming the Penn Museum

By: Julian Siggers

Last summer, I wrote to our membership and readers from a redesigned Expedition with added Penn Museum departments and content, reflecting on my first year as Williams Director and sharing our new mission statement: The Penn Museum transforms understanding of the human experience. The two issues since—with a special focus on our new Native American […]


The Transformation Continues

From the Director - Fall 2015

By: Julian Siggers

This time last year, I wrote you about our ambitious plans to transform the Penn Museum into an institution worthy of our world-class collection. We are delighted with the launch of the Center for the Analysis of Archaeological Materials and the great success of the inaugural year of the Unpacking the Past school visits program. Over the next ve years, we will […]


Preserving Cultural Heritage

From the Director

By: Julian Siggers

In recent years, the preservation of cultural heritage has moved to the forefront of archaeological and anthropological concerns. The need to manage and protect the archaeological record has become even more urgent as a result of conflict in places like Egypt, Syria, and Iraq. We realize how fragile the balance is and how important a […]


Connections that Last a Lifetime

From the Director

By: Julian Siggers

We frequently hear from people who first encountered the Penn Museum during the formative years of their childhood or adolescence. Some came here as part of a school group, or with their families, or visited for the first time when they were students at Penn. Many have become members so that they can visit their […]


A Tradition of Discovery through Fieldwork

From the Director

By: Julian Siggers

In 1887, a group of Philadelphians, including University of Pennsylvania Provost William Pepper, established the Penn Museum to house artifacts recovered from excavations at Nippur. One hundred and twenty-eight years later, sending excavation teams around the world remains a priority at the Museum, as evidenced by the wide range of field research programs that we […]


Renovation & Innovation

From the Director

By: Julian Siggers

This is a time of tremendous excitement and anticipation in the Penn Museum as we prepare to transform our keystone galleries—Ancient Middle East, Asian, and Egyptian—into stunning showcases for our collections and the important stories they tell of our own past. In the meantime, one such showcase is currently on view: The Golden Age of […]


Accessible to All

Julian standing by wheelchair ramp
From the Director

By: Julian Siggers

We want the Penn Museum to be accessible to all visitors. This is a priority of our mission—after all, the Museum’s extraordinary research and collections are meant to be shared. You might have noticed one of our newest means of increasing access to the Museum: our new ramp on the west side of the Kamin […]


The Digital Penn Museum

photo of the director
From the Director

By: Julian Siggers

The Penn Museum has extraordinary collections and resources. Now, they are more easily available than ever before: we have launched The Digital Penn Museum, a centralized online portal for our vast range of digital content (found at www.penn.museum/collections/). Visitors can explore the collections online through collections highlights that bring together resources for iconic objects like […]


An Active Research Museum

Map of excavation sites
From the Director

By: Julian Siggers and Julian Siggers

As an active research museum, the Penn Museum’s knowledge of the human story is ever-evolving. Continued exploration of sites around the globe, and ever deeper research on our own collections, is at the heart of our mission. We are thrilled this year to support 18 research projects, described briefly below, through the Director’s Field Fund. […]


An Active Research Museum

Map of excavation sites
From the Director

By: Julian Siggers and Julian Siggers

As an active research museum, the Penn Museum’s knowledge of the human story is ever-evolving. Continued exploration of sites around the globe, and ever deeper research on our own collections, is at the heart of our mission. We are thrilled this year to support 18 research projects, described briefly below, through the Director’s Field Fund. […]