University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Athropology


Author: Martin Biddle

New Directions – Fall 1977

The Director Writes

By: Martin Biddle

At the conclusion of the distinguished directorship of Froelich Rainey, reaching back over some of the most formative years of modern archaeology, during which the University Museum played a major part in active research in many countries, it is a time to take stock, to see what we stand for, and where we should go. […]


New Directions – Summer 1978

Museum Exterior
The Director Writes

By: Martin Biddle

The Museum holds some of man’s great works of art—from the world of the Maya, from Burner, from China—but it is not an art museum. Rather is it a museum of man in all his variety in all times and places. Cultural experience and achievement, therefore, are touchstones: ‘quality’, that elusive, evanescent guide is not […]


New Directions – Fall 1978

The Director Writes

By: Martin Biddle

In the Summer issue of Expedition, in writing about the University Museum’s collections, I touched on the question of acquisitions in the light of the developing awareness with which each country now rightly approaches its own past. It is clear that our collections are not likely to increase much in the immediate future, at least […]


New Directions – Winter 1979

Museum Exterior
The Director Writes

By: Martin Biddle

In the last issue I wrote about the great size of our collections, the invisible nine-tenths—if not ninety-nine hundredths—of the iceberg which constitutes the reserve collection in storage: our greatest challenge and our biggest responsibility. Here I want to explore the strategy which might inform our displays. This issue of Expedition is the place to […]


New Directions – Spring 1979

The Director Writes

By: Martin Biddle

It’s all very well to write somewhat owlishly about ‘reserve collections’ and the horizontal’ versus ‘the vertical’ approach to museum displays, but it’s just so much blarney unless people visit the museum. I’m not talking here about the student or the research worker who comes to fulfill quite specific objectives (and whose needs I want […]


New Directions – Summer 1979

Museum Exterior
The Director Writes

By: Martin Biddle

An important—perhaps too important—way of judging a museum’s success or failure is to look at the number of its visitors. Attendance figures can be boosted in all sorts of ways, for example by the special exhibitions I wrote about last time, but it is just as vital “who” visits the museum as “how many.” I […]


New Directions – Fall 1979

The Director Writes

By: Martin Biddle

The students who come to the Museum as the most dis­tinguished cultural resource on Campus are welcome and fortunate, as I wrote last time. Those who work here, who take classes, work in laboratories, go to lectures, and pursue their research do so in an incomparable setting which brings them into daily contact with the […]


New Directions – Winter 1980

Museum Exterior
The Director Writes

By: Martin Biddle

Over the past two and a half years, I have tried on this page to give a director’s-eye view of the nature, scope and utilization of our collections, of our archives resulting from expeditions and collecting, and of our publics, actual and potential, for whom the Museum exists and for whose benefit, as we hope, […]


England’s Premier Abbey

The Medieval Chapter House of St. Albans Abbey, and its Excavation in 1978

By: Martin Biddle and Birthe Kjolbye-Biddle

Twenty miles northwest of London, the great highway of Watling Street passes through the Roman city of Verulamium, the second largest town of the province of Britannia. Known already to Tacitus, writing at the beginning of the 2nd century A.D. about the events of Boudicca’s revolt in A.D. 60, as a municipiu, Verulamium continued to […]


New Directions – Spring 1980

The Director Writes

By: Martin Biddle

In the next few numbers of Expedition I shall take a look at the Museum’s research in the field now and in the future. First, however, there is an immediate issue which faces everyone of us working in museums, and indeed everyone concerned with the investigation and explanation of the human past and the preservation of its remains. For over six years […]


New Directions – Winter 1978

Museum Exterior
The Director Writes

By: Martin Biddle

In the last issue I asked some questions about what sort of institution the University Museum ought to be. In future issues of Expedition I shall take a look at how our activities fit into overall concepts of our actual and potential role. The last Expedition focused on the Museum’s work at Ur, and Robert […]


New Directions – Summer 1980

The Director Writes

By: Martin Biddle

`… nor will they knowingly support this illegal trade by authenticating or expressing opinions concerning such material, and will actively discourage the collection of such material. . . .’ These words in The University Museum’s Acquisition Policy of May 2, 1978, published in the spring issue of Expedition, deal with one particular aspect of the […]


New Directions – Fall 1980

The Director Writes

By: Martin Biddle

The Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania voted on 6 December 1887 to send ‘an exploring expedition to Babylon’—perhaps the most romantically-worded decision ever taken by that august body. In this way was founded not only the University Museum but also the Museum’s exceptional commitment to field research. From this commitment have grown both the […]


New Directions – Winter 1981

Museum Exterior
The Director Writes

By: Martin Biddle

In the last issue I wrote about the University Museum’s exceptional commitment to field research and listed some of the questions we have to examine in setting clear goals for the Museum’s research in the field in the years ahead. Here I want to start with the basic issue of what we should investigate and […]


New Directions – Spring 1981

By: Martin Biddle

For over ninety years The University Museum has been digging ancient sites and studying contemporary traditional communities virtually alI over the world. Who decided what to investigate and how were these decisions taken? Sometimes, perhaps usually, the decision was taken by the curator concerned and reflected his or her personal research interests; sometimes the decision […]


New Directions – Spring 1978

The Director Writes

By: Martin Biddle

In the last issue of Expedition I wrote about the University Museum’s existing archives and their care. This time I want to take the question of archives rather further and link it to current and future field research and publication. Two of the many problems facing archaeological field work, partic­ularly excavation, concern us here. Properly […]