University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Athropology

Region: Europe / Mediterranean


The People & Products of Colonization

Africa at the Chicago and Paris Expositions

By: Dwaune Latimer

Arican exhibits at world’s fairs— including both native peoples and the objects of their daily life— provided American and European visitors to fairs with an opportunity to see cultures vastly different from their own. Some ethnographic exhibits supported the idea of the “other,” providing evidence of diverse “exotic” groups that had their own distinct cultures. […]


“…Very Best Inspirations of the Past”

The Wanamaker Bronzes

By: Ann Blair Brownlee and Lynn Makowsky

For more than 50 years, visitors to the Penn Museum have been welcomed by a large bronze classical statue, a copy of a work known as the Borghese Satyr, which stands near the reflecting pool in the Warden Garden. is striking figure—with the equine tail and ears characteristic of the part animal, part human mythological […]


Around the World

The Penn Museum’s curators, staff, and consulting scholars conduct research around the world. Read on for a small sampling of their work from this past year. Southwest Utah Robert L. Schuyler, Ph.D., Associate Curator-in-Charge, Historical Archaeology Section The Silver Reef Project—excavation of a 19th-century mining ghost town— has been active over the last 30 years. […]


From Homework to Fieldwork: Summer 2014 Student Projects

Around the World

The Penn Museum encourages and supports student research projects. In 2014, we funded 35 students (23 graduate students, 12 undergraduate students) in their fieldwork in 15 different countries. Five of these students share their summer projects. Molyvoti, Thrace Archaeological Project By Samuel Holzman, Graduate Student in Art And Archaeology of The Mediterranean World (AAMW) During […]


Recreating Roman Wax Masks

By: Brian Rose and Marianna Lovink

When we think of the Roman aristocrats who lived 2,000 years ago, one of the most vivid traditions that comes to mind involves wax masks, or imagines in Latin, which were frequently mentioned by Latin authors in their accounts of Roman funerals. These are described as remarkably lifelike reproductions of a man’s face that were […]


The Forty Saints Reconsidered

By: Richard Hodges and John Mitchell

Spectacularly situated above the Straits of Corfu in southern Albania, this large, complex church was built in Late Antiquity- probably in the age of the Emperor Justinian (AD 527– 565)—and remained a shrine until Communist times. A new survey reveals the changing architecture of the great church, its crypts, and painted decoration. Metropolitan in scale, […]


Conservation Fellows Evaluate Cypriot Artifacts

Conserving the Past

By: Tessa De Alarcón and Sara Levin

Excavations sponsored by the University of Pennsylvania unearthed an array of important finds in Cyprus beginning in the 1930s. After division of artifacts with the government of Cyprus, the Penn Museum accessioned more than 5,000 objects. Although most of the objects have been published and some are on display, the majority of the collection has […]


From the Archives – The Missing Piece

By: Gareth Darbyshire and Alessandro Pezzati

Organizing collections of records to make them available for research is not straightforward. The ease or difficulty in sorting through a large number of documents is directly related to whether the creator of the records maintained a discernible filing system and how carefully he or she weeded out the records without research value. Owing in […]


Past/Present – Overwhelmed by Time

By: Beebe Bahrami

A big part of the magic of visiting a museum or archaeological site is the feeling of time shifting, of being transported to another era. No travel machines are required: our minds and bodies seem strangely ready to time-travel. Maybe it is because something strikes our emotions, not our intellects, and with that doorway open, […]


Taming the Beast

The Digital Gordion Mapping Project

By: Gareth Darbyshire and Gabriel H. Pizzorno

Gordion, in central Turkey, is the largest and longest-running of the Penn Museum’s many excavation projects. An ancient site of great historical significance, Gordion was occupied for 5,000 years from the Early Bronze Age (ca. 3000 BCE) through to modern times. Its high point was in the Iron Age (the early first millennium BCE) when […]