University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Athropology

Region: Europe / Mediterranean


Around the World

Around the World Every year, the Penn Museum’s curators and staff conduct research around the world. Read on for a small sampling of this work from the past year. New York & New Mexico Lucy Fowler Williams, Associate Curator and Sabloff Keeper in The American Section In support of the upcoming exhibition Native American Voices: […]


Rodney Young, his noblesse oblige, and the OSS in Greece

By: Richard Hodges

Classical Spies: America n Archaeologists with the OSS in World War II Greece by Susan Heuck Allen (Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2012). 448 pp., 17 photographs, 2 maps, hardcover, $40.00, ISBN 978-0-472-11769-7 Archaeologists have long played a part in clandestine wartime adventures. Doubtless during the 1930s, the fellows of the American School of […]


Replicas of Famous Monuments of the Past

By: Alessandro Pezzati

Reproductions of famous monuments were an important part of the Museum’s educational mission in its early years, before the increasing number of original objects displaced the plaster and bronze replicas. In this photograph from 1905 are important plaster casts, including the frieze of the Parthenon. Bronze sculptures, reproductions of originals discovered at Pompeii and Herculaneum, […]


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 […]


The Refuse of Urban History

Excavating the Roman Forum at Butrint

By: David R. Hernandez

For at least eight centuries, Roman generals marched in triumphal celebrations through the forum Romanum, the central town square of ancient Rome, to display to their fellow citizens booty and prisoners captured in military campaigns. The Roman Empire was a system built on the pursuit of plunder. The irony, of course, is that at no […]


Butrint, Albania: In the Shadow of Butrint

From the Field

By: Oliver Gilkes and Valbona Hysa

Butrint is a place of contrasts. The main archaeological site with its forum and public buildings—described by Virgil as “Lofty Buthrotum on the height”—is shrouded in trees, and is the haunt of exotic birds, butterflies, and woodland life. Just across the Vivari Channel that connects Lake Butrint to the deep blue Ionian Sea lie the […]


Penelope’s Geese

Pets of the Ancient Greeks

By: Kenneth Kitchell

Most people are familiar with the strong character of Penelope, who waited at Ithaca while her husband Odysseus was away 20 long years. In Homer’s Odyssey we watch in admiration as she holds together Odysseus’ kingdom and keeps a horde of suitors at bay until he returns. But many readers quickly pass over the fact […]


The Corinth Excavations of 2011

From the Field

By: Charles K. Williams, II

The greek theater of ancient Corinth was reconstructed by the Romans when they re-established the destroyed city as Colonia Laus Julia Corinthiensis in 44 BC. At that time they redesigned the theater to Roman specifications, adding a free-standing single-room hall at either end of the new stage building. It is the hall at the west […]


Animals and Ethics

Book News & Reviews

By: Jacob Morton

Reviewed by Jacob Morton, Ph.D. student in the Graduate Group in Ancient History at the University of Pennsylvania. This valuable book seeks to address a series of questions that have come to occupy an important place in contemporary ethical discussions: Are humans different from all other animals? Ought humans to treat these other animals with justice […]


Animals in Antiquity

From the Editor

By: Jane Hickman

The winter 2011 issue on animals in antiquity began with a suggestion by Donald White two years ago. White, Curator Emeritus of the Mediterranean Section, has always had a keen interest in horses, having owned them since childhood. He thought that an article on horses incorporating images of Equus caballus from the Penn Museum’s Mediterranean […]