Welcome to expedition’s final issue for 2006! Once again, we offer an eclectic range of articles presenting anthropological and archaeological research from around the world.

We begin with two cultural anthropological studies from recent graduates of Penn’s Ph.D. program in Anthropology. The first, set in the South Pacific, discusses the continuing importance of drinking kava in Fiji despite concerns that doing so leads to and is symptomatic of social decline. The second article takes us high into the mountains of Central Asia to the crossroads of long-standing trade networks where foreign trade goods often have multiple and sometimes conflicting meanings to their producers and consumers.

Our third feature article is a biographical essay about Albert A. Giesecke—an American who spent most of his life in Peru—and the little-known role he played in the discovery of Machu Picchu. We then head to the Mediterranean island of Crete, where a Museum researcher and her Greek colleagues present the findings from their first season of excavations on an ancient coastal settlement.

This issue also introduces you to the Associate Curator-in-Charge of the Museum’s Historical Archaeology Section, while the Museum’s Archivist recounts the fascinating story of the Museum’s promotion of and participation in the first King Tut show that came to Philadelphia in 1962. We also offer a short research article on a serendipitous discovery about ancient weaving technology made by researchers on the Museum’s Gordion Project in Turkey. In our Book News & Reviews we present comments on three recent publications, and then wrap up with a Conservation Note describing the history, early presentation, and recent restoration of the Museum’s rare clay coffins from its late 19th-century excavations in Mesopotamia.

We always welcome feedback and hope you find this issue and our website (http://penn.museum/expedition-magazine.html) worth sharing with your family and friends.

James R. Mathieu, Ph.D.
Editor