Welcome to the 50th anniversary issue of Expedition—originally launched in the fall of 1958! This commemorative issue looks back on Expedition’s history, tracing its development from earlier periodical publications and showcasing the kaleidoscope of Expedition covers from the past five decades.
Our feature articles this time around begin in the high desert of Egypt, where a Penn Museum-led team of archaeologists searches for stone tools while exploring the gateway through which our ancestors left Africa 100,000 years ago. Next, the Curator-in-Charge of the Museum’s Babylonian Section describes the genesis of the Pennsylvania Sumerian Dictionary—an online resource built upon the Museum’s impressive cuneiform tablet collection. Finally, a recent Penn graduate teams up with the Curator-in-Charge of the Museum’s Physical Anthropology Section to tell the fascinating story of the Samuel George Morton Cranial Collection and explain how these skulls continue to generate new research insights.
Once again, we highlight a Museum curator, the Asian Section’s Curator of Chinese Art, and present a short synopsis of a new exhibit that opened in the Museum this fall—IYARE! Splendor and Tension in Benin’s Palace Theatre. In our Field Experience department, a member of the Egyptian Section proudly introduces the Museum’s youngest Egyptologist, while our What in the World department solves a longstanding mystery associated with a Native American pot acquired during the Lewis and Clark Expedition. Last, our Museum Mosaic department informs you about Museum-related news and events.
We always welcome feedback and hope you find this issue and our website—which hosts a full and searchable archive of back issues of Expedition—worth sharing with your family and friends.
James R. Mathieu, Ph.D.