University Museum Announcements – Fall 1979

Originally Published in 1979

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Dr. Chester F. Gorman with students from Southeast Asia engaged in pottery classification in the Ban Chiang Laboratory.
Left to right: Dr. Gorman, Surin Pookajorn from Thailand, Phillipus Subrato from Indonesia, Rochanie Thotsarat from Thailand, and Willi Ronquillo from the Philippines.

The Southeast Asia Section

In 1971 the Ford Foundation established an Art and Archaeology project for South­east Asia with headquarters in Bangkok, to be administered by Elizabeth Lyons on loan to the Foundation from the University Museum. Its main purpose is to help the Southeast Asian countries preserve their own cultural heritage during the rapid process of development.

The discovery in recent years of new archaeological sites—sites important to world history—has called for more excava tions and more archaeologists. But there were almost no local archaeologists trained to an international standard. In 1976 the Ford Foundation gave $220,000 to the University Museum of the University of Pennsylvania for the graduate training of Southeast Asian archaeologists. The trainees are required to be already employed in the archaeological service of their respective countries and to have had some local field experience.

The first Southeast Asian student to arrive in Philadelphia was Pisit Charoenwongsa, a Thai who came on a John D. Rockefeller 3rd grant just before the Ford Foundation project was estab­lished. The first on the Ford Foundation grant was U Nyunt Han from Burma. He has obtained his M.Sc. and has returned home. Ott Mundarjito from Indonesia has also returned. Willi Ronquillo from the Philippines is still with us. Recently arrived are Rachanie Thotsarat and Surin Pookajorn from Thailand and Phillipus Subrato from Indonesia. Ptumalark Ketudat is here on a Thai Government scholarship, Sihawat Nannena on a Thai Government grant, and Mohammad Asma Ursani on a Pakistan Government grant.

European Archaeology Section


The Director and Birthe Kyolbye-Biddle undertook a sixth season of excavation at the Anglo-Saxon church of St. Wystan, at Repton in Derbyshire, England. The Viking fortress of the winter of A.D. 874­875 was confirmed—the first to be exca­vated in England—and a major sculpture with a mythical scene and a mounted armed rider was found immediately out­side the royal burial crypt of the Mercian kings Aethelbald (d. 757) and Wiglaf (d. 840).


Kathleen Ryan from MASCA spent the summer in Ireland perusing early docu­ments and maps relating to the province of Leinster in the 1st and 2nd millennia A.D. This was part of a longer-term project of archaeological survey under the direction of Dr. Bernard Wailes. Some 12th century lists of land holdings have yielded enough information to produce maps of some of the areas of tribal influence at the time of the Norman conquest in the late 12th century. With the help of the staff of the Ordnance Survey Office in Dublin, maps from the 15th through the 20th centuries were compared with early lists in an effort to pick up changes in boundaries through time. It is apparent that the civil parish divisions have changed less than have the baronial divisions. For the pre-Norman period, Leinster tribal genealogies are being examined in conjunction with entries in the Annals. Some group movements can be detected but only one third of the time period has yet been covered, i.e. 100 B.C.­A.D. 600.

The Near Eastern Section


In August, Christopher Hamlin, Assist­ant Curator in charge of the Mesopo­tamian collections, and Brian Spooner of the Anthropology Department, visited India, Pakistan and Iran in connection with their research on desertification. While in Iran they visited the field project, on the northwestern desert margin, where Dr. Spooner directs a long-term program of studies on anthropology and desertifica­tion, and Dr. Hamlin is using satellite data to study settlements and vegetation.

Publication of a Sumerian Poem

The second of the Occasional Publica­tions of the Babylonian Fund of the Uni­versity Museum has just come from the press. It is Enmarker and Ensuhkesdanna, A Sumerian Narrative Poem, by Adele Berlin (xi +102 pp., 20 pl, $15,00). It is a critical text edition and literary analysis of a Sumerian Narrative poem about a con­test between Enmarker, the lord of Uruk and Ensuhkesdanna, the lord of Arata. The original manuscripts of this poem date to ca. 1900 B.C. and the vast majority of them are in our collections,


Dr. William Sumner discovered Anshan (Malyan), not Dr. Robert Dyson as we erroneously reported in vol. 21 no. 4 (Summer 1979), p. 2. Dr. Dyson is Project Director of the Malyan Project; Dr. Sumner is the Field Director.

The Mediterranean Section


Spyros Iakovidis, newly appointed Pro­fessor of Classical Archaeology and Curator of the Mediterranean Section, carried out field surveys at the Mycenaean fortress of Gla and on islands on the northeast coast of the Peloponnese.

Cyrene, Libya

Donald White conducted a study season at Cyrene over the summer with seven of the people who will be contributing to the final publication of the University Museum excavations there. Each of them is going through the material for which he/she is responsible.

Gordian, Turkey

In a study season at Gordian this sum­mer, directed by Keith DeVries, progress was made in understanding the varied history of the site that is revealed in its Bronze Age, Phrygian, Greek, and Hellenis­tic pottery. Important individual pieces that will be included in the final publica­tion were found in the massive lots of uninventoried objects. In addition, some deteriorating buildings that had been excavated in the main citadel were strengthened.

The American Section


The Quirigua Project completed its program of field investigations in April 1979. Although the fieldwork was originally slated to end in 1978, both the University Museum and the Institute de Antropologia e Historia, Guatemala, believed that a set of unusual and unforeseen field oppor­tunities merited scheduling one final sea­son for 1979. This year, Dr. Robert J. Sharer and his associates were able to complete the major aspects of the project, both survey and excavation, including work at the important related Late Classic site of Playitas (ca. A.D. 740-900), as well as documentation of a previously little-known and deeply buried Middle Classic (ca. A.D. 450-740) elite center at Quirigua itself. Data were also recovered concern­ing Middle and Late Classic channels of the Motagua River at Quirigua, and evi­dence of a possible docking area by the massive pyramidal Structure 1A-11. The work continues here at the Museum; arti­fact analysis, drafting, and other studies will span the next several years. Publica­tion of the results of these studies has already begun, in the newly revitalized Museum Monographs series: the first volume of Quirigua Reports, Museum Monograph 37, contains summaries of research through 1976, two short technical reports, and the Project’s contour map of the site-core of Quirigua.

Visiting Scholars

Two Guatemalan archaeologists who worked at Tikal in the ’60’s, Rudy Larios and Miguel Orrego, both of the Instituto de Antropologia e Historia, Guatemala, are visiting the American Section for a period of four months in order to receive training in ceramic analysis and in the preparation of excavation reports.


Masks, Tents, Vessels and Talismans

This exhibition in the Kress Gallery of the University Museum of pieces from its ethnological collections complements an exhibition being held at the same time in the University’s Institute of Contemporary Art. For that exhibition, Janet Kardon, its new Director, has assembled a variety of constructions by contemporary artists which echo artifacts from other cultures—an exhibition which “investigates the neo­primitive presence in modern art.” This “presence” is to be seen in the Museum exhibition of masks, tipis, kayaks, sleds, charms, to many of which pieces in the Contemporary Art show are strikingly similar. Exhibition dates: December 5— January 13.

The Shadow Catcher

Early in 1980 there will be an exhibition of approximately eighty of the photo­graphic reproductions from the copy of Curtis, The North American Indian in the University Museum Library. For a discus­sion of Curtis and his work, accompanied by reproductions of several of the photo­graphic plates, see the article by Ric Haynes on pages 4-16. The exhibition will continue through the spring.

Margaret Mead in New Guinea

An exhibition of thirty photographs of Margaret Mead at work in New Guinea between 1928 and 1975 opened in the Oceania Gallery on September 20. It has just closed. The photographs, taken by a number of Dr. Mead’s associ­ates, were assembled, printed and mounted by Mr. Fred Roll, husband of Dr. Barbara Roll who was a research associate of Dr. Mead. A preview of the exhibition for University Museum members was held in the afternoon of September 19 at which Dr. Barbara Roll, who lives in California, and Mr. John Kilepak from Pere village, Papua New Guinea were guests of honor. Mr. KiIepak had been closely associated with Dr. Mead as assistant, informant, and honored friend since her first field research project in 1925. He came to the United States especially to express the grief of the people of Pere and other nearby villages over the death of Dr. Mead. Pere village was where Dr. Mead lived while doing the research for her books Growing Up in New Guinea and New Lives for Old and many other scholarly papers.

A new community center building in Pere has been named in honor of Dr. Mead. A set of photographs, selected from those currently on exhibition at the University Museum, will be sent to Pere to he hung permanently in the Margaret Mead Center.

Grant to the Education Department

The Education Department is the recipient this year of an additional $50,000 subvention from the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. This, added to our original appropriation, which we have been receiv­ing since 1966, will enable us to continue and expand our outreach program to groups all over the state of Pennsylvania. It will also enable us to improve and extend our services to the handicapped community, The department was loyally supported in its bid for an increased appropriation by many groups, library centers and individuals who appreciate the vital importance of these public services and we extend our thanks to all who telephoned, sent telegrams or spoke in person to their local State representative on our behalf.


Lavon H. Bair took up his duties as Administrative and Financial Officer of the Museum on September 24. He comes to us from the Wadsworth Athenaeum in Hartford, Connecticut where he had served for six years as Chief of Adminis­tration. He had previously held other administrative posts at Yale University.

Mr. Bair holds an engineering degree from the U.S. Naval Academy at Annapolis and a graduate degree in International Relations from Yale. He is the author of The Museum Accounting Handbook pub­lished by the Accounting Committees of the American Association of Museums of which he is a member.

Gainor B. Davis who was appointed Membership Manager of the University Museum at the end of June has now assumed her duties here. Previous to this appointment, she had been Membership Co-ordinator at the Winterthur Museum in Wilmington,

Maude de Schauensee, formerly Assistant to the Curator of the Near Eastern Section has been appointed Keeper of the Collec­tions in that Section.

Cite This Article

"University Museum Announcements – Fall 1979." Expedition Magazine 22, no. 1 (September, 1979): -. Accessed April 18, 2024.

This digitized article is presented here as a historical reference and may not reflect the current views of the Penn Museum.

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