Volume 20 : Articles

New Directions – Summer 1978

Museum Exterior
The Director Writes

By: Martin Biddle

The Museum holds some of man’s great works of art—from the world of the Maya, from Burner, from China—but it is not an art museum. Rather is it a museum of man in all his variety in all times and places. Cultural experience and achievement, therefore, are touchstones: ‘quality’, that elusive, evanescent guide is not […]

University Museum Announcements – Summer 1978

Museum Exterior

Grants Received The National Endowment for the Arts has approved a Visiting Specialist grant to the University Museum for work in Maya hieroglyphs. The Museum has received a grant from the Helen D. E. Beatty Trust as a contribution toward the cost of renovating and maintain­ing the Elkins Library to house University Museum archives. The […]


A Report on a Vanishing Culture in the Northeastern Corner of the Congo Basin as it existed in 1948

By: Frank L. Lambrecht

In the northeastern corner of the Congo Basin rainforest lies a region known as Kibali-Ituri named after the two rivers that drain the waters of its valleys. Here the northern savannas make deep inroads into the forest, creating a mozaic of forest relicts. In turn, the forest penetrates into savanna country over long distances along […]

Found: The Dorians

Archaeology and Greek Linguistics at the End of the Late Bronze Age

By: Carol Thomas

There can be no doubt that the Myce­naean civilization of Bronze Age Greece was destroyed in the course of the twelfth century B.C. In the midst of widespread disturbances in the entire Eastern Mediterranean, Myce­naean citadels and villages alike were de­stroyed and the population declined to an estimated one-quarter of its former size. In seeking […]

Chinese Jades

The Role of Jade in Ancient China: An Introduction to a Special Exhibition at the University Museum

By: Elizabeth Lyons

For some four thousand years, the Chinese have considered jade to be a unique substance and have held it in higher esteem than gold or jewels. During the first two millennia of Chinese culture, jade was thought to be of super­natural origin, an emanation of streams and mountains, something created by the forces of nature, […]

University Museum Announcements – Spring 1978

Grant Received The National Science Foundation has awarded the University Museum a grant in the amount of $61,337, effective September 1, 1978. The monies received are being used for taking an inventory of the Museum’s collections and for improving their storage. Museum Expeditions All of the members of the Museum staff who have been working […]

New Directions – Spring 1978

The Director Writes

By: Martin Biddle

In the last issue of Expedition I wrote about the University Museum’s existing archives and their care. This time I want to take the question of archives rather further and link it to current and future field research and publication. Two of the many problems facing archaeological field work, partic­ularly excavation, concern us here. Properly […]

Greek Cats

Exotic Cats Kept by Rich Youths in Fifth Century B.C. Athens, as Portrayed on Greek Vases

By: Ann Ashmead

Some years ago a Greek vase (Figs. 1, 2) that the University Museum had lent to Bryn Mawr College aroused my curiosity about cheetahs in antiquity, starting me on a long trail of Classical cats. The vase, a two-handled pear-shaped oil container named `pelike’ by archaeologists, was covered with a black glaze, now pitted and […]

Ancient Seals and Modern Science

Using the Scanning Electron Microscope as an Aid in the Study of Ancient Seals

By: Leonard Gorelick and A. John Gwinnett

While ancient cylinder seals have been studied and reported in great detail, especially as to their iconography, there have been relatively few reports on their method of manufacture. There are none dealing with the microscopic examination of seals. Here we shall describe such a study using the scanning electron microscope (SEM). c Cylinder seals (Fig. […]

Ancient Cartography

Man's Earliest Attempts to Represent His World

By: James D. Muhly

The remarkable Chinese maps published by Mrs. Bulling in the previous article indicate that in cartography, as in many other things, ancient China was far ahead of contemporary cultures in the western world. This article is an attempt to document that statement by giving a brief survey of the development of cartography in the west […]