Volume 4 : Articles

Field Work Around The World

  1888-1900 The Museum’s first field work was at Nippur in southern Iraq where the Temple Library of thousands of clay tablets written in cuneiform script was found. This view of the excavations near the east corner of the ziggurat, the great stepped tower of the god Enlil, was made by the photographer of the […]

“This Unique Institution…”

Reflections on the 75th Anniversary of the University Museum

By: Froelich Rainey

This is the 75th Anniversary of the University Museum. It also happens to be the 75th Anniversary of the Sun Oil Company of Philadelphia, one of the greatest producers of liquid fossil fuels, and this serves to remind us of the enormous force released from the earth to alter the lives of all of us […]

Convocation Address

By: J. Eric S. Thompson

At a special Convocation held in the Irvine Auditorium of the University of Pennsylvania on January 20, 1962, in observance of the 75th Anniversary of the University Museum, Dr. Gaylord P. Harnwell, President of the University, conferred the honorary degree of Doctor of Humane Letters on John Eric Sidney Thompson in recognition of his archaeological […]

New Archaeological Techniques and International Cooperation in Italy


By: Carol M. Lerici

During the last quarter of 1961 an important and extraordinary archaeological survey was carried out in Italy. Its importance lies in the fact that for the first time new scientific instruments were used in a survey by an international group composed of representatives of the University Museum in Philadelphia and the Milan Engineering School. These […]

A “Miniature Stela” From Tikal

(Left) the "Stela" (Right) Drawing to show figure.

By: William Haviland, Jr.

Three seasons of archaeological work at the site of Tikal, located in the rain forest of Guatemala’s department of the Peten have been devoted to the excavation of selected small mounds. These mounds, thought to be the remains of ancient Maya dwellings, are abundant in the areas peripheral to the main ceremonial center of this […]


photo of Temple 78
Problems of a Field Director

By: Edwin M. Shook

In 1955 the Guatemala Government reopened the airfield at Tikal, making possible the initiation of large-scale excavation and reconstruction there. Work was begun in January 1956 when a transport plane of the Guatemala Air Force landed members of the staff and a group of workmen at Tikal. That first season, though some archaeological work was […]


photo of Tomb
The University Museum - Yale University Expedition

By: William Kelly Simpson

Once before, in the years 1905-1911, the University Museum conducted a series of excavations in Nubia on the occasion of the heightening of the dam at Aswan. The direction of the expedition was in the capable hands of the late Dr. David Randall-MacIver and of Leonard (later Sir Leonard) Woolley, who subsequently went on to […]

A Search for Ancient Seaports

Photo of people eating on a beach

By: George F. Dales, Jr.

The three oldest civilizations of the old world were centered along the great river valleys of the Near and Middle East–the Nile, the Tigris-Euphrates, and the Indus. Generations of travelers, archaeologists, and scholars have revealed the glories of the Egyptians and Mesopotamians, but the Harappan civilization which flourished in the Indus Valley from about 2500 […]

A Tlaloc Stela From Tikal

By: Hattula Moholy-Nagy

Stela 32 was one of the outstanding finds of the 1961 field season at Tikal. The front of this broken and battered monument is remarkable for the carving of a full-face representation of Tlaloc–the Aztec name of an important rain deity who had a long history in Mesoamerica. The stela had been intentionally broken, and […]

Danish Viking Ships

By: Eugene H. Palatsky

As Scandinavian life is closely related to the surrounding seas, it is natural for museum explorers in these northern countries to search offshore for traces of the past. Sweden has already triumphed in this area of endeavor, locating the mighty warship Vasa at the bottom of Stockholm harbor. The Vasa, which ran into a squall and sank […]