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Volume 42 : Articles

Researching the Origins of Swahili Coast Inhabitants

By: Janet Monge

The end of the 10th century marked many changes in the way ar­chaeological and physical anthropological research is conducted. Most importantly, this is reflected in the inclusion of indigenous peoples in the research process, and incorporating their insights, borne of their knowledge of local traditions. In the United States, this change was formalized in the […]


American Collections Inspire Native Artists and Indian Communities

By: Lucy Fowler Williams and Melissa Wagner

The American Section of University of Pennsylvania Museum has developed a rewarding relationship with the National Museum of the American Indian—Smithsonian Institution’s Artist in Residence Program. As a partner with MAI, the Museum annually hosts up to six native artists who travel to the east coast to conduct research on particular aspects of Native American […]


Edible Wild Plants as Digestive Aids: Ethnoarchaeology in Maasailand

Science & Archaeology

By: Kathleen Ryan

Indigenous cultures around the world retain knowledge of a diversity of plants in their environments, including plants used for medicinal purposes. In recent decades, media attention has focused on tropical rain forests, whee local healers have for centuries made use of the biodiverse resources to develop rich pharmacopoeia. Less attention has been paid to semiarid […]


Unraveling Threads: Conservation of the Weaving Lady

Research Notes

By: Julia Lawson

In the early 1960s the University of Pennsylvania Museum acquired an unusually precolumbian figural object. It consists of a doll-like female working at an A-frame loom which is supported by a tree replete with woven leaves and seed pods, tassel blossoms, and a basketry nest with a rather whimsical resident bird. This composition sits upon […]


Painted Walls, Painted Faces

From the Archives

By: Alex Pezzati

The University of Pennsylvania Museum is not known for its collec­tions of oil paintings, but the Archives displays a few portraits of in-house celebrities and beloved patrons and an imposing view of the Museum’s first major excavation at the Mesopotamian site of Nippur. The paintings sustained damage in a steam pipe explosion that  occurred in the […]


Unique Bronze Age Stamp Seal Found in Central Asia

What in the World

By: Fredrik T. Hiebert

The University of Pennsylvania Museum Central Asia archaeology project has recently completed its third season of investigation at Anau depe in Turkmenistan. This region, part of the Soviet Union for most of the 20th century, was surrounded by ancient literate civilizations—China, the Indus valley, Mesopotamia, and Iran. Although the ancient societies of Central Asia also […]


From the Director

Jeremy A. Sabloff

By: Jeremy A. Sabloff

As I write this column, work on our new collections storage and research addition, the Mainwaring Wing, is moving along rapidly. Fortunately, I have a terrific view of the construction from my office window. It is absolutely fascinating to follow the complex activities of the construction workers, cement trucks, and crane operators and the systemic […]


Museum Mosaic: People, Places, Projects – Winter 2000

International Classroom; Searching for Ancient Egypt; Dr. David Silverman; The University of Pennsylvania Museum on the Road

Welcome! Bienvenue! Swagatam! Willkommenl! INTERNATIONAL CLASSROOM hosted its annual In­ternational Student Reception on October 20, 2000. International students, scholars, and pro­fessionals were invited to a unique welcome in the Museum’s Chinese Rotunda. The event was cosponsored by 43 colleges and universities, and guests came from 87 countries, ranging from Ar­menia to Zimbabwe. Guests of honor […]


A Melanesian Wedding

Santa Cruz Island

By: William Davenport

Marriage is a social institution that appears to be universal to all human societies, but only some societies mark the event with a public celebration, that is, a wedding. Among those societies that do celebrate a wedding ceremony, there is a great deal of variation. Surely one of the most distinctive and colorful wedding ceremonies […]


‘The Real Me’

Therapeutic Narrative in Cosmetic Surgery

By: Rebecca Huss-Ashmore

At 10:25, Kim gets out of her chair and paces across the examining room for at least the tenth time. She is clearly nervous. frightened. She grabs the ties of the blue-checked bathrobe she is wearing and pulls them tight. then crosses her arms and hugs them to her chest. The room is cold, despite […]