The Museum Journal

The scope and purpose of the Journal make it a standard publication of merit, containing much information regarding exploration and kindred topics which cannot be had elsewhere... It will relate the history of expeditions in the field and give descriptions of all new acquisitions.

A New Departure — Volume I - Number 1 (1910)


The Pyramid at Giza

The Eckley B. Coxe, Jr. Expedition

The Eckley B. Coxe, Jr. Expedition took place over the course of several decades, and spanned a multitude of archaeological sites. Among these locations include Memphis, Giza, Meydum, Thebes, and Dendereh, with many of the excavations lead by Alan Rowe and Clarence Fisher. In addition to furnishing significant information on the history, culture, and funerary practices of this critical transitional period in Egyptian civilization, these excavations provided the Penn Museum with a wealth of important artifacts, including ceramics and other funerary offerings, inscribed stelae, and a variety of architectural elements from the tombs.

Rooms east of the Temple of Amenophis III

Expedition to Beth Shean

Beth Shean was to be the first major excavation in the Near East after World War I. Work began with cutting into the medieval and classical strata of the tell’s high southern platform, which uncovered evidence of an Ummayadqasr-type (palace or mansion) walled enclosure, an unusual Byzantine round church, and seven Byzantine houses. Investigations expanded to include a necropolis and Byzantine monastery near the city’s northern edge, from which came many of the artifacts currently on display.

A silver harp in situ at Ur

Joint Expedition of The British Museum and The University Museum to Mesopotamia

Ur was one of the first famous archaeological digs. The excavations uncovered some of the most well-known and celebrated art from Mesopotamia. These excavations in southern Iraq lasted from 1922 to 1934, and entranced the press and readers in the US and England with the magic of archaeology and ties to familiar biblical stories. C. Leonard Woolley directed the Joint Expedition of the British Museum and the Penn Museum, and the copious artifacts were divided between these two museums and the Baghdad Museum in Iraq.

The expedition camp at Marajo

The Amazon Expedition

William Curtis Farabee conducted a pioneering expedition to the Amazon in 1913. For three years he explored and collected among the little-known tribes of the Amazon, Guyana, and eastern Peru, and conducted excavations on the Island of Marajo, at Santarem, and explored several small waterways once inhabited during prehistoric times at the mouth of Brazil’s Amazon River in the State of Pará. His work resulted in a wealth of field notes, linguistic data, physical measurements, drawings, photographs, and specimen collections, both archaeological and ethnographic.


Portrait of William C. Farabee on a horse

William C. Farabee

Farabee was one of the great forgotten American explorers and anthropologists. He lead the Penn Museum’s Amazon expedition, a three-year journey up and down the Amazon River and its tributaries, exploring and mapping remote regions. He collected vast amounts of detailed enthographic records, and helped found the study of human genetics.

Portrait of Clarence S. Fisher working at his desk

Clarence S. Fisher

Fisher was called “the ablest field archaeologist in America,” and helped invent the “American Method” of excavation. He was Curator of the Egyptian Section at the Penn Museum, and led excavations throughout Egypt, and discovered the palace of Merenptah in Memphis.

Portrait of Leon Legrain in the field

Leon Legrain

Legrain was an epigrapher Curator of the Babylonian Section the of Penn Museum. He specialized in cuneiform, and lent his expertise to the excavations at Ur. He published several works translating tablets, cylinder-seals, and inscriptions, and facilitated the research and display for the artifacts received from the Ur excavations.

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