University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Welcome to the Penn Museum blog. First launched in January 2009, the Museum blog now has over 800 posts covering a range of topics in the categories of Museum, Collection, Exhibitions, Research, and By Location. Here you’ll hear directly from our staff and Penn students about their work, research, experiences, and discoveries. To explore the Museum's other digital content, visit The Digital Penn Museum.


Flight into the Museum Archives

Dinner at Descalvados

By: Julianna Whalen

“This will confirm your assignment as Flight Operator to the NC146M, which is being chartered by the Matto Grosso Expedition for service in the interior of Brasil [sic] for a period of at least four months. Its base will be Desclavados [sic, Descalvados], Matto Grosso, which is about one thousand miles from Rio de Janeiro.” […]

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From the Baltic to the Mediterranean:

By: Sarah Linn

What kinds of objects do you use in your everyday life?  Hairpins, shoelaces, buttons, belt buckles—these are a few that come to mind. Small items associated with our dress and appearance, which most people hardly take notice of despite their role in clothing and self-presentation. Today, we construct these necessary items of cheap and lightweight […]

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And So the Story Goes…Innovations in Storytelling

By: Sarah Linn

By Braden Cordivari, Fiona Jensen-Hitch, and Linda Lin Each year, through the Student Exhibition Internship Program at the Penn Museum, a team of students  develops a small exhibition in line with the Provost’s “Year of….” The 2017-18 academic year is the Year of Innovation, and the student curatorial team consists of Braden Cordivari (C’18), Fiona […]

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Archaeobotany in the Gardens of Emily Dickinson: Clues & Collections

By: Sarah Linn

By Madeline Fried Today, Emily Dickinson is a literary figure beloved for her prolific and unique poetic writings. In her lifetime, however, she was more well known as a gardener than as a poet. She had a deep connection with nature, and she cultivated outdoor garden beds as well as exotic plants within a conservatory […]

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Robert H. Lamborn: An Atypical Collector in 19th Century Philadelphia

By: Sarah Linn

By Sheridan Small, Penn Museum Fellow 2017-2018 Although I never had a chance to meet Robert Henry Lamborn, I feel like we have become close friends. I have studied him over the past seven months through my research for my senior honors thesis in Anthropology as a Penn Museum Fellow. I have spent hours in […]

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The Penn Museum in ③Ⓓ!

By: Stephen Lang

In the past few years, the Penn Museum has been experimenting with different kinds of scanning in order to create 3D models of some objects in our collection. Today we are announcing that many of these 3D models are now view-able via the website Sketchfab. The Sketchfab community includes many other museums, most notably the British […]

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Training Day: Evacuating a Simulated Gallery in an Emergency Drill

By: Tom Stanley

In addition to being a staff member at the Museum, I’m also enrolled as a student at Penn, in the Master of Liberal Arts program. It’s a very flexible program in terms of its schedule, which is great for people like me who work full-time jobs; it also offers considerable flexibility in terms of its content […]

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Preparing Artifacts for the Middle East Galleries

By: Alyssa Rina

Much is underway at the Penn Museum as staff prepares for the opening of our new Middle East Galleries. The exhibition will open to the public on Saturday, April 21, 2018, showcasing Near Eastern artifacts that explore early writing and record keeping in burial practices, transportation, agriculture, cooking, and the arts. In preparation for the […]

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Discovery in Action: A Penn Student’s Experience

By: Tom Stanley

Discovery is a recurring theme here at the Penn Museum. From scholarly researchers to casual visitors, few who come through our doors are able to escape without discovering something about the vast history of humanity. And every now and then, the Museum even serves as a vehicle for personal discovery—for finding out something about one’s own […]

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Browsing the Collection Geographically

By: Michael Condiff

Now Available: Browse the Penn Museum object collection geographically, via an interactive map. Choose from over 1,100 locations around the world, which provide access to more than 92% of the Penn Museum’s collections online. Since we launched the online collections in 2011, there was always the intention of providing a way to browse the collection […]

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