Virginia Greene, Head Conservator at Penn Museum Since 1971, To Retire

20 MAY 2008, PHILADELPHIA, PA—After 37 years as Head of Conservation at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, Virginia Greene retires, officially if not entirely, June 30, 2008—and it is safe to say that she will not be forgotten by her colleagues or by the many students and interns she helped to train at the Museum.

With about one million archaeological and anthropological artifacts collected from all over the world, Penn Museum has been a never-ending source of conservation opportunities and challenges. Unlike many conservators who specialize in archaeology or ethnography or certain kinds of materials, Ms. Greene has maintained a Renaissance woman’s wide-ranging interest and capabilities. Among the thousands of artifacts she has examined and conserved over her tenure at the Museum are such diverse objects as the world-famous bull-headed lyre and Lady Pu-Abi’s dazzling gold and lapis lazuli headdress, both from the famous ancient Sumerian site of Ur; intricately woven masterpiece baskets from the Pomo Indians of California; poison darts and textiles from the Dayaks of Borneo; and South American feather headdresses.

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Keith Devries, Mediterranean Section Kepership is Endowed at Penn Museum

27 JUNE 2008, Philadelphia, PA—Dr. Richard Hodges, Williams Director, Penn Museum, is pleased to announce a gift of $1 million from an anonymous donor to endow the Mediterranean Section Keepership in memory of Dr. Keith DeVries, longtime associate curator of the Museum’s Mediterranean section and associate professor of Classical Studies at Penn.

Like most major geographical “sections” at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, the Mediterranean Section has a “Keeper”—a full time staff person responsible for the care of and access to the 34,000 artifacts in Penn Museum’s ancient Mediterranean section collections. Lynn C. Makowsky, the section’s Keeper since 2000, is the Museum’s first Keith Devries Keeper. Ms. Makowsky holds an M.A. in Museum Studies from San Francisco State University. For the past six seasons, she has been part of the staff at the joint Penn Museum/Southern Methodist University/Franklin and Marshall College Mugello Valley Archaeological Project and Poggio Colla Field School in Italy.

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Fulfilling a Prophecy: The Past and Present of the Lenape in Pennsylvania

A New Exhibition Opening 13 September 2008 at the Penn Museum Tells the Long-Unspoken Story of the Region’s Local Native Americans

A Lenape fan made of beads, deerskin and feathers rests in the hands of Shelley DePaul, Director of the Language Program for the Lenape Nation of Pennsylvania and a co-curator of the new exhibition Fulfilling a Prophecy: the Past and Present of the Lenape in Pennsylvania. Photo by Lauren Hansen-Flaschen.01 AUGUST 2008, PHILADELPHIA, PA—Conventional histories of Pennsylvania declare that all but a few elderly Lenape people left the state by the opening of the 19th century. Many Lenape were indeed driven westward, and ultimately established communities in Oklahoma, Kansas, Ohio, Indiana, Wisconsin, and in other parts of the United States and Canada. Yet, many remained here in secret. Children of the little known Lenape-European marriages of the 1700s stayed on the Lenape homelands (New Jersey, Pennsylvania, northern Delaware and southern New York) and continued to practice their traditions covertly. Hiding their Lenape heritage, they avoided discovery by both the government and their neighbors for more than two hundred years. Now, the descendants of these people have come forward to tell their story.

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Penn Museum’s Renowned Benin Bronzes from Nigeria Are Featured In a New Exhibition "IYARE! Splendor and Tension in Benin’s Palace Theatre"

07 OCTOBER 2008, PHILADELPHIA, PA—”Iyare!”—”May you go and return safely!”—is the phrase onlookers shout when Edo nobles head for the Benin Kingdom’s palace in the West African country of Nigeria.

A high-ranking military chief dominates this 16th century plaque, one of nearly a thousand that decorated Benin palace courtyards. Accompanied by an entourage of lieutenants, musicians and pages prepared to fan him, the chief dances at the palace war festival.The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology invites visitors to a new exhibition that focuses on the rich art and cultural heritage, as well as the ongoing traditions, of the Edo people of Nigeria’s Benin Kingdom. IYARE! Splendor and Tension in Benin’s Palace Theatre opens with a public celebration Saturday, 08 November 2008.

Nearly 100 objects from the Penn Museum's world-renowned collection of cast bronzes, carved ivories and wooden artifacts (16th to the 21st centuries A.D.) from the Kingdom of Benin, form the core of this new exhibition. Photographs from contemporary palace life, text, video, regional Nigerian art, and international art inspired by Benin culture, help to tell the story. The exhibition includes many Penn Museum pieces that have not been on display for decades, as well as loans of significant works from the Smithsonian's National Museum of African Art, the Brooklyn Museum, and the Baltimore Museum of Art. IYARE! is an outgrowth of a University of Pennsylvania Halpern-Rogath History of Art curatorial seminar, and a curatorial collaboration between its students and African art historian and professor Dr. Kathy Curnow.

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Unique Reception at University of Pennsylvania Museum Welcomes International Students and Scholars to the Delaware Valley

07 OCTOBER 2008, PHILADELPHIA, PA—How do you say “welcome to Philadelphia”—in every language of the world? Every year, as many as 1,000 guests from 100 or more countries network and make friends at the annual International Students Reception at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.

International students, scholars and professionals new to the Delaware Valley are invited to attend, in their ethnic best, if they wish, this year’s annual welcoming reception Friday, 17 October from 5:00 to 7:00 p.m. The event is held in the majestic Chinese Rotunda at the Penn Museum, 3260 South Street on the University of Pennsylvania campus.

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Experts Discuss Previous Periods of Rapid Climate Change and Implications for Our Warming Planet

Public forum, “Climate Crises in Human History,” will conclude two-day conference at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.

16 OCTOBER 2008, PHILADELPHIA, PA—For the first time in human history the Earth’s climate is changing—and we know about it in advance. The ancient Egyptians, the Maya, the Roman Empire and medieval Europeans—all of whom faced dramatic climate change—did not. Some adapted to changing conditions; some did not. What can we learn from their strategies—both the successful and the unsuccessful, as we face our own climate crisis?

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13th Annual Peach Around the World

PENN MUSEUM'S FREE HOLIDAY FAMILY CELEBRATION, SUNDAY, 07 DECEMBER 2008 FROM 1:00 TO 4:00 P.M.

Sharmin Farhana from Bangladesh, one of five presenters at Penn Museum's free Peace Around the World event, shares aspects of her native country's New Year celebration. Photo: Lauren Hansen-Flaschen.10 NOVEMBER 2009, PHILADELPHIA, PA—Grab your “Holiday Passport” and get into the spirit of the holiday season Sunday, December 7th, 1:00 to 4:00 p.m., when the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology celebrates its 13th annual FREE Peace Around the World family-oriented afternoon. Continuing with last year’s tradition, this year’s theme is “Holiday Passport to Cultures,” and all visitors receive Museum “passports” with itineraries to visit Penn Museum International Classroom speakers and learn about holiday traditions in countries around the world. The day also features international music, choir music by children and adults, exotic face painting, balloon art, international family crafts, free treats for children, and more!

This year's event is in honor of Elaine Garfinkel, who founded Peace Around the World at Penn Museum in 1995. Elaine was an active member of the Penn Museum women's community for fifteen years. Her kindess and compassion live on through this special event.

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"Fulfilling a Prophecy" Co-Curator Abigail Seldin Awarded Rhodes Scholarship

21 NOVEMBER 2008, PHILADELPHIA, PACo-curator of Penn Museum's Fulfilling a Prophecy and a student at the University of Pennsylvania, Ms. Seldin has been awarded a 2009 Rhodes Scholarship.

Ms. Seldin is a senior in the Department of Anthropology of Penn’s School of Arts and Sciences.

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Change in Admission Price

08 DECEMBER 2009, PHILADELPHAI, PA—Effective beginning January 2009, the new admission donation requested for entrance at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology will be as follows: $10 general admission; $7 senior citizens (65 and above); $6 for children 6 to 17 and full-time students with college ID; free for children 5 and younger, Penn Museum members and Penncard holders.

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Penn Museum Welcomes the Year of the Ox at the 28th Annual Chinese New Year Celebration

21 DECEMBER 2009, PHILADELPHIA, PA—Enter the New Year with the strength and determination of an Ox! The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology announces the 28th annual Chinese New Year Celebration, the Year of the Ox, Saturday, 24 January 2009, 11 a.m. to 4 p.m.! Music and dance performances, healing and martial arts demonstrations, games, workshops, children's activities and much more - topped off with the traditional Chinese Lion Dance grand finale - are all part of the spectacular day-long celebration, free with Museum admission donation ($10 general admission; $7 seniors and $6 students with ID; free for children under 6, Museum members and PENNcard holders).

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Public Celebration of Charles Darwin's 200th Birthday: Free Darwin Day and Evolution Teach-In

Darwin Day Celebration is a Highlight Event for Philadelphia’s YEAR OF EVOLUTION

Clockwise from top left: Darwin Day 200th Birthday Celebration Poster; Charles Darwin plays badminton his favorite pastime sport; a unique and varied selection of orchids will be on display; visitors enjoy a show and tell table of hominid fossil casts. 14 JANUARY 2009, PHILADELPHIA, PA— Charles Robert Darwin, the world-renowned author of On the Origin of Species—and the originator of the modern theory of evolution—has his 200th birthday in February, and the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology celebrates it in style, with the third annual free Darwin Day and Evolution Teach In Sunday, 15 February 2009 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m.

The free afternoon program features short “teach in” talks in galleries by renowned experts, curator-led tours of Penn Museum’s National Science Foundation-funded evolution exhibition Surviving, The Body of Evidence, and a physical anthropologist’s “touchables” corner with casts of hominid skulls and other bones. An “Origins” scavenger hunt, a family program on dinosaurs, a game of Evolutionary Twister, an orchid display, and the opportunity to play some badminton, reputedly a favorite pastime of the evolutionary thinker, are also part of the afternoon. Darwin himself (or a reasonable likeness) promises to make an appearance to enjoy the festivities—and partake of the free birthday cake!

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New Exibition Opening - Painted Metaphors: Pottery and Politics of the Ancient Maya

Penn Museum Explores Daily Life During Politically Tumultuous Times

Known as “The Chama Vase,” this vessel from the 8th century CE was found in a stone-lined tomb at the ancient Maya site of Chama (in modern day Guatemala) at the end of the 19th century. Height: 23.5 cm; diameter: 15 cm. (Penn Museum object number 38-14-1) Photo: Penn Museum. A world-renowned collection of ancient Maya painted pottery, excavated by the University of Pennsylvania Museum nearly a century ago and reinterpreted in light of recent research in the field, provides the centerpiece for Painted Metaphors: Pottery and Politics of the Ancient Maya, a new exhibition opening at the Penn Museum 05 April 2009. Painted Metaphors runs through 31 January 2010, before beginning a multi-city national tour.

Like so many pieces of the famous Chama pottery that conservators meticulously put back together at the Penn Museum, Painted Metaphors yields new clues to understanding everyday life—and changing politics—of the ancient Maya of Guatemala 1,300 years ago.

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Penn Museum Offers Summer 2009 Day Camp

“ANTHROPOLOGISTS IN THE MAKING” FOR CHILDREN AGES 7 TO 13

10 FEBRUARY 2009, PHILADELPHIA, PA—For the summer of 2009, adventurous children ages 7 through 13 can experience a day camp that takes them through time and across continents at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology on Penn’s campus in Philadelphia.

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20th Annual Celebration of African Cultures Offers Music, Dance, Storytelling, Talks, Games and More at the University of Pennsylvania Museum

21 FEBRUARY 2009, PHILADELPHIA, PA—Music and dance of Africa, storytelling, arts and crafts, gallery tours, culture and cuisine—it all comes together at the 20th annual Celebration of African Cultures Saturday, February 21, 11:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. throughout the galleries of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. The event is FREE with Museum admission donation ($10 for adults; $7 for seniors, 65 and above; $6 for students and children 6-17; free for Museum members, children under 6, and PENNcard holders).

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WOW! Superhero Day at the Penn Museum

22 FEBRUARY 2009, PHILADELPHIA, PA—ZAP! ZOOM! POW! Superheroes, super villains, and their sidekicks have enjoyed an honored place in American comics and movies—as they have in cultures around the world. Watch out on Sunday, 22 March 2009 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m., as superheroes, traveling through time and across continents, invade the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology on the Penn campus in an afternoon of super antics, super games—and super fun!

Super Hero Day It’s WOW! Superhero Day, free with Museum admission donation, featuring activities for all ages: heroic talks and programs, comic book drawing workshops, superhero-style storytelling, a heroic scavenger hunt and heroic gallery tours, a balloon maker, a superhero marketplace with games and comics, Superhero Twister, comic hero mask making, and opportunities to learn and play popular superhero games. All superheroes and super villains who attend in costume receive discount admission ($2 off adult; $1 off children and senior citizens)—and the chance to win super prizes throughout the afternoon!

WOW! Superhero Day at the Penn Museum is a featured event of a year-long celebration, POW: Comics, Animation, and Graphic Novels, running Fall 2008 through Spring 2009 at the University of Pennsylvania.

Superheroes are the focus of three short programs. Peter Struck, Associate Professor of Classical Studies, University of Pennsylvania, looks back in time at “Ancient Heroes and Superheroes” at 1:15 p.m. "Costumed Culture Warriors" is the title of a short program featuring movie clips by Andrew J. Douglas, Ph.D., Director of Education at the Bryn Mawr Film Institute, at 2:00 p.m. “The Physics of Superheroes, or Why Can’t We All Ignore the Laws of Nature?” an interactive program by Bill Berner, Penn Physics Demonstration Laboratory Coordinator, takes a scientific view of the possible and impossible feats performed by a range of well-known superheroes at 3:00 p.m.

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UPM Archaeologist Keith Devries Asserts that Enigmatic Ivory Statuette, Uncovered in Greece in 1939, May be part of the Throne of the Famed Kind Midas

03 JANUARY 2002, PHILADELPHIA, PA—It isn't made of gold, but a well-known and much-discussed ivory statuette of a lion-tamer, found in 1939 at Delphi, may very well be part of the throne given to the god Apollo by the famous King Midas of Phrygia.

So asserts Dr. Keith DeVries, Associate Curator, Mediterranean section of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, and former Field Director of the Museum's long-term excavation project at the Phrygian capital of Gordion in Turkey. Dr. DeVries shares his intriguing argument, based upon archaeological finds from Turkey and ancient written evidence, Saturday, January 5th at the 103rd annual meeting of the Archaeological Institute of America, held this year in Philadelphia.

Read more: UPM Archaeologist Keith Devries Asserts that Enigmatic Ivory Statuette, Uncovered in Greece in...

 

University of Pennsylvania Museum Excavations at Gordion, Turkey, Reveal Celtic Sacrifices

04 JANUARY 2002, PHILADELPHIA, PA—Discovery of grisly evidence of strangulation and decapitation, and bizarre arrangements of human and animal bones, has solved the longstanding mystery about the Celtic presence at Gordion, Turkey, where the University of Pennsyvlania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology has been excavating since 1950. The chronologically rich site, long renowned as the capital of Phrygia in the 8th century B.C. and the center from which the famed King Midas once ruled, is about 60 miles southwest of Ankara in central Turkey.

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University of Pennsylvania Museum Awarded $302,000 from National Endowment for their Humanities for Pennsylvania Sumerian Dictionary Project

Project to Create World's First Dictionary of the First Written Language Gets Re-Defined in New Age of Internet Communications Technologies

02 APRIL 2002, PHILADELPHIA, PA—The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology's Pennsylvania Sumerian Dictionary Project was awarded a two-year, $302,000 grant from the National Endowment of Humanities, an independent federal agency.

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Matriarchal, Islamic and Peace-builders: The Minangkabau of Indonesia Offer an Alternative Social System

Anthropologist Peggy Reeves Sanday Seeks to Redefine the Meaning of Matriarchy In Women at the Center, New Book Detailing Her Research among the Minangkabau

01 MAY 2002, PHILADELPHIA, PA—For the last century, historians, anthropologists and other scholars have searched both human history and the continents to find a matriarchy-a society where the power was in the hands of women, not men. Most have concluded that a genuine matriarchy does not exist, perhaps may never have existed.

Anthropologist Peggy Reeves Sanday disagrees. After years of research among the Minangkabau people of West Sumatra, Indonesia, she has accepted that group's own self-labeling, as a "matriarchate," or matriarchy. The problem, she asserts, lies in Western cultural notions of what a matriarchy "should" look like-patriarchy's female-twin.

Read more: Matriarchal, Islamic and Peace-builders: The Minangkabau of Indonesia Offer an Alternative Social...

 

Penn Museum Archaeologists Uncover 3700 Year Old "Magical" Birth Brick at Mayor's Residence Just Outside Abydos, Egypt

First Example Ever Found of These Special-Use Bricks, Known from Ancient Texts to be Used in Childbirth

01 JULY 2002, PHILADELPHIA, PA—University of Pennsylvania Museum archaeologists have discovered a 3700-year-old "magical" birth brick inside the palatial residence of a Middle Kingdom mayor's house just outside Abydos, in southern Egypt. The colorfully decorated mud birth brick-the first ever found-is one of a pair that would have been used to support a woman's feet while squatting during actual childbirth.

Read more: Penn Museum Archaeologists Uncover 3700 Year Old "Magical" Birth Brick at Mayor's Residence Just...

 

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