Category Archives: Archaeology

Global Guides at Penn Museum

“Refugees Connect Their Personal Stories with a Museum’s Ancient Artifacts”

“The Global Guides program at the Penn Museum hires recent refugees from the Middle East to give personalized tours. The leader of my tour was Moumena Saradar, a refugee from Syria who has lived in Philadelphia for two years.”

By Olivia Jia for Hyperallergic, 2/20/2019

Read the above article to see how one museum is connecting with refugees from the Middle East by hiring them to teach visitors about their culture, both ancient and contemporary.

Global Guides tour at Penn Museum, Moumena Saradar showcases similarities between her grandfather’s family business and the artifacts from Tepe Gawra (all photos by Olivia Jia for Hyperallergic)

Who translated cuneiform?

“You have to go back 4,000 years, colleagues said, to find someone as fluent in Sumerian as Miguel Civil. A Catalonian-born professor with a purported photographic memory, he spent decades studying ancient cuneiform tablets, examining the last wedge-shaped traces of what is probably the world’s oldest written language.” Read more here.

“A lexical list from the Early Dynastic period, item A3670 in the Oriental Institute’s collection. Dr. Civil was an expert on such lists, which featured terms in both Sumerian and Akkadian.”(Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago)

Fire devastates museum in Brazil

Guardian graphic. Image: Google Earth. Source: Museu Nacional

A fire has completely destroyed the 200-year old National Museum in Rio de Janeiro. Once the home of Brazil’s monarch, the palace became the largest history museum in Latin America. Its collections included art and artifacts of indigenous peoples, as well as Egyptian and Greco-Roman works, fossils, and so much more.

Google Arts and Culture has created a virtual museum. Visit it here.

Ancient mosaics from a synagogue

Mosaics dating to the late Roman period have been found in a synagogue in modern Israel “challenge current notions of ancient Jewish aesthetics and the art of depicting scripture.”

Sarah E. Bond, “Discovery of Jewish Mosaics in Israel Bring Color to Biblical Accounts,” Hyperallergic, 7/20/18.

Fish swallowing Pharoah’s soldier in the Parting of the Red Sea

Prehistoric tools found in India

Tools have been found at an archaeological site in southern India that may date to 385,000 years ago…this is well before modern humans are thought to have come to India. Who made them? Read more in Sarah Kaplan’s article, “Sophisticated tools unearthed in India raise a question: Who made them?” Washington Post, 2/5/18, A14.

Artifacts uncovered at the excavation at Attirampakkam (Sharma Center for heritage Education)

Conservators at the Villa of the Mysteries, Pompeii

(Pasquale Sorrentino)
The stunning frescoes of the Villa of the Mysteries include one room with a painted frieze widely considered to depict an initiation rite into the cult of Dionysus, the god of wine, pictured at the center of this panel.

“Saving the Villa of the Mysteries: Beneath the surface of Pompeii’s most famous house,” By JARRETT A. LOBELL, Monday, February 10, 2014

Archaeology, A publication of the Archaeological Institute of America