Tag Archive: The Penn Museum

Jun 24 2015

Penn Museum: Adam Smith | Great Wonders | The Great Walls of China

Another lecture in The Penn Museum series “Great Wonders” and this time around about the great wonder The Great Walls of China. The lecture is given by Adam Smith. The Great Wall is most familiar to us as the massive masonry fortifications snaking dramatically over the mountains north of Beijing. These were constructed in the …

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Jun 21 2015

Penn Museum: Simon Martin | Great Wonders | Chichen Itza: An Alien City in the Maya Lowlands

This is another lecture in The Penn Museum series “Great Wonders”, this time around about the Chichen Itza, the ancient Mayan city. The lecture is given by Dr. Simon Martin, Associate Curator and Keeper of Collections, American Section at The Penn Museum.  

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May 15 2015

Penn Museum: Brian Rose | Great Wonders | The Mausoleum of Halicarnassus and its Successors

Each of the “wonders” in the ancient world was intended to symbolize the builder’s political and economic power, and to serve as a template for future monuments to such power. In most cases they succeeded: the statue of Olympian Zeus was used as a model for portraits of Napoleon and George Washington, while the Colossus …

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Apr 25 2015

Penn Museum: Thomas Tartaron | Great Wonders | The Statue of Zeus at Olympia

The Statue of Zeus at Olympia, in southern Greece, was counted as one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World and was even singled out for the awe it inspired in all who beheld it. It was a monumental work of art ­– more than 40 feet tall, made of gold and ivory over …

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Apr 19 2015

Penn Museum: Jennifer Houser Wegner | Great Wonders | The Lighthouse at Alexandria: The Pharos

Lecture given by Jennifer Houser Wegner, Ph.D., Associate Curator, Egyptian Section. Founded by Alexander the Great in 332 BCE, the city of Alexandria grew to become one of the most important cities in the ancient world. Alexandria was a hub of intellectual, commercial, political and religious activity, and its Mediterranean harbors were bustling centers of …

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Jan 10 2015

Penn Museum: Grant Frame: Great Wonders | Searching for the Hanging Gardens of Babylon

Grant Frame, Ph.D., Associate Curator, Babylonian Section. The Babylonian king Nebuchadnezzar II (604–562 BCE) is infamous in the Bible for having destroyed the Temple of Jerusalem in 586. However, he is famous in classical sources for having built the Hanging Gardens of Babylon, one of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World. During his reign, …

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Dec 15 2014

Penn Museum: Colin Renfrew: Before Silk: Unsolved Mysteries of the Silk Road

Colin Renfrew speaks on the Unsolved Mysteries of the Silk Road at the Silk Road Symposium held at the Penn Museum held in March 2011. The extent of contact between east (China) and west (Europe and Western Asia) in the prehistoric period has been much debated but remains little understood. In 1921 John Gunnar Anderson’s …

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Dec 14 2014

Wolf-Dietrich Niemeier: Greece and Asia in the Late Bronze Age | The Historical Background of Homer’s Iliad

Dr. Wolf-Dietrich Niemeier, Director of the German Archaeological Institute at Athens, speaks. In 1924, Swiss archaeologist Emil Forrer announced a new discovery relating to the Trojan War. After examining texts found at Hattusa, once the capital of the Hittite empire in Asia Minor, he identified the Hittite words for Troy (Wilusa) and Mycenaean Greece (Ahhiyawa), …

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Dec 06 2014

Clark Erickson: Great Wonders | The Monumental Geoglyphs of Amazonia

Traditionally, the archaeologists have the vast Amazon region of South America to be a cultural backwater compared to the better-known civilizations that developed in the Americas. Scholars stress the limitations of tropical environments and lack of critical technological innovations to sustain civilizations. In recent years, the documentation of intensive agriculture, black earth, managed forests, hydraulic …

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Oct 16 2014

David Silverman: Great Wonders: The Great Sphinx and the Pyramids of Giza

Dr. David Silverman, Curator-in-Charge, Penn Museum, Egyptian Section, presents the opening lecture in the Great Wonders Lecture Series. The most recognized of the Seven Wonders of the Ancient World, Giza’s pyramids and Sphinx have fascinated humankind for more than 5,500 years. At 240 feet long and almost 70 feet high, the Sphinx is Egypt’s largest …

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Sep 21 2014

Derek Gillman: Chinese Buddhist Art During the 10th-12th Centuries

Derek Gillman, Executive Director and President of the Barnes Foundation, considers a famous Penn Museum artifact as a jumping off point for this talk. The celebrated glazed earthenware luohan in the Museum’s Chinese Rotunda belongs to the most important surviving (although incomplete) set of Chinese Buddhist ceramic sculptures. These life-sized figures were discovered during the …

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Jul 20 2014

Brian Rose: Rome The Eternal City

From its founding more than 2,800 years ago, Rome has become known as an “eternal city” world-renowned for its architecture. Dr. C. Brian Rose, Curator-in-Charge of the Mediterranean Section at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology explores the history of this astounding city: Classical Rome, one of history’s most powerful civilizations. Rome …

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Jul 20 2014

Dr. Brian Spooner: Afghan Wars, Oriental Carpets, and Globilization

Dr. Brian Spooner, Curator, Near East Section of the Penn Museum and an anthropologist who specializes in Afghanistan and oriental rugs, offers an lecture on the history of Afghanistan in the view of wars and globalization.  

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Jul 14 2014

Jessica Goldberg: Great Battles | The First Crusade Three Battles for Latin Christendom

From 1096 to 1101, over 100,000 people from all over Western Europe set off towards Jerusalem. These men and women, these warriors and pilgrims, priests and nuns, lords and laborers, didn’t have a name for what they were doing—no one would use the word Crusade to describe an armed pilgrimage, or holy military expedition, until …

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May 19 2014

Brian Rose: Great Voyages: Jason and the Golden Fleece

Brian Rose, James B. Pritchard Professor of Classical Archaeology, University of Pennsylvania. Searching for the Golden Fleece with Jason and the Argonauts One of the most captivating voyages in Classical literature involved the travels of the Greek hero Jason to the Black Sea, where he searched for the golden fleece of a winged ram that …

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Apr 20 2014

Garrett Fagan: How to Stage a Bloodbath: Gladiators at the Roman Arena

Published on Apr 15, 2014 In this lecture, Dr. Garrett Fagan, Professor of Ancient History, Penn State University, explores the theatrical aspects of Roman arena games—the stage sets, equipment of the fighters, and so forth—that created an artificial landscape in which the violence of the spectacle was staged. He also considers what these features tell …

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Apr 05 2014

Peter Struck: Great Voyages: The Odyssey, Nostalgia, and the Lost Home

Published on Apr 4, 2014 Homer’s tale of the wandering hero has loaned its name to the English language for the very idea of a long wandering voyage. In this talk, Dr. Struck considers the idea of a displacement in the epic poem, and how Odysseus negotiates his status as someone separated from where he …

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Mar 09 2014

Clark Erickson: Great Voyages: Thor Heyerdahl and Kon Tiki

Scholars have long debated the possibility of long distance travel between continents and its impact on the development of cultures. Similarities between specific objects or complexes of cultural traits often lead to hypotheses about the dating, nature, and direction of journeys, and the identification of possible colonists. In this lecture, Dr. Erickson discusses Thor Heyerdahl’s …

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Feb 27 2014

Clark Erickson: Great Riddles in Archaeology – El Dorado in the Americas

Dr. Clark Erickson January 4, 2012 Great Riddles in Archaeology Lecture Series El Dorado in the Americas: A Wild Dream or Actual Fact? Conquistadors, explorers, treasure hunters, and many others have long sought the famed El Dorado or Golden City. Throughout history, elaborate stories and myths have circulated about the existence of such a place …

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Jan 13 2014

Steve Tinney: Great Voyages: Gilgamesh – Journeys to the End of the World

Steve Tinney, Associate Professor, Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations, University of Pennsylvania Gilgamesh: Journeys to the End of the World Gilgamesh was a figure of legend in ancient Mesopotamia (modern day Iraq) from as early as 4,500 years ago. The tales of his travels were not only stories of adventure in places no human had …

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