At the Crossroads

The Penn Museum’s new Eastern Mediterranean Gallery casts the cradle of Abrahamic religions and alphabetic innovation as a cosmopolitan sphere—not just a conflict-ridden one.

A First-Rate Version of Himself

Loren Eiseley G’35 Gr’37 was associated with no great discoveries in his field of anthropology, “awkwardly shy” and “not very comfortable with students” in the classroom, a disaster as Penn’s provost—and a writer of unmatched brilliance on the natural world and the human condition.

Mapping the Human Journey

Combining old-school fieldwork and ethnography with up-to-the-minute gene-based analyses, Penn molecular anthropologist Theodore G. Schurr has helped shape our understanding of the movement of ancient peoples into the Americas.

When West Went East

Victor Mair first encountered the Bronze Age mummies of China’s Tarim Basin 23 years ago. He—and others—have been trying to figure out what those people were doing there ever since.

On Hearths, Ancient and Modern

In which the author takes a break from the rigors of her own ethnographic research in France’s Dordogne region to visit with eminent Penn archaeologist Harold Dibble as he plumbs the mysteries of early human and Neandertal behavior—and plots his next gourmet meal.

The Stamp Seal Mystery

A Bronze Age mound in Central Asia yielded a tantalizing clue to a “new” ancient civilization. For archaeologist Fred Hiebert, it was one more reason why Raphael Pumpelly was right.

Justice in the Bones

When a 15-year-old Philadelphia boy was wrongly accused of rape in a case of mistaken identity, public defender Glenn Gilman C’69 and two Penn anthropologists, Dr. Alan Mann and Dr. Janet Monge Gr’80, combined their expertise to ensure that justice was served.