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A Through Time, Across Continents, World Tour with
2008-2009 Great Sites of the Ancient World Lecture and Gallery Tour Series
November 4, 2008, Volume 55, No. 11

Great Sites

Since 1887, the University of Pennsylvania Museum has been one of the leading archaeology and anthropology museums in the world, sponsoring more than 400 expeditions around the globe. A new monthly Wednesday evening series invites the public to dig in and explore eight famous archaeological sites, from Iraq to Guatemala, all excavated by Penn Museum scholars over the last century.

Great Sites of the Ancient World features talks by Penn Museum curators or affiliated researchers, followed by a related gallery tour in the Museum. All programs begin with a lecture at 6 p.m., followed by a tour or special display in the galleries. Admission is $5 per program; free for Museum members and PennCard holders. Subscriptions to the full series are $30. For subscription or advance reservations, call the Museum Special Events office at (215) 898-4890, or register online at www.museum.upenn.edu/greatsites.

November 5: Ur of the Chaldees: Abraham’s Birthplace in the late 3rd and early 2nd Millennia BC; Richard Zettler, associate curator-in-charge, Near East Section. Located in the southwestern Mesopotamian, near Nasiriayh in what is today Iraq, ancient Ur, Biblical Ur of the Chaldees, was one of the largest and most important of Mesopotamia’s city-states. Come explore the remains of the city and the streets that Abraham himself is claimed to have walked.

December 3: New Surprises from Ban Chiang, Thailand;Joyce C. White, senior research scientist and director, Ban Chiang Project. From its discovery by a Harvard student falling on some sherds along a back village alleyway in the 1960s, to its recent central role in the biggest US case to date on international antiquities smuggling, Ban Chiang has repeatedly made headlines. Dr. White discusses the newest “in press” and surprising findings concerning one of the big Ban Chiang debates—the source for the earliest bronze metallurgy in Southeast Asia.

January 7: The Trojan War—Myth or Fact: Recent Excavations at Troy;C. Brian Rose, deputy director. Renewed excavations at Troy during the past 20 years have focused on a synthetic overview of the nine settlements, from the beginning of the Bronze Age (ca. 3,000 BC) through the end of the Byzantine period (ca. 1400 AD). An assemblage of gold jewelry in the Museum’s collection, dating to the same period as Schliemann’s Treasure, will be on view after the lecture.

February 4: Built of Memory and Hope: The Sacred City of Abydos, Egypt; Josef Wegner, associate curator, Egyptian Section. Abydos was a city that grew from the myths and memories of the earliest origins of Egyptian civilization. Dr. Wegner discusses the archaeology of Abydos and current research which is contributing to our understanding of this most sacred of ancient Egyptian cities.

March 4: Gordion: 40 Centuries Lost & Found;Gareth Darbyshire, Gordion fellow. Gordion had once been one of the great Iron Age capitals of the Near East. Lost to memory for many centuries, it has been rediscovered through a massive program of over 30 seasons of excavation and decades of analysis. This lecture evaluates the key achievements and lacunae in our understanding of the development and decline of Gordion over 4,000 years.

April 1: Exploring the Maya Kingdom of Copán;Loa Traxler, research scientist, American Section. The kings of Copán controlled the southeastern region of the Classic Maya world for four centuries (ca. 426–822 CE). Excavations exploring the capital city have uncovered the remains of its royal precincts, the lives of its inhabitants, and the history of its Classic dynasty. New discoveries continue to build the story of Copán’s past and to shape Honduras’ future.

May 6: Erasing a City: The Day Life Stopped at Hasanlu Tepe, Iran in 800 BC; Michael Danti, research associate.

June 3: Tikal: Changing Views of Ancient Maya Urbanism; Jeremy A. Sabloff, curator, American Section.

See www.museum.upenn.edu/new/news/fullrelease.php?which=354 for more details.




Almanac - November 4, 2008, Volume 55, No. 11