News briefs

Treasure hunt

To the untrained eye, the eight small cylindrical pieces of stone don’t look like much, let alone precious Iraqi treasures. But to Richard Zettler, associate curator of the Penn Museum’s Near East Section, they’re an incredible find. “When I was digging in Iraq years ago, the discovery of a cylinder seal made our day,” said Zettler at a press conference on Feb. 16. “[This discovery] is a week’s worth of excitement.” But Zettler didn’t have to dig for this cache of treasures. Instead, the eight cylinder seals were looted from a site near Babylon (in present-day Iraq), and purchased by a U.S. Marine from an Iraqi trinket vendor for $300. When the soldier returned home, he brought the seals to Zettler for an expert opinion, who confirmed their value. The Marine agreed to turn the seals over to the FBI, who in turn returned them to Iraqi officials. The seals will spend three months on display at the Penn Museum before being returned to Iraq.

It's a deal

If you’ve been thinking about joining the Faculty Club but figured it was too late in the academic year for the investment to be worthwhile, think again. The Club is offering a special mid-year membership, with discounted dues of only $27 (compared to annual dues of $52.50). That’ll take you through August 31. For more on the Faculty Club, go to or call 215-898-4618.

Model behavior

Working in the vast city-within-a- city that is Penn, it’s easy to feel a little anonymous. The Division of Human Resource’s Models of Excellence program helps to remedy that disappearing feeling by recognizing outstanding Penn people and their contributions. The Models of Excellence winners share a commitment to the University’s mission and a level of service that is inspiring. You can read about this year’s winners at The ceremony is on March 22. For information, contact Sunny Sunwoo at or call 215-898-1012.

Originally published on February 24, 2005