News and Announcements

  • Professor's Work at La Ferrassie Featured in Science

    The September 20th issue of Science features a report on Dr. Harold Dibble's excavations at the French prehistoric site of La Ferrassie. La Ferrassie has long attracted attention for its potential to provide insight into possible burial practices among Neandertals, which would be a strong indicator of early social bonding and ritual practice.

    Dr. Dibble and his team are applying new methods and advanced technology to answer the question of whether the remains found at the site truly seem to have been deposited deliberately, or were merely deposited by natural forces mimicking certain elements of burial. The full article can be accessed here.

  • Welcome! New year, New people, new colloquia series

    The department is excited to welcome everyone, new and old, back for the 2012-2013 academic year. We have a number of visiting scholars and post-doctoral researchers joining us this year, as well as a new crop of graduate and undergraduate students, and a new faculty appointment starting this coming January. Click here to learn more about the fresh faces we'll be seeing around the department.

    We'll also be kicking off a new colloquia series for the year starting Monday, September 17th. The theme for the series is 'Crossroads'- click here for the full schedule.

  • Professor Speaks on Pueblo Independence Day

    Dr. Robert Preucel gave a presentation at Jemez State Monument in New Mexico on August 12th celebrating Pueblo Independence Day. He was invited to speak by Marlon Magdalena, Monument Ranger and NSF-REU student at Penn in 2006.

    Pueblo Independence Day celebrations are held annually to commemorate August 10th, 1680 when the Pueblo People of New Mexico—aided by Apache and Navajo allies—launched a successful rebellion against Spanish colonization. Read more here.

  • Visiting Professor Awarded NSF Grant

    Dr. Kamari Maxine Clarke, a professor of Anthropology at Yale and visiting scholar here at Penn for the 2012-2013 academic year, has been awarded a highly competitive National Science Foundation (NSF) grant for her project, “The International Criminal Court, Africa, and the Pursuit of Justice.” The grant provides support for three years of research on three continents, and Dr. Clarke will study the controversies over the International Criminal Court (ICC) in Africa. This Fall, Dr. Clarke is teaching a course here at Penn entitled In Search of Freedom: Religion and the Limits of the Law.

    To learn more about Dr. Clarke's project, click here.

  • New Exhibit Examines Race and Proof

    Academic year 2012-2013 is the Year of Proof here at Penn, and to celebrate, the Penn Museum has unveiled a new exhibit co-curated by Dr. Janet Monge, "Masking and Unmasking Race". The exhibit asks the question: Is there such a thing in humans called race? Check it out at the Penn Museum now through August 18th.

    In conjunction with the exhibit, Dr. Monge, along with Dr. Geoffrey Aguirre of Penn's Neurology Department will be giving a talk on October 4th entitled "From Skulls to Scans: How Brain Measurements Have Been Used, Misused, and Misunderstood in the Study of Racial Differences". The talk will be held at 4:30 in the Nevil Gallery. Read more here.

  • Anthropology Accolades

    Penn Anthropology congratulates the class of 2012! Eleven of our graduate students and  thirty-four of our undergraduates will be awarded degrees this May. We also congratulate all of our students, past and present, who have received awards and honors this past year.

    Click for more information about the various honorees (graduate and undergraduate) or here for a full list of our 2012 graduates.

  • Innovative Teaching

    Penn Anthro Professor John Jackson has been named the 2012 recipient of the Dean's Award for Innovation in Teaching by the School of Arts and Sciences here at Penn. This award is presented annually to faculty members who have made use of innovative teaching techniques in the service of outstanding teaching. Dr. Jackson will be honored, along with other award-winners, at a School-wide reception on Wednesday, April 25 at 4:00 p.m. in 200 College Hall.

    To learn more about Dr. Jackson and his work, click here.

  • Anthropologies of Africa Across Decades and Disciplines

    Please join us in honoring Dr. Sandra T. Barnes on the occasion of her retirement. Dr. Barnes received her PhD from the University of Wisconsin in 1974 and has been teaching at Penn since 1973. She was the founding director of Penn's African Studies Center and a consulting curator in the African Section of the Penn Museum. Read more about Dr. Barnes, her work, and her legacy here.

    Anthropologies of Africa Across Decades and Disciplines: A Day to Honor Sandra Barnes will take place from 8:30am-5:00pm on Saturday, April 28th. The full schedule can be found here. For more information, contact Christy Schuetze.

  • Phillip Vallentine Tobias: 1925-2012

    On June 7th, 2012, Phillip Vallentine Tobias passed away at the age of 86 after a long illness. Born in South Africa in 1925, Tobias was a renowned expert in the fields of paleoanthropology and  human evolution. He worked with a number of other famous paleoanthropologists including Raymond Dart and Louis Leakey, and helped to expose the Piltdown Man hoax.

    Tobias was a visiting scholar here at Penn for three academic years (1992-93, 1993-94 and 1994-95) and in 1994  the University awarded him an honorary Doctor of Science degree. Click here for more on Tobias' life, work, and legacy.

  • The Bioarchaeology of Human Sacrifice

    The May 30th issue of Science features an article about how bioanthropological techniques are contributing to our understanding of the practice of human sacrifice. The Penn Museum's own excavations at Ur are featured prominently, as recent analysis of the remains discovered there revealed evidence of trauma, countervailing the excavators' original poisoning theory. The CT scan at left shows one of the analyzed skulls with evidence of trauma.

    The article also ties in to the Maya 2012: Lords of Time exhibit, on now through January 13th here at the Penn Museum. Click here to see Loa Traxler, Maya 2012 curator, discuss human sacrifice among the Maya.