Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations

The story the bowls tell

In an ambitious new project, historian Simcha Gross and Harvard’s Rivka Elitzur-Leiman are studying hundreds of ancient incantation bowls housed at the Penn Museum. They hope to better understand the objects and eventually, build a database of all these bowls worldwide.

Michele W. Berger

‘A Revolution in Rhyme’

While building the Persian language and studies program at Penn, Fatemeh Shams draws from the millennium-old Persian literary tradition to write a new book about poetry and politics in modern Iran. She will embark on her next book project during an upcoming fellowship in Berlin. 

Louisa Shepard

Alice Paul’s mysterious manuscript

Heather J. Sharkey and three students transcribed a hand-written manuscript of the doctoral dissertation by Alice Paul, who earned her Ph.D. from Penn in 1912. As part of a virtual symposium, they joined John Pollack of the Libraries to discuss their efforts.

Louisa Shepard



In the News


CBS Philadelphia

Penn Museum helps make historic find in Northern Iraq

A team led by Michael Danti of the Penn Museum and the School of Arts & Sciences has uncovered an Assyrian palace in the ancient city of Nimrud in Northern Iraq.

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Art Newspaper

First major dig in ancient Iraqi city since Isis destruction unearths ‘significant’ palace door sill

Michael Danti of the Penn Museum and the School of Arts & Sciences and colleagues have uncovered an impressive 2-meter-high door threshold in the ancient Iraqi city of Nimrud.

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Jewish Exponent

New Penn Museum exhibit adds context to Jewish history

The new Eastern Mediterranean Gallery at the Penn Museum expands the context of Jewish history, with quotes from Director Christopher Woods and Lauren Ristvet of the School of Arts & Sciences.

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WHYY (Philadelphia)

Penn Museum unveils a new look at the ancient Mediterranean world

Virginia Herrmann, Joanna Smith, and Director Christopher Woods of the Penn Museum discuss the history behind the artifacts of the new Eastern Mediterranean Gallery.

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Philadelphia Inquirer

A new gallery at Penn Museum relooks at Eastern Mediterranean history

The Penn Museum’s new Eastern Mediterranean Gallery, “Crossroads of Culture,” seeks to highlight the social, commercial, and political innovations of countries like Palestine, Jordan, Israel, Lebanon, and Syria.

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Al Día

Fragments of history from the Penn Museum’s new Eastern Mediterranean Gallery

The Penn Museum will open its new Eastern Mediterranean Gallery this weekend, featuring live musical performances, workshops, and pop-up talks alongside approximately 400 artifacts.

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