March 11, 2008
NOW THAT the SugarHouse casino project has been delayed, maybe permanently, to look for arrowheads and pottery scraps, we can rejoice in old Philadelphia! Certainly casinos will cause incredible traffic, and Philadelphia will be forced to modernize its archaic traffic infrastructure, which can be enjoyed by driving the comically counter-timed lights on Girard and basking in the 19th century charm of the city's lazy reliance on stop signs, which guarantees that traffic moves at wagon speed.
November 26, 1987 |
When Rodney S. Young staged his great archaeological campaigns at Gordion, Turkey, from 1950 to 1974, he commanded teams of natives and massive mining and drilling equipment to cut into giant earth-covered tombs. In 1957, the University of Pennsylvania scientist discovered the burial chamber believed to be that of King Midas. Later, he excavated the king's palace. But when a new team of archaeologists sponsored by the University Museum returns to the site during the next three summers, their plans will be more modest: gathering burnt seeds, charred animal bones and animal dung.
August 24, 1993 |
THROUGH TIME, ACROSS CONTINENTS Dilys Winegrad University of Pennyslvania Press/$80 When British archaeologist Howard Carter discovered King Tut's tomb, he was asked if he could see anything in the darkened chamber. With the aid of a candle's wavering light, he peered inside. "Yes," he replied, "wonderful things. " The same reaction has occurred to countless visitors to the University of Pennsylvania's Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. The University Museum is one of the world's leading repositories of artifacts and information on ancient civilizations and traditional cultures.
February 13, 2009 |
On a spring morning in 1978, a year before the Iranian Islamic revolution, Ezat O. Negahban was stabbed repeatedly by the shah's secret police as he entered the University of Tehran, where he was dean of the faculty of letters and humanities. After a taxi got him to a hospital, doctors found he had bled so badly that he had no blood pressure, and they had to determine his blood type by what was caked to his clothes. For a year, he lost the use of his left arm because a nerve had been cut. Mr. Negahban retired that year, but it wasn't until 1980 that he moved to Philadelphia, because the Iran-Iraq war had closed their borders during his visit to Europe.
December 2, 1990 |
Mark Scalley, a sixth-grade student at Wissahickon Middle School, was bubbling over with excitement as he showed his teacher what appeared to be a mud-covered chunk of metal. "Is it something good?" Mark asked breathlessly, his face streaked with dirt one afternoon last week. Mary Banks chipped away some of the mud with an old toothbrush and quickly determined that it was nothing more than obsidian, a type of shiny black rock that is common to the area. Momentarily disappointed that he had not unearthed something more exciting, like a dinosaur tooth or the remnants of a buried treasure, Mark returned to the 5-by-5-foot pit not far from the high school football field and resumed scraping the ground with his trowel.
August 5, 2010 |
The popular public archaeology lab at Independence National Historical Park, forced from its long-time home at Third and Chestnut Streets by a land deal undertaken by the park and a private group, will not reopen in its new quarters for up to two years, park officials said this week. When they closed it in June, the officials predicted a late-summer reopening for the lab, which is analyzing a million artifacts unearthed in the park a decade ago. Although the move from the old park visitor's center to the First Bank of the United States building directly across the street has been contemplated for almost a year, park officials said they belatedly determined that the bank's electrical and cooling facilities were inadequate.
November 15, 2000 |
Anne Cabot Ogilvy, 69, a scholar who played an active role in Middle Eastern archaeology, died of a heart attack Monday at Chestnut Hill Hospital. She was a resident of the Chestnut Hill section of Philadelphia for the last 15 years and had lived in New York City and in Carson City, Nev. During the 1970s, Mrs. Ogilvy ventured countless times to dusty digs in inhospitable places to analyze animal bones unearthed by her colleagues. Later, she helped establish a comprehensive academic and archaeological library at the headquarters of the American Center for Oriental Research, in Amman, Jordan.
February 15, 2001 |
After a career of excavating in Greece, archaeologist Charles K. Williams 2d has dug deep into his own pocket to donate $16 million to the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, by far the largest gift in its 114-year history and one of the most generous ever to a Philadelphia museum. The contribution by Williams, 70, who earned his doctorate at Penn, launches a six-year, $55 million fund drive to refurbish the historic but antiquated facility that houses more than a million artifacts.
October 19, 1994 |
Before and after Twenty-One, the fixed quiz show that the film Quiz Show has made infamous again, there was What in the World. William H. "Bill" Davenport remembers it well. He appeared as a contestant several times back in the 1960s. What in the World was an archaeological TV quiz show that challenged experts to display their knowledge (or admit their lack of it). The show, with brilliant if often curmudgeonly scholars one-upping each other, had exotica, excitement, entertainment, suspense and laughs.
January 14, 2010 |
During volunteer archaeological work in Laos in 2007, retired businessman William F. Henderson came upon something more exotic than million-year-old pottery. Snake soup. "One of our Lao colleagues arrived one evening with a quite impressive snake, about seven feet long," he wrote. "When he removed the snake's head, there appeared to be another snake head inside. He began pulling it and withdrew a second snake that had been eaten whole. . . . "I did have some broth the next day that was pretty good," he wrote, but he did not ask whether the snakes had contributed to it. On Sunday, Mr. Henderson, 81, who for 18 years was a volunteer at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, died of lung cancer at his home in Glen Mills.