Reconstruct Moments Lost in Time

"The challenge of archaeology is to reconstruct lost moments in time."

On Saturday I ventured over to the Penn Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology to meet my Architecture & Society classmates as our professor gave us a guided tour. I've heard it referred to as one of University City's best-kept secrets; perhaps in comparison to the art museum it's not much of a tourist attraction. I had been to the museum recently, on a quiet Sunday back in early October, and this trip reminded me to go back and edit all of the photos I had forgotten about.

We started in the first Egyptian room, which, according to my professor, is home to the third largest sphinx that has ever been excavated. A bit of wandering brought us to the museum's collection of Mesopotamian artifacts, understandably one of the largest collections in the world, seeing as the University of Pennsylvania made up half of the archaeological team that excavated the ruins of Ur. 

What I found to be most moving, perhaps because I simply wasn't expecting it, was the "Excavating Ground Zero" installation. I had forgotten that ten years have passed, and perhaps such a milestone warrants a bit of reflection. A timeline of the events that took place that day alternated with back-lit panels that displayed quotations from the likes of Colin Powell and Tony Blair. Shards of broken glass were illuminated in two glass towers. One case held a pair of crushed eyeglasses, another displayed an office keyboard warped beyond recognition. What I found most heartbreaking was a wall covered in individual memoirs. Most of them seemed to written by mere children. No one spoke, we all assumed a kind of reverent silence. When I went back this weekend the exhibit had closed, though I was curious to see if any more paper had been posted to the wall.

Speaking of Architecture, I should probably get to work on my study guide. How did it become Week 9 already? I feel as though fall has passed me by.


  1. That first picture is great! I love it.

  2. The Grand Salon of the Château de Draveil is my favorite room at the Philadelphia Museum of Art. The hours I could spend there...