Fall 2005 Internet2 Member Meeting

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Gala Museum Reception and Program

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Gala Museum Reception and Program

Wednesday, 21 September 2005
6:30-9:30 pm

Hosted by the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Bridging the Ancient and Modern:
New Ways of Thinking about Archaeology and Anthropology Using Internet2


On 21 September 2005, the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archeology and Anthropology hosted a gala reception and presented a program highlighting new ways of thinking about Archaeology and Anthropology in a network-rich world. At 7pm and again at 8pm, museum Director, Dr. Richard Leventhal, welcomed attendees and presented live discussion with Museum experts Dr. Lucy Fowler Williams, and Dr. Janet Monge; and Karen Rosenberg, University of Delaware; anchorage2 Teri Rofkar, Tlingit Artist, Anchorage; and faculty from Cairo, Egypt.

Snacks and beverages were offered to attendees in the majestic Chinese Rotunda throughout the evening. The Rotunda is one of the largest unsupported masonry domes in the United States. It houses one of the finest collections of monumental Chinese art in the country.

Member meeting attendees at the gala were invited to explore all the galleries of the Museum which will remained open during the event. Trolleys were available to transport guests to and from the Museum.

Two demonstration stations, located in the galleries, welcomed guests all evening. In the Upper Egyptian Gallery, jaw2 CT Scanning of Mummies, was hosted by Dr. Janet Monge. Here, a virtual archive of major skeletal collections was presented. To date over 200 skulls and have been scanned and curated. The massive amount of data generated by these collections makes use of Internet2 advanced networking capabilities powered regionally by MAGPI, to make these valuable images available to researchers and faculty at institutions around the world. In the Chinese Rotunda, 3D Archaeological Structures from Subsurface Surveying were presented by Dr. Kostas Danilidis, and Dr. Alexei Vranich. Work investigating and developing methods for the recovery of underground structures was featured. The results will not only provide hints for further excavation but also 3D models that can be studied as if they were already excavated.

Photos courtesy of Dick Sacher, University of Delaware. Follow this link for a complete collection of photos featuring the onstage and backstage activities at the Museum.

Live Discussions Featured:

  • Lucy Fowler Williams, American Section, Museum Faculty
  • Janet Monge, University of Pennsylvania
  • Karen Rosenberg, University of Delaware
  • Kostas Danilidis, University of Pennsylvania
  • Alexi Vranich, University of Pennsylvania
  • Teri Rofkar, Tlingit Artist, Anchorage
  • Shelly Laws, Tlingit Artist, Anchorage
  • Jakov Radovcic, Archeologist and curator of the Zagreb Museum
  • Faculty at Cairo University

Program Info:

Using DVTS (Digital Video Transport System), Tlingit fiber artists Teri Rofkar and Shelly Laws of Anchorage, Alaska took a close look at Penn's 100 year old Tlingit textiles and baskets for inspiration and clues to help them in their contemporary weaving. Both artists are master craftsmen who have revived old styles of indigenous Northwest coast weaving using spruce root and wool. Inspired by the art of their ancestors, their contemporary robes and baskets are sought after by clan members for use as ceremonial regalia and by collectors and Museums alike. Teri Rofkar, who lives in Sitka, Alaska, is a highly acclaimed Tlingit artist and specializes in the old style Raven's Tail weaving technique.  Her sister, Shelly Laws of Anchorage, specializes in the more recent Chilkat weaving style. Through high-end DVTS over Internet2's Abilene network, these acclaimed artists in Anchorage were able to examine and discuss pieces from the Penn collection over 3000 miles away.

With Thanks for Their Support:

  • University of Alaska, Anchorage
  • University of Alaska, Fairbanks
  • University of Delaware
  • The Internet2 Commons
  • CARnet
  • Cairo University

Presenter Info:

Richard M. Leventhal, co-chair for the Internet2 Archaeology SIG, is the Director of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology and a Professor in the University of Pennsylvania Department of Anthropology.  He received his B.A. in 1974 and his Ph.D. in Anthropology from Harvard in 1979.  He has done extensive field research in Belize and other parts of Central America for over twenty-five years.  This fieldwork has resulted in several monographs and books on the ancient Maya. Richard's previous positions include President and CEO at the School of American Research in Santa Fe; Director of the Cotsen Institute of Archaeology at UCLA and Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, UCLA; Associate Professor, Department of Anthropology, University of New York at Albany, and Director of the Institute for Mesoamerican Studies at the same institution.  His professional activities include Trustee, Archaeological Institute of America. Community activities engaged in during his career include serving as Chief Archaeologist, Jason Project, JASON Foundation; Member, Advisory Board, Association for Belizean Archaeology, Belize City, Belize; Board of Directors, Albany Center Gallery, Albany, NY. Richard is an advisor to the Government of Belize on the development of a National Museum and also works with several Maya indigenous groups in Belize.

Lucy Fowler Williams is The Jeremy A. Sabloff Keeper of American Collections at the University of Pennsylvania Museum. Her current research focuses on historical and contemporary Pueblo textiles. She is the co-author, with Jo Ben Wheat, of A Burst of Brilliance: Navajo Weaving and Germantown, Pennsylvania (1994).  She has received grants and fellowships from the National Endowment for the Arts,the National Park Service, The School of American Research, the University of Pennsylvania Department of Anthropology, and the University Museum.  Her recent publications include a Guide to the North American Ethnographic Collections of the University of Pennsylvania Museum (2003) and the co-edited volume Native American Voices on Identity, Art, and Culture: Objects of Everlasting Esteem (2005).

Karen Rosenberg is a paleoanthropologist who has studied fossils all over the world.  She is particularly interested in the origin of modern humans, the behavior of Neandertals and the evolution of modern human childbirth. She received her PhD at the University of Michigan in 1986 and has taught at the Department of Anthropology at the University of Delaware (where she is currently chair) since 1987.

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