Penn Museum's Morton Collection of 19th Century Skulls
Penn Museum is home to the Morton Collection of skulls, a collection of almost 1,000 human skulls from all over the world, gathered and studied by Philadelphia physician Samuel George Morton (1799-1851). Though respected in his day for his objectivist scientific techniques, Morton’s data collection techniques were discredited in the 1980s by prominent scientist Stephen Jay Gould (1941-2002). A paper in the June 7, 2011 issue of the online journal PLoS Biology, written by a number of scholars including Jason Lewis (lead author) a former Penn student, and Dr. Janet Monge, Acting Curator and Keeper of the Physical Anthropology section of the Penn Museum, reestablishes Samuel Morton’s scientific integrity.

Photographs by Steven Minicola, University Communications
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