University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Archives Photo of the Week: Sphinx

By: Eric Schnittke

Sphinx of Ramesses II en route to Cairo
Penn Museum Image #243700

You may have to squint, but this week’s archives photo of the week is still important. This image is the only known photograph of the Penn Museum’s Sphinx en route to Cairo for shipping to Philadelphia. The photo was sent by Flinders Petrie┬áto then museum director George Byron Gordon. The 15-ton statue of Ramesses II sailed to Philadelphia 100 years ago and the Penn Museum became home to the largest Sphinx in the Western Hemisphere.

In honor of the Sphinx’s arrival, the museum is celebrating it with Hijinks with the Sphinx. Come join us in celebration and you can see the Sphinx for yourself. Trust me, it’s less blurry than in the photo.

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