University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Confronting Death at the Penn Museum

This is me, up-close and personal with our mummy Nespekashuti.

By: Molly Gleeson

After three years of working on ancient Egyptian mummies In the Artifact Lab, I’ve gotten used to being around death every day. And, in reality, all of us here at the Museum are surrounded by death – many artifacts in our collection were excavated from tombs and relate to funerary practices and provide intimate connections […]

Archives Photo of the Week: Mummy Bundles


By: Eric Schnittke

This week’s photo of the week comes from Pachacamac in Peru. The Penn Museum excavations at Pachacamac were led by Max Uhle, a German philologist and archaeologist who was continuing the work that he had undertaken for the Ethnological Museum of Berlin. Uhle’s explorations of South America lasted from 1895 to 1897. Featured in the image are […]

Special visitor in the Artifact Lab

Photo from the 1972 autopsy. Dr. Michael Zimmerman (left) cuts into the mummy's wrappings with a Stryker saw, assisted by Dr. Aidan Cockburn (center) and Dr. Al Ryman (right).

By: Molly Gleeson

If you ask me, there is always something interesting going on in the Artifact Lab, and yesterday was no exception. If you have been following the Artifact Lab blog, you will know that we have been working on one of the mummies in our collection, who we refer to as PUM I. PUM stands for […]

Coming Soon: Shabti Display

By: Gabrielle Niu

The Penn Museum’s Egyptian Mummy exhibition will soon include a new display highlighting the museum’s shabti collection. Shabtis – small, funerary figurines, either mummiform or in civilian dress – were important components of Egyptian funerary culture from the New Kingdom (ca. 1550 – 1070) onwards. Shabtis were believed to help perform labor for the tomb […]

Exhibiting “Secrets of the Silk Road”

By: Gabrielle Niu

The Penn Museum’s Exhibits Department has been developing the interactive features for the Secrets of the Silk Road exhibition opening February 5th! Watch this video for a sneak peek into the exhibition and click here to see photos of the department at work.

For the good of the exhibit

By: Allison Francies

Down in the exhibits department, we’ve been busily working on the upcoming Secrets of the Silk Road exhibit. There is a lot to create, coordinate, and figure out with an exhibit this size. One thing we really wanted to focus on for this exhibit was adding experiences where the visitors can interact with the exhibit. […]

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