American Section Collection Highlights


The collections of the American Section are the largest of the Penn Museum, numbering approximately 300,000 archaeological and ethnographic specimens. They span the continents of North and South America from Alaska to Argentina, and documenthuman habitation and history from the ancient past to the present day. More than half the specimens are archaeological in nature, and most were acquired on more than 100 archaeological and ethnographic collecting expeditions initiated by Museum and University faculty and staff as early as 1895.


The collections holds objects of everyday life, such as weapons and tools, hunting and fishing equipment, boats, clothing, medicines, raw materials, musical instruments, ornaments, toys and games, household utensils, and ceremonial items. In addition to objects acquired through research, many items came to the Section through donations, which continue today. We actively collect North America items as opportunities arise. The most varied components of our American holdings are the North American ethnographic collections, approximately 40,000 specimens attributed to 200 tribes and organized by geographic region: Arctic, Sub-Arctic, Northwest Coast, Plateau, California, Great Basin, Southwest, Great Plains, Southeast, and Northeast. The strongest collections are those systematically created via study and expedition in Alaska, the Northwest Coast, Southwest, Southeast, and Sub- arctic regions.

1 - 20 of 22 Objects
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SA1835
SA771
42-35-190
38-14-1
Pot
SA1835
View Object | 52841
Headdress
SA771
View Object | 53254
Blouse
42-35-190
View Object | 26212
Vase
38-14-1
View Object | 71751

39-20-9
L-16-382
Object On Display
53-1-17
Object On Display
31-29-13
Effigy Vessel
39-20-9
View Object | 26214
Stela
L-16-382
View Object | 53256
Lacrosse Stick
53-1-17
View Object | 153588
House Post
31-29-13
View Object | 53656

SA4627
38251A
40-13-11
NA3881B
Object On Display
Effigy Vessel
SA4627
View Object | 53266
War Shirt
38251A
View Object | 153148
Plaque
40-13-11
View Object | 53277
Powder Charger
NA3881B
View Object | 153635

NA3881A
Object On Display
NA3882
Object On Display
39-8-33
29-77-703
Finger Mask
NA3881A
View Object | 153397
Finger Mask
NA3882
View Object | 153807
Rug
39-8-33
View Object | 56110
Seed Jar
29-77-703
View Object | 53272

36-19-26
NA11783
36-19-16
Object On Display
36-19-2
Object On Display
Folsom Point
36-19-26
View Object | 131128
Tunghak Mask
NA11783
View Object | 153519
Folsom Point
36-19-16
View Object | 153307
Clovis Projectile Point
36-19-2
View Object | 153446

1 - 20 of 22 Objects
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