The Egypt (Sphinx) Gallery houses one of the finest collections of Egyptian architecture on display in the United States. A 15-ton red granite sphinx, the largest in the Western Hemisphere, dominates the gallery. There is also a display of materials from the beginnings of Egyptian history in the Amarna Gallery, and the founding of a unified country of Upper and Lower Egypt, including ivory tags that bear examples of some of the earliest hieroglyphs found in Egypt, dating from more than 5,000 years ago. The Islamic Near East Gallery houses material that comes from the central lands of the Islamic world: Iraq, Iran, Syria, Turkey, and Egypt.
The Penn Museum hosts special exhibitions in the Merle-Smith Galleries. Currently on display is Sacred Spaces: The Photography of Ahmet Ertug. The special exhibition Making and Unmaking Race formed part of the University of Pennsylvania's recent Year of Sound theme.
The North America Gallery currently features Native American Voices: The People—Here and Now, a long-term interactive exhibition. Leave preconceptions behind and discover a living tapestry of Nations with distinct stories, histories, and identities.
The Mexico & Central America Gallery introduces you to the pre-Colombian civilizations of Mesoamerica, which flourished before the Spanish Conquest. Major traditions represented here include those of central and western Mexico, the Gulf Coast, Oaxaca, the highland and lowland Maya of Yucatan, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, and a variety of Central American cultures.
The Africa Gallery includes objects from Morocco to South Africa and everywhere in between. The current gallery contains approximately 360 artifacts dating from the 16th to the 20th centuries. This gallery is complemented by the special exhibition Imagine Africa with the Penn Museum.
Discover the process of evolution and its profound impact on humans in the highly interactive exhibition Human Evolution: The First 200 Million Years, where visitors have an opportunity to engage with a variety of multi-media programs, as well as view and touch more than 100 casts of fossil bones from primate and human evolutionary records.
The Penn Museum hosts special exhibitions in the Kintner and Dietrich Galleries.
Developed in conjunction with the Penn Humanities Forum's 2014–2015 theme, The Year of Color, this special exhibit draws upon more than 25 objects from the Penn Museum collection to explore the human phenomenon of valuing and "collecting color"—colored stone—through the ages.
The Classical World Galleries focus on Etruscan Italy, Greece, and Rome, and offer more than one thousand ancient artifacts – including marble and bronze sculptures, jewelry, metalwork, mosaics, glass vessels, gold and silver coins, and pottery.
The Penn Museum holds nearly 25,000 artifacts from the area that encompasses modern Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, Jordan and Lebanon, and parts of Syria, the largest collection of artifacts from this region. A sampling is on display in the Canaan & Israel Gallery.
The Japan and China Galleries occupy the Museum's Harrison Wing and Rotunda, which contains one of the largest unsupported masonry domes in the United States (the roof of Harrison Auditorium that supports the floor of the China Gallery). The galleries house one of the finest collections of monumental Chinese and Japanese art in the country, covering some 4,000 years of history.
The Egypt (Mummies) Gallery displays carved reliefs, stone coffins, and 3-dimensional sculpture that testifies to the superb craftsmanship of Egyptian artists and sculptors throughout that country's long history. Explore human and animal mummies, tomb artifacts, and funerary objects and materials used in the mummification process in the Egyptian Mummy: Secrets and Science Gallery. Learn about the ancient Egyptian belief in an afterlife, and the complex funerary practices they developed over thousands of years.
Part exhibition, and part working laboratory, In the Artifact Lab: Conserving Egyptian Mummies, is a glass-enclosed conservation lab that brings you right into a museum conservator’s world. See the tools of the trade and watch as conservators work on a wide array of Egyptian objects including rare paintings, ancient funerary objects, and, of course, mummies!