Is the End Near?

Penn Museum in Philadelphia Explores Origins of 2012 End of World Predictions
With Major New Exhibition MAYA 2012: Lords of Time
Advance Group Tickets on Sale Now

Maya 2012 logoPHILADELPHIA, PA —Did the Maya believe the world would end in December 2012? In MAYA 2012: Lords of Time—a major new exhibition opening next May—the Penn Museum in Philadelphia confronts the current fascination with the year 2012, comparing predictions of a world-transforming apocalypse with their supposed origins in the ancient Maya civilization.

MAYA 2012 leads visitors on a journey through the Maya's time-ordered universe, expressed through their intricate calendar systems, and the power wielded by their divine kings, the astounding "lords of time." Visitors explore the Maya world through interactive experiences and walk among sculptures and full-sized replicas of major monuments.

Read more: Is the End Near?

 

A Box of Discoveries: The Hershey Company Donates High Technology Equipment

Staff of the Penn Museum’s Biomolecular Archaeology Laboratory for Cuisine, Fermented Beer, and HealthPHILADELPHIA, PA, Summer 2011—It may look like a rather unassuming beige box, but the Fourier-transform infrared spectrometer (IR) is a vital piece of high technology scientific equipment, key to a host of exciting discoveries made, and no doubt to be made, at the Penn Museum.

That is why Dr. Patrick McGovern, Scientific Director of the Museum's Biomolecular Archaeology Laboratory, was so delighted to receive the June 2011 donation of a "new" used Fourier-transform IR from The Hershey Company of Hershey, PA, replacing their current instrument, donated by the Dupont company in the mid-1990's, and rapidly growing obsolete.

Read more: A Box of Discoveries: The Hershey Company Donates High Technology Equipment

 

IMAGINE AFRICA: New Year-Long Public Project Begins September 2011

How Do You Imagine Africa?
Penn Museum Invites Community Perspectives
in New Year-Long Project
September 18, 2011 through January 2013

Imagine AfricaPHILADELPHIA, PA—How do you imagine Africa? Do you see it as the home of powerful nations? Do you think of intricately carved masks or fine art? Maybe you're interested in the peoples living in Africa today.

Imagine Africa with the Penn Museum, a twelve-month project investigating community perspectives, launches Sunday, September 18.

Read more: IMAGINE AFRICA: New Year-Long Public Project Begins September 2011

 

Imagine Africa Fall 2011 Programming

Imagine Africa with the Penn Museum
Gallery Project and Fall Public Programs

 

Imagine AfricaFor the most updated information on programs offered at the Penn Museum, and for online pre-registration (optional or required for some programs) visit the Museum's website: www.penn.museum/calendar, or call (215) 898-2680. Imagine Africa with the Penn Museum is a year-long initiative. Additional Imagine Africa programs and updates will be posted online: www.penn.museum/imagineafrica.

Beginning September 18, 2011
Imagine Africa with the Penn Museum

Read more: Imagine Africa Fall 2011 Programming

 

Penn Museum September-October 2011 Calendar of Events

For the most updated information on programs offered at the Penn Museum, and for online pre-registration (optional or required for some programs) visit the Museum's website: www.penn.museum/calendar, or call (215) 898-2680.

September 11—An Afternoon Remembrance
Ten years to the day that two hijacked planes crashed into the twin towers of the World Trade Center in New York City, Penn Museum marks the solemn occasion with three special programs-two September 11, one October 12-and a powerful display, Excavating Ground Zero: Fragments of 9/11, on view August 20 through November 6, 2011. Join us as we remember-and reflect anew.

WorldTradeCenter_PMwebSeptember 11
Sunday, 1:00 pm
Afternoon Lecture
Making a Monument: The Fall and Rise of the World Trade Center
Minoru Yamasaki's design for the World Trade Center, unveiled in 1964, was harshly criticized, only gradually gaining a place in the hearts of New Yorkers and tourists alike in the years that followed the towers opening in 1972-73. After they were destroyed on September 11, 2001, the twin towers were lionized. Like monuments in all ages, the World Trade Center has had its meaning defined and changed several times in response to the needs, expectations, and memories of the people. Dr. David Brownlee, Shapiro-Weitzenhoffer Professor of the History of Art at Penn, recounts the story of the World Trade Center as he explores the making of monuments in the modern world. Admission: Pay-what-you-want.

Read more: Penn Museum September-October 2011 Calendar of Events

 

Penn Museum Special Exhibitions Fall 2011 through Spring 2012

GroundZeroPMwebExcavating Ground Zero: Fragments from 9/11
August 20 through November 6, 2011

In the weeks, months, and years following the events of September 11, 2001, archaeologists and physical anthropologists excavated the site of the World Trade Center in New York City. Penn Museum's special display features 15 poignant objects recovered at the site of Ground Zero including: eye glasses, a computer keyboard, glass from the Twin Towers, and visitor badges. Visitors can observe a Twin Towers memorial sculpture and image projections from the day of the attacks. A focal point of the display is a wall where visitors can share memories of September 11. Remember where you were that morning as you view the display of recovered fragments from Ground Zero, organized in conjunction with The National September 11 Memorial Museum. (Penn Museum offers special related programs September 11 and October 12) 3rd Floor Galleries

Read more: Penn Museum Special Exhibitions Fall 2011 through Spring 2012

 

Morton Collection of Skulls at Center of Controversy

Scientist Stephen Jay Gould's Accusations against Samuel Morton's Methodologies are Tested and Refuted
Penn Museum's Scientific Morton Collection of 19th Century Skulls 
Center of Controversy around History, Methodology of Science

Curators with the Morton CollectionPHILADEPHIA, PA—The scientific integrity of one 19th century Philadelphia scientist has been reaffirmed—but at the decided expense of a prominent late 20th century scientist who had discredited him.

Such was the conclusion reached by a group of anthropologists working collaboratively to re-examine, and perform anew, scientific measurements on a famous collection of nearly 1,000 skulls from around the world, the "American Golgotha" collected and studied by Philadelphia physician Samuel George Morton (1799-1851). Today, much of the collection resides at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in Philadelphia, where members of the anthropology team performed their analyses.

Read more: Morton Collection of Skulls at Center of Controversy

 

Discover the World--at Libraries and the Penn Museum this Summer

Penn Museum Collaborates with Free Library of Philadelphia Summer Reading Program
And Offers Outreach Programs at Select Libraries throughout Pennsylvania

FLPasswebWhen school lets out, summer reading is a crucial activity for children and young adults-who can lose up to three months of their reading skills during the vacation season if they stop reading. Library summer reading programs strive to encourage reading, and learning, for all ages.

DISCOVER THE WORLD Collaboration

This summer, the Free Library of Philadelphia's summer reading program theme is DISCOVER THE WORLD @ YOUR LIBRARY. The program runs June 20 through August 12, 2011. Penn Museum has partnered with the library system to extend the experience for children and youth, ages 6 through 18, who sign up for the reading program, by providing them each with a FREE PASS to continue their summer exploration in the Penn Museum's three floors of art and artifacts from cultures through time and around the world.

 

Read more: Discover the World--at Libraries and the Penn Museum this Summer

 

Penn Museum to Participate in Blue Star Museums

The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology one of more than 1,300 museums across America to offer free admission to military personnel and their families this summer

Battleground: War Rugs from Afghanistan now on view at the Penn MuseumPhiladelphia, May 23—Today the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology announces the launch of Blue Star Museums, a partnership with the National Endowment for the Arts, Blue Star Families, and more than 1,300 museums across America to offer free admission to all active duty military personnel and their families from Memorial Day through Labor Day 2011. Military personnel and their families need only to show valid military or military family ID. Leadership support has been provided by MetLife Foundation through Blue Star Families. The complete list of participating museums is available at www.arts.gov/bluestarmuseums.

Read more: Penn Museum to Participate in Blue Star Museums

 

Penn Museum and Indiana Jones and the Adventure of Archaeology

Penn Museum Partners with Lucasfilm, Ltd., Montreal's X3 Productions and the National Geographic Society To Present Indiana JonesTM and the Adventure of Archaeology

Indiana Jones and the Adventure of ArchaeologyMay 2011—The world premiere of Indiana JonesTM and the Adventure of Archaeology - The Exhibition opened at the Montreal Science Centre in Canada Thursday, April 28. While the exclusive collection of Indy props, models, concept art, and set designs are pure Hollywood, there is also a vast selection of artifacts, on display from the Penn Museum in Philadelphia, that help illustrate the science of archaeology.

The official website is www.indianajonestheexhibition.com

Read National Geographic's press release

Read more: Penn Museum and Indiana Jones and the Adventure of Archaeology

 

Penn Museum and the United Nations

Penn Museum's Alaskan Umiaq is Centerpiece of Exhibition
At the United Nations Headquarters in NYC

Penn Museum's umiaqPHILADELPHIA, PA May 2011—Penn Museum's largest object from Alaska—a 15-foot long Umiaq, or Iñupiaq boat—journeys to the United Nations Headquarters in New York City, where it takes center stage in a new exhibition, The Right to Water and Indigenous Peoples, May 16 through June 30, 2011. The exhibition, which marks the Tenth Session of the UN Permanent Forum on Indigenous Issues, highlights water's critical relevance to indigenous peoples' cultural vitality as well as their social and economic well being, and includes contributions from indigenous film and photographic artists from all over the world.

Read more on Penn's Year of Water website.

About the Umiaq
The Museum's Umiaq (15'1"L by 4'6"W by 1'7"H, object #29-47-5) is an Iñupiaq wooden frame boat covered with stretched walrus hide coated with seal oil, and dates to the late 19th-early 20th centuries. Sewn or spliced together without benefit of nails, which could rust and sink the boat, Umiaqs are still used by Iñupiaq people for hunting whales or for summer transport. They are easier to repair than aluminum boats and don't make metallic sounds that can frighten away whales.

Read more: Penn Museum and the United Nations

 

PM @ Penn Museum Summer Nights Returns June 22

PM @ Penn Museum PHILADELPHIA, PA 2011--The sounds of summer in West Philadelphia, on Penn's campus, just got sweeter! Penn Museum presents its second annual PM @ Penn Museum summer music series with a diverse line-up of outdoor performances taking place every Wednesday, June 22 through August 24, from 5:00 to 8:00 pm, in the Penn Museum's Warden Garden.

Read more: PM @ Penn Museum Summer Nights Returns June 22

 

Summer Wonder Family Programs Feature Music, Dancing and More!

capoieraPHILADELPHIA, PA 2011--This year's Summer Wonder series at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology will have children and their families belly dancing, listening to world music and the folk music of yesteryears, exploring ancient Greece, "journeying" to Uganda, discovering science through experiments-and more!

Summer Wonder 2011 programs run Wednesday mornings for eight weeks, June 22 through August 10, from 10:30 to 11:30 am. The programs are free with Museum admission donation. For more information or to pre-register groups of 10 or more (no pre-registration necessary for individuals and families), contact the Education department at (215) 746-6774 or This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. .

Read more: Summer Wonder Family Programs Feature Music, Dancing and More!

 

May and June 2011 Calendar of Events

For the most updated information on programs offered at the Penn Museum, and for on-line pre-registration (optional or required for some programs) visit the Museum's calendar.

Read more: May and June 2011 Calendar of Events

 

"Anthropologists in the Making" Summer Camp at the Penn Museum

Summer Day Camp for Children Ages 7 to 13
June 20 - August 12, 2011

Anthropologists in the Making campersPHILADELPHIA, PA—This summer, adventurous children ages 7 through 13 can experience a unique day camp that takes them through time and across continents at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology on Penn's campus in Philadelphia.

"Anthropologists in the Making," runs eight theme-oriented one-week sessions from June 20 through August 12, 2011. Details about the popular camp, coordinated by the Penn Museum's Community Engagement department, are online at www.penn.museum/camp. A downloadable registration form is also available.

Read more: "Anthropologists in the Making" Summer Camp at the Penn Museum

 

"Iraq's Ancient Past" Reopens Following Gallery Renovations April 30

IRAQ'S ANCIENT PAST: REDISCOVERING UR'S ROYAL CEMETERY
Reopens following Gallery Renovations Saturday April 30, at 1:00 pm

Penn Museum's World-renowned Mesopotamian Collection from Ur is the Centerpiece of this Exhibition Exploring Iraq's Ancient Cultural Heritage


Puabi_webPHILADELPHIA, PA Spring 2011—Following major renovations to the third floor west wing galleries—including the addition of central air conditioning, new windows, lighting enhancements and refurbishment to the terrazzo flooring and marble trim-Penn Museum reopens the wing to the public on Saturday, April 30 at 1:00 pm, with a ribbon cutting ceremony and an invitation to visit two timely exhibitions: Battleground: War Rugs from Afghanistan, a traveling exhibition making its United States debut, and Iraq's Ancient Past: Rediscovering Ur's Royal Cemetery—a long-term exhibition featuring the Museum's world renowned Mesopotamian collections from Ur, newly reinstalled.

“With America engaged in military operations in both Iraq and Afghanistan, these two exhibitions are especially relevant,” noted Dr. Richard Hodges, the Williams Director of the Penn Museum.  “Battleground provides a look at how one celebrated artistic tradition has been changed by war, while Iraq’s Ancient Past explores an extraordinary ancient culture and heritage now at great risk from modern-day looting.”

Iraq's Ancient Past: Rediscovering Ur's Royal Cemetery, an exhibition that features materials discovered at and excavated from the ancient Royal Cemetery at Ur, located in present-day Iraq, originally opened October 25, 2009. The exhibition has been closed during gallery renovations since July 2010.

Read more: "Iraq's Ancient Past" Reopens Following Gallery Renovations April 30

 

Gladiator Day, A PECO World Culture Event

Gladiator bouts take place at Penn Museum on APril 23

SPRING 2011-Penn Museum invites visitors to an afternoon exploring the history of the ancient Roman Empire's spectacular fighter--the gladiator. Gladiator Day features gladiatorial bouts and demonstrations, a gladiator lecture, gladiator-inspired arts and crafts, balloon art creations, a food demonstration, and Italian-inspired cuisine, on Saturday, April 23, from 1:00 to 4:00 pm, throughout the galleries of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. A PECO World Culture Day, the Celebration is FREE with Museum admission donation ($10 for adults; $7 for seniors [65+]; $6 for full-time students [with ID] and children [6-17]; free for Museum members, children under 6, and PennCard holders).

Read more: Gladiator Day, A PECO World Culture Event

 

"Theater of War" at the Penn Museum Saturday, April 2

"Theater of War" is Presented for First Time in Philadelphia Saturday, April 2, 1:30 pm

David Strathairn, photo by PaxtonWinterPHILADELPHIA, PA, March 15, 2011—Theater of War Productions, a social impact company that presents readings of ancient Greek plays for military service members and civilians, offers its first Philadelphia performance at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology in the Harrison auditorium on Saturday, April 2, 2011 at 1:30 pm. The program, co-sponsored with the Philadelphia VA Medical Center, the Department of Classics at the University of Pennsylvania, and the People's Light & Theatre company, is FREE to all military service members, veterans, and the general public.

Read more: "Theater of War" at the Penn Museum Saturday, April 2

 

"Battleground: War Rugs from Afghanistan" Makes U.S. Debut Here April 30, 2011

Penn Museum Presents Battleground: War Rugs from Afghanistan
April 30 through July 31, 2011


Afghan War RugPHILADELPHIA, PA Spring 2011—Battleground: War Rugs from Afghanistan, a traveling exhibition organized by the Textile Museum of Canada, makes its United States debut at the Penn Museum in Philadelphia, where it will be on display beginning Saturday, April 30 at 1:00 pm, through July 31, 2011. Dr. Brian Spooner, Curator, Near East Section of the Penn Museum and an anthropologist who specializes in Afghanistan and oriental rugs, offers an opening day introductory lecture, following an official ribbon cutting ceremony for the exhibition, and the reopening of Iraq's Ancient Past: Rediscovering Ur's Royal Cemetery, at 1:00 pm.

There have never been rugs like this before.

Read more: "Battleground: War Rugs from Afghanistan" Makes U.S. Debut Here April 30, 2011

 

Along the Silk Road, a PECO World Culture Day

The Silk Road Dance Co performs Sat., Mar 26PHILADELPHIA--Penn Museum celebrates the final days of its landmark exhibition from China, Secrets of the Silk Road, with an event for all ages: Along the Silk Road on Saturday, March 26th from 11:00 am to 4:00 pm. This PECO World Culture Day brings Silk Road cultures vividly to life with music and dance performances, a tea tasting and talk, dance and craft workshops, lectures by acclaimed writers and scholars, children's activities, a self-guided Silk Road tour, and a grand finale dance performance. The celebration is free with Museum admission donation ($10 general admission; $7 senior citizens [65+]; $6 students [with ID] and children [6 to 17]; free for children under 6, members, and PennCard holders). Visitors who wish to see Secrets of the Silk Road, open with artifacts from China through March 28 only, can buy advance, special timed tickets which include entry to the Museum and the special event (online: www.penn.museum/silkroad or by phone: (877) 77-CLICK). Visitors may purchase tickets at the Museum that day, while supplies last.

Read more: Along the Silk Road, a PECO World Culture Day

 

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