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Notice for Collections Content
These records describe cultural and historical items that may be culturally sensitive. Some records may document human remains; others may contain names, images, or recordings of deceased individuals or include information or language that is outdated, offensive, or incorrect. These are based on past collecting practices and interpretations, which may not reflect current views and values of the Penn Museum.
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2021-2022 Lecture Series
Throughout history, there have been outstanding leaders and change-makers that have guided societies through times of great difficulty and triumph. Explore the stories behind a diverse mix of revolutionaries who brought dramatic change to their societies from ancient times to today.Watch Series
Located in the marshes of southern Mesopotamia, in modern-day Iraq, Nippur was one of the most sacred cities in the ancient Middle East. Between 1889 and 1900, the University of Pennsylvania was the first American institution to carry out archaeological excavations in this region. It revealed a multi-layer site with a long and complicated history, and, most significantly, a library of inscribed cuneiform tablets that have formed the basis of our understanding of the first literate society in the world, the Sumerians.
Located in southern Iraq, Ur was one of the most famous archaeological excavations during the early 20th century. The work at Ur brought the magic of archaeology to life, particularly by tying the discoveries into familiar biblical stories. Between 1922 and 1934, the Joint Expedition of the British Museum and the Penn Museum uncovered some of the most well-known and celebrated art from ancient Mesopotamia.