logo
OPEN TODAY 10:00AM to 5:00PM

For coherent viewing, the following lecture series and playlists group films and videos together around specific topics.

Lecture Series

close up of foot of foo lion

Great Stuff Lecture Series

Stuff. It fills our homes, offices, minds, and bodies. It can be defined as a collection of belongings, ideas, expertise, and much, much more. With roughly one million objects in our care, the Penn Museum is filled with great stuff. The 2018–2019 Great Lecture Series explores select objects and ideas housed within our Museum.

Lotus Mahal at Hampi

Rise of the City Lecture Series

What is a city? How do religion, politics, and environments effect the growth and development of cities? Throughout history some cities have thrived while others have perished. Join the Penn Museum on the first Wednesday evening of each month, October through June, for our popular "Great Lecture Series: Great Rise of the City". Explore what makes a city a city in diverse regions of the world, from Greece to Mexico to China to the Middle East and even your own backyard.

depiction of anzu the lion headed eagle

Great Beasts of Legend Lecture Series

Throughout history, great beasts and monsters fabled or not have terrorized, enchanted, and eluded humans. Join leading Penn scholars on an exploration of some of the best stories from the around the world, and meet some memorable beasts, including Centaurs, Hobbits, and Sphinxes. (October 2016 through June 2017)

christ stilleth the tempest by john martin

Great Voyages Lecture Sereies

Take an armchair journey across exotic lands and seas with 'Great Voyages: Travels, Triumphs, and Tragedies,' lectures occured between October 2013 through June 2014. Renowned scholars, including Oceanographer Robert Ballard, Penn Classical Studies Associate Professor Peter Struck, and Penn Museum Curator Clark Erickson, share tales of epic journeys drawn from thousands of years of human history. Lecturers explore voyages as varied as those of the legendary Gilgamesh, the tragic sinking of the Titanic, and Magellan's circumnavigation of the Earth.

view of santorini from above

Great Riddles in Archaeology Lecture Series

From the knights of King Arthur's roundtable to the deepest depths of Atlantis, some of the world's greatest archaeological riddles have eluded us for centuries. Discover and explore these mind-boggling riddles in this season of the Penn Museum's popular monthly lecture series presented by current archaeologists and scholars. Lectures occured between October 2011 and June 2012.

the merchants break the rocs egg from le magasin pitoresque

Great Myths and Legends Lecture Series

Amazonian warrior women, Genghis Khan, even King Midas and his golden touch — all have their moment in the spotlight with the Penn Museum's popular Great Myths and Legends evening lecture series, featuring leading scholars from the Penn Museum, the University of Pennsylvania, and beyond. Lectures occured between October 2015 and June 2016.

the great wall of china

Great Wonders Lecture Series

Learn about the seven wonders of the world and other great monuments of archaeological interest. Lectures occured between October 2015 and June 2016.

the battle of gettysburg by henry alexander ogden

Great Battles Lecture Series

Experience the moments in time that changed history with the Penn Museum's Great Battles lecture series. Lectures occured between October 2012 and June 2013.

Tamurlane's Samarkand

Great Adventures Along the Silk Road

From mummies to Marco Polo to military warfare to the Black Death. Explore the many adventures the Silk Road has to offer in this lecture series which occured from October 2010 to June 2011.


Playlists

collection of artifacts in the middle east galleries

The Middle East Galleries

The 4,500-year-old crowning jewelry of a Mesopotamian queen. One of the world’s oldest wine vessels. A baby’s rattle. A school child’s first writing primer. A workman’s tool. The very first spreadsheet. Through these fascinating objects and over 1,200 more, the Penn Museum’s new Middle East Galleries will take you on a journey, exploring how ancient Mesopotamian societies gave rise to the world’s first cities—cities not so different from our own.

lecturer and slide

The World of Phrygian Gordion, Royal City of Midas

Gordion is one of the most important archaeological sites in the Near East, and since 1950, it has been extensively investigated by the University of Pennsylvania and other institutions, in over 30 annual excavation campaigns.

screen grab from what in the world

What in the World?

On each What in the World?® program, four or five unidentified objects were presented to a panel of experts who were asked to guess what each piece was, where it came from, how old it was, and how it was used. Objects were selected from storerooms and had never before been seen by the panel. Before the experts guessed, the audience was told what the object was, and, during the course of the program, could watch the thought processes of real --and often fallible!-- anthropologists and archaeologists. After they had completed their identification, the moderator, Froelich Rainey, Director of the Museum, told them whether they were right and if not, gave the correct identification.

monkeys in tikal

Tikal Expedition Collection (Archival Footage)

Due to its inaccessible location in the jungles of the Petén, Guatemala, the great Maya city of Tikal was only briefly visited by explorers until the Museum organized a large-scale project of excavation and restoration with the assistance of the Guatemalan government. Beginning in 1956, under the successive leadership of Edwin Shook, Robert H. Dyson, Jr., and William R. Coe, archaeological investigations cleared many of the important buildings and revealed the dynastic, architectural, and settlement history of one of the most important Maya cities.

part of the wax casting process for silver

Ethiopia from the Watson Kintner Collection

Watson Kintner (1890-1979) was a Chemical Engineer with the Radio Corporation of America (RCA), where he was an early pioneer in the standardization of the vacuum tube. Over a period of 36 years he traveled to more than 30 individual countries, beginning in 1933. This subset of his travel films is from Ethiopia.

woman spinning on the roadside

Ecuador from the Watson Kintner Collection

Watson Kintner (1890-1979) was a Chemical Engineer with the Radio Corporation of America (RCA), where he was an early pioneer in the standardization of the vacuum tube. Over a period of 36 years he traveled to more than 30 individual countries, beginning in 1933. This subset of his travel films is from Ecuador.

sculptor making clay figure

Japan from the Watson Kintner Collection

Watson Kintner (1890-1979) was a Chemical Engineer with the Radio Corporation of America (RCA), where he was an early pioneer in the standardization of the vacuum tube. Over a period of 36 years he traveled to more than 30 individual countries, beginning in 1933. This subset of his travel films is from Japan.

shot of petra in jordan

Jordan from the Watson Kintner Collection

Watson Kintner (1890-1979) was a Chemical Engineer with the Radio Corporation of America (RCA), where he was an early pioneer in the standardization of the vacuum tube. Over a period of 36 years he traveled to more than 30 individual countries, beginning in 1933. This subset of his travel films is from Jordan.

weaving by hand

Cyprus from the Watson Kintner Collection

Watson Kintner (1890-1979) was a Chemical Engineer with the Radio Corporation of America (RCA), where he was an early pioneer in the standardization of the vacuum tube. Over a period of 36 years he traveled to more than 30 individual countries, beginning in 1933. This subset of his travel films is from Cyprus.

amphora decorated with scenes from the trojan war

Highlights of the Galleries Tour in Sign Language

Watch actor and comedian, CJ Jones, as he takes you on a tour of Penn Museum's Galleries.

street scene of Ghorfas

Tunisia from the Watson-Kintner Collection

Watson Kintner (1890-1979) was a Chemical Engineer with the Radio Corporation of America (RCA), where he was an early pioneer in the standardization of the vacuum tube. Over a period of 36 years he traveled to more than 30 individual countries, beginning in 1933. This subset of his travel films is from Tunisia.

mosque dome

Afghanistan from the Watson Kintner Collection

Watson Kintner (1890-1979) was a Chemical Engineer with the Radio Corporation of America (RCA), where he was an early pioneer in the standardization of the vacuum tube. Over a period of 36 years he traveled to more than 30 individual countries, beginning in 1933. This subset of his travel films is from Afghanistan.

woman with children and boat on the beach

Iran from the Watson Kintner Collection

Watson Kintner (1890-1979) was a Chemical Engineer with the Radio Corporation of America (RCA), where he was an early pioneer in the standardization of the vacuum tube. Over a period of 36 years he traveled to more than 30 individual countries, beginning in 1933. This subset of his travel films is from Iran.

bowls and plates of meat

Pakistan from the Watson Kintner Collection

Watson Kintner (1890-1979) was a Chemical Engineer with the Radio Corporation of America (RCA), where he was an early pioneer in the standardization of the vacuum tube. Over a period of 36 years he traveled to more than 30 individual countries, beginning in 1933. This subset of his travel films is from Pakistan.

embroidery on skirt edge

Machu Picchu and Peru

Films from various places in Peru including Machu Pichu, Cuzco Sacsayhuaman Market and Lima among others. The films in this list were shot between 1936 and 1950 by Watson Kintner and Arthur and Kate Tode.

elephants carrying logs

Ceylon from the Watson Kintner Collection

Watson Kintner (1890-1979) was a Chemical Engineer with the Radio Corporation of America (RCA), where he was an early pioneer in the standardization of the vacuum tube. Over a period of 36 years he traveled to more than 30 individual countries, beginning in 1933. This subset of his travel films is from Ceylon.

hand painting a cart

Turkey

Footage from various times and trips to Turkey.

chinggis khan liquor

Mongolia

Footage and interviews from Mongolia, taking place in the year 2000

title slide from lecture series

Science and Race: History, Use and Abuse

Each Science and Race class features a panel of four to six experts, with questions led by moderators (including from public radio WHYY and African American talk radio WURD). Discussions on race are presented through the lenses of anthropology, biology, genetics, sociology, philosophy, and law. With each session, students engage in collection workshops featuring the Museum’s renowned Samuel Morton collection of more than 1,000 human crania collected from around the world in the 1800s.

Engaging Conservation: Collaboration Across Disciplines

The Conservation Department of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology (Penn Museum) celebrated its 50th anniversary in the Fall of 2016. To commemorate the establishment of the department, the Penn Museum is hosted a symposium on issues relating to archaeology, anthropology, and conservation. Made possible with generous support from the Kowalski Family Foundation, the symposium will explore how conservation of these materials has evolved over the past half century, the ways in which conservators may inform and support the work of archaeologists and anthropologists, and the development of cross-disciplinary engagement.

tang dynasty ceramic camels

The Silk road Symposium (2011)

The Penn Museum held a public symposium, the first major event in over fifteen years to focus on the history of the Silk Road and the origins of the mysterious Tarim Basin mummies. Since the last milestone conference was held on the topic at the Penn Museum in 1996, new archeological discoveries and scholarly advances have been made, creating a need to critically reshape the very idea of the Silk Road. Major topics of discussion include ancient transportation and economies, the origins of early westerners in Central Asia, the excavations of textiles in Xinjiang, and a reinvestigation of the Tarim Basin mummies. Distinguished speakers included David W. Anthony, Elizabeth Wayland Barber, Peter Brown, Michael D. Frachetti, Philip L. Kohl, Victor Mair, J.P. Mallory, Joseph G. Manning, and Colin Renfrew.