April 16, 2016 – September 3, 2017 Protective amulets, incantation bowls, curse tablets, powerful rings, magical stones, and anatomical votives—these objects and more, once used by ancient peoples seeking to fulfill desires through supernatural means, are featured in Magic in the Ancient World.
On view through August 2017 Since its founding in 1887, the Penn Museum has featured scores of special exhibitions of archaeological and anthropological materials—each created with its own individual focus, style, and taste. Explore the records of these varied and vibrant exhibitions in Timely Exhibits of Interest to Everyone, a display of materials from the Penn Museum Archives. Timely Exhibits features catalogues, invitations, posters and dozens of photographs representing a century of Penn Museum exhibitions. Located in the second-floor Archives Corridor.
Discover the curious story of the ancient Egyptian city of Amarna (1353 to 1336 BCE), and its royal family, the "heretic" pharaoh Akhenaten, his wife, Nefertiti, and his famous son, Tutankhamun in Amarna: Ancient Egypt's Place in the Sun . A long-term exhibit in our Egyptian galleries, Amarna features more than 100 artifacts—some of which have never before been on display—including statuary of gods, goddesses and royalty, golden jewelry as well as personal items from the royal family. Gaze upon the impressive monumental wall relief depicting the solar deity Aten, whom Akhenaten declared Egypt’s sole deity after centuries of polytheistic worship. Come face to face with statues of the boy king, Tutankhamun, who would inherit his father’s experiment, but would oversee a return to traditional beliefs and practices until his early death at the age of 19.
Discover the process of evolution and its profound impact on humans in this highly interactive exhibition. In Human Evolution, 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. Explore the first 200 million years of human evolution in this rich exploration of physical anthropology and its relationship to evolutionary science.
The splendor of Byzantine Christian art—preserved through the ages in early Christian churches in both Constantinople, the capital of the Byzantine Empire, and the Cappadocia region of Turkey—is the focus of this expanded, large-scale photography exhibition.
Iraq's Ancient Past: Rediscovering Ur's Royal Cemetery tells the story of the discovery and excavation of the Royal Cemetery at Ur (2600-2500 BCE) in modern-day Iraq by Sir Leonard Woolley. The gallery showcases a famous gold and lapis lazuli bullheaded lyre, the "Ram in the Thicket" sculpture, and Lady Puabi's elaborate headdress and jewelry. This exhibition looks to the present and future as well, exploring the ongoing story of scientific inquiry and discovery made possible by the excavations, and the pressing issues around the preservation of Iraq's cultural heritage today.
March 26, 2016 – February 19, 2017 Kourion, one of the ancient cities of the island of Cyprus, is the subject of this small exhibition curated by students for the Penn “Year of Discovery”, which draws on extensive excavation records, including archival photos and video footage, and artifacts, from the Penn Museum’s excavations. Over the course of 20 years (excavations began in 1934 and continued with a war-time hiatus through 1954), Penn’s team discovered artifacts dating from the Neolithic period through Roman times—a 5,000 year span of human occupation. Today, scholars continue to build on these findings as new research and technologies lead to a deeper understanding of the people of ancient Cyprus.
March 1 through August 31, 2016 The early history of the Penn Museum’s archaeological investigations in ancient Mesopotamia (modern Iraq) is explored in this archival exhibition curated by Penn Museum Fellow Kamillia Scott. By means of letters, photographs, diaries, and drawings, visitors encounter the pioneering expeditions to Nippur (1889-1900) and Ur (1922-1934), which resulted in some of the most spectacular finds ever made by the Penn Museum, including the Temple Library at Nippur and the Royal Tombs of Ur. The Boys of Sumer features the stories of many individuals involved in the excavations (including Herman Hilprecht, John Henry Haynes, Osman Hamdi Bey, M. Louise Baker, Leonard Woolley, and even Agatha Christie), as well as rare early photographs of the Marsh Arabs of Iraq.
Exclusive World Premiere Exhibition | February 13 through November 27, 2016 What was behind the legendary story of King Midas and his Golden Touch? The historical King Midas lived in the prosperous city of Gordion, the political and cultural capital of the Phrygians nearly 3,000 years ago. In 1957, Penn Museum archaeologists excavated a spectacular royal tomb believed to be the final resting place of King Midas’ father Gordios. Dating to ca. 740 BCE, the tomb contained a treasure trove of magnificent objects from the time of Midas. This world-exclusive exhibition, developed by the Penn Museum in partnership with the Republic of Turkey, is your chance to view more than 120 dazzling objects, including those from the royal tomb, on special loan from Turkish museums in Ankara, Istanbul, Antalya, and Gordion.
Explore some of the diverse ways that human beings have understood sex and sexuality, gender and gender diversity in this small but broad new exhibition, presented in conjunction with the 2015-2016 Penn Humanities Forum on Sex. Thirty objects from the Museum’s vast international collections are presented in this survey; like the Native American pipe bag decorated with the Lakota two spirit, or third gender, the phallus-shaped ancient Roman bronze pendant, and the “love stick” from Micronesia, each object has a story of its own.