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Penn Museum Teaching & Research

An excavation of an ancient bakery in Abydos by archaeologists.

Advancing New Discoveries

The Penn Museum was established in 1887 with a groundbreaking act of archaeological field research–the first American expedition to ancient Babylonia to excavate the site of Nippur (now in modern-day Iraq). Since then, the Museum has undertaken over 300 research projects and continues an ambitious program of ongoing field work and research. Field work is at the heart of the Penn Museum’s mission to transform understanding of the human experience. Gifts to the Penn Museum Field Work Fund will support preservation of archaeological sites and new discoveries that shed light on our human past.

Three students posing with artifacts in a lab.

Academic Engagement for Penn Students

Harnessing the power of original artifacts, object-based learning is a student-centered approach shown in data to be a more effective method of learning than a lecture or talk. The Penn Museum’s Academic Engagement Program offers unique opportunities for students to engage closely with the more than one million objects and work in the Museum’s collections, laboratories, galleries, and field sites. Gifts to the Penn Museum Academic Engagement Program support Penn student learning from class visits to carrying out intensive research projects on individual artifacts to conducting archaeological field research across the globe, from curating special exhibitions to volunteering as docents.