Open today 10 am – 5 pm

We’re planning for a palace. See this gallery before it closes November 6, 2023 in preparation for new Ancient Egypt and Nubia Galleries.

Mummy Mask, 300-250 BCE, 53-20-1A.

Explore the extraordinary world of the pharaohs and the timeless cultural legacy of ancient Egypt and Nubia. This gallery highlights a remarkable collection of statues, reliefs, and intricate artifacts, providing insight into the art, religion, and daily practices of the ancient Egyptians. From spectacular statues of powerful pharaohs and goddesses to delicate jewelry and exquisitely decorated coffins, each object reflects this vibrant and complex society that thrived along the Nile River. Unravel the mysteries of the afterlife, the significance of hieroglyphs, and the fine craftsmanship of ancient artisans.

For over a century, archaeologists from the Penn Museum have conducted fieldwork in Egypt and Sudan. These early excavations played a significant role in establishing the museum's collection of Egyptian and Nubian artifacts––one of the largest in the U.S... Most of the Egyptian collection is comprised of excavated objects obtained through the partage system wherein foreign archaeological expeditions working in Egypt shared the discoveries made during excavations with Egypt’s Antiquities Service. The Egyptian collection spans the entirety of ancient Egypt's history, ranging from approximately 4000 BCE to the 7th century CE.

Gallery contains human remains.

Please Note: This gallery contains human remains.

Please Note

The Upper Egypt Gallery be be closed from 10:00 am - 2:30 pm on October 3 and 4.

What's On View
Heroic seated statue of Ramses II. A stone temple door socket in the shape of a prisoner lying on his stomach with his arms bound behind him. Funerary stelae such as this one were set up inside chapels dedicated to the deceased. Hollow cast bronze statue of a seated cat, with gold leaf applied to eyes. Lintel with winged sun disk and three lines of inscription. The cartouches of Tuthmosis III and defaced cartouches of Queen Hatshepsut.

Found at the temple of the ram-headed god Herishef, this statue once depicted an earlier king before being re-carved to resemble Ramses II who reigned for more than 60 years (circa 1290–1224 BCE). He is depicted wearing the nemes headdress adorned with a uraeus, a rearing cobra, on his forehead and a bull's tail between his legs––royal symbols reserved only for the pharaoh. Hieroglyphs adorning the throne bear the names of Ramses II, but note the carving error on the left side––evidence that typos have been around since ancient times! E635

This 5,000-year-old door socket from a temple at Hierakonpolis takes the form of a defeated enemy lying face down, his arms securely tied behind his back. When the door swung open or closed, the captive enemy would be symbolically crushed, invoking the ancient Egyptian king's reigning power over Egypt's adversaries. This object also carried a magical significance as it served as a threat to Egypt’s enemies. E3959

Funerary stelae were placed within tomb chapels and often featured representations of the deceased and their family members as well as inscriptions of prayers for offerings in the afterlife. At the top of this stela, the deceased man Shuamay and his wife worship the gods Osiris, Isis, and their son, Horus. The left side illustrates the coffins of the deceased undergoing the sacred "Opening of the Mouth" ritual that precedes burial. At the bottom, Shuamay sits with his ba (represented as a human-headed bird) while the goddess Nut, symbolized by the sycamore tree, pours water as an offering to Shuamay. 40-19-2

Cats held a position of great reverence in ancient Egyptian culture. Among several deities associated with feline forms, the most popular was Bastet, a protective domestic goddess who cared for children in the house as mother cats do with their kittens. A popular votive gift, this hollow bronze statue may have served as a vessel for a mummified cat. E14284

Among the few female rulers of ancient Egypt was Queen Hatshepsut of the 18th Dynasty. She reigned for around 20 years, sharing power with her nephew, the pharaoh Tuthmosis III. After her death, her images were defaced, and her name was systematically removed from monuments. On this lintel originally above a doorway, the name of Tuthmosis III has remained intact, while Hatshepsut’s was intentionally hacked away––a deliberate attempt to erase her memory from history. E1823

View all objects on display in this gallery.

Granite Sphinx of Rameses II.

The Granite Sphinx of Ramses II

On view in the Sphinx Gallery

Excavated by W. M. Flinders Petrie in 1912 near the Ptah Temple at Memphis, the Penn Museum's 13-ton sphinx is the largest sphinx in the Western Hemisphere and the fourth largest outside of Egypt.

Learn More
A family in the Egypt Gallery.

Egypt Gallery Tours

See it Before It Closes

To make way to for this multi-year transformation, the current Egypt Gallery will close to the public starting November 6, 2023. Don't miss this opportunity to explore the extraordinary world of the pharaohs and the timeless cultural legacy of ancient Egypt and Nubia.

Close up of papyrus scroll.

Special Exhibitions

Ancient Egypt: From Discovery to Display

From excavation to conservation, examine the journey artifacts take on their way to museum display. See more than 200 fascinating Egyptian artifacts, many of which have never been on view before.

Wedjat eye amulet.

Write Like an Egyptian

Translate your name into hieroglyphs the way an Egyptian scribe might have written it.