University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Cultures in the Crossfire was open from April 8, 2017 through November 25, 2018 Nimrud. Aleppo. Palmyra. Ebla. These ancient sites and many others in Iraq and Syria have found their way to the top of international news today, as the destruction of cultural heritage becomes both a by-product and a tactic of ongoing war.


"What in the World?" was open from September 8, 2017 through September 2, 2018. Penn Museum Archives’ new exhibition, offered in conjunction with the University of Pennsylvania Provost Office’s Year of Innovation, looks back at the pioneering Penn Museum television program “What in the World?” which aired on WCAU Philadelphia for more than a decade, and was syndicated nationally by CBS from 1951 to 1955. By means of photographs, letters, and other documents, as well as video clips from the few surviving episodes, the exhibition looks back at the highly original game show, offered to the public in the early days of television. Hosted by Penn Museum Director Froelich Rainey, the program featured a changing panel of experts from diverse fields, including such famous people as actor Vincent Price, artist Jacques Lipschitz, and anthropologist Carleton Coon, who worked together to puzzle out where in the world an artifact from the Museum’s collections came from. Second floor Archives Corridor.


Imagine Africa was open from September 18, 2011 through September 2, 2018. How do you imagine Africa? Do you see it as the home of powerful nations? Do you think of intricately carved masks or fine art? Maybe you’re interested in the peoples living in Africa today.


The Egypt (Sphinx) Gallery is closed. The new Ancient Egypt & Nubia Galleries will open as a part of our Building Transformation. Through its closing in July 2018 in preparation for new galleries, visitors to the Egypt (Sphinx) Gallery were able to view one of the finest collections of Egyptian architecture on display in the United States. Dominating this impressive gallery was the collection’s iconic centerpiece—a thirteen-ton, red granite Sphinx of Ramesses II, 19th Dynasty, circa 1293-1185 BCE. Surrounding it were the gateway, columns, doorways and windows from the best preserved royal palace ever excavated in Egypt. The palace was built for the New Kingdom pharaoh Merenptah (r. 1213-1204 BCE) at the city of Memphis in Lower Egypt. The Penn Museum is the only museum in the world to exhibit such a significant portion of an Egyptian royal palace; in its reinstallation in the new Ancient Egypt & Nubia Galleries, the palace will be on display at full height in the upper Gallery.


Objects Speak: Media Through Time was open from March 17, 2017 through March 25, 2018. This student-curated exhibition features 17 objects, drawn from the Penn Museum’s collection and spanning more than four millennia, that impart messages expressing power, influence, and status through diverse media. Presented in conjunction with the University of Pennsylvania’s Year of Media, the exhibition makes connections between media of the past and of today. Second floor elevator lobby.


The Making and Unmaking of Race was open from September 2, 2017 through January 29, 2018. Is there such a thing in humans called race?


Magic in the Ancient World was open from 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.


Timely Exhibits of Interest to Everyone was open from November 2016 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.


Amarna: Ancient Egypt's Place in the Sun was open from November 12, 2006 through June 18, 2017. 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.


Human Evolution: The First 200 Million Years was open from September 18, 2011 through June 18, 2017. 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.


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