Housing one of the world’s greatest collections of ancient artifacts from around the world, the Museum illustrates the human story: who we are and where we came from. Get the most out of your trip to the Penn Museum and add-on a guided tour of our galleries. Tours can accommodate up to thirty people and are one-hour long.
Our Signature and Special Exhibitions are place-based – take a themed gallery tour to travel to another place and time. Tour guides and gallery availability are subject to change.
Closing November 2018!
This new exhibition, created in conjunction with the Penn Cultural Heritage Center, sheds light on the ongoing destruction of cultural heritage in the Middle East by showing what’s at stake—the rich history of the region and the diversity of its people—and what’s being done to prevent the loss of this history and cultural identity. Fascinating ancient art and artifacts from the Penn Museum’s extensive Near East collection tells the stories of the cultures of Syria and Iraq through time.
Closing September 4, 2017!
Are people who used magic in the ancient world so different from people today? Deeply entwined with science and religion, magic was a real and everyday part of life for many ancient peoples around the world. Ancient magic addressed many of the dreams, hopes, and passions humans grapple with today: desire for health and wellbeing, protection from evil—even revenge.
Fascinating artifacts, many from the colonial period of this diverse continent, include masks, staffs, musical instruments, ivory, and jewelry, as well as objects of everyday life.
The Penn Museum’s late 21st century excavations in the Levant collected most of these artifacts, which demonstrate the influence of other cultures on objects of daily life.
An architectural marvel in its own right, the majestic Chinese Rotunda houses one of the finest collections of monumental Chinese art in the country.
Our Egypt Galleries contain a monumental 15-ton granite sphinx, the centerpiece of one of the finest collections of Egyptian architecture on display in the United States. Along with ancient mummies, you’ll find carved relief, stone coffins, and exquisite three-dimensional sculpture testifying to the superb craftsmanship of Egyptian sculptors throughout history.
Engraved gems, bronze statuettes, arms and armor, terracotta vessels, fine bucchero pottery, and elegant filigreed gold jewelry illustrate this once-prosperous and influential empire.
Ancient Greek society is illuminated through 400+ objects, including exquisite painted vases with depictions of ancient gods and myths, bronze armor, marble sculptures, and coinage.
Examples of the pre-Columbian civilizations of Mesoamerica include carved limestone monuments with Maya hieroglyphic writing and carved alabaster vases from the Uloa Valley in Honduras.
Remarkable objects from across the nation, paired with contemporary voices, combine to offer a new understanding of the first inhabitants of the North American continent, as told through Native American perspectives.
Can’t choose just one gallery? Arrange for a themed highlights tour that spans multiple galleries! Since over 200 of our objects are featured in the Smithsonian’s History of the World in 1000 Objects book, these tours help you explore some of the best cultural objects throughout the globe.