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Penn Museum

Unearthing the riches of the world’s cultural heritage

Penn Museum

A 3,200 year old sphinx, the third largest in the world, at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology. Credit: Penn Museum


The Experience

If you called its 15-ton Egyptian sphinx “one in a million,” you’d be right: it is just one in a collection of nearly a million objects at the Penn Museum (also known as the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology)—one of the world’s finest archaeological and anthropological museums.

For more then 125 years, the Penn Museum has sponsored worldwide scientific expeditions which have yielded many of the artifacts on display including Sumerian cuneiform clay tablets (some of the world’s oldest writing), architectural elements from the 3,200-year-old palace of the pharaoh Merenptah, the 4,500-year-old jewelry of Queen Puabi’s from the Mesopotamian Royal Cemetery at Ur (in modern-day Iraq), towering ancient Maya stone monuments and evocative masks from West Africa.

Ancient Greek and Italian treasures are presented in a suite of Classical World galleries while other noteworthy galleries include explorations of Africa, Asia, and Central America.

In addition to its permanent galleries, the Penn Museum also hosts rotating special exhibitions. Currently on view for a five-year run, Native American Voices—The People, Here and Now, is an artifact and media rich show that challenges common Native American stereotypes.

The building itself is an experience with a unique blend of eclectic features, including the Harrison Rotunda and Auditorium featuring the largest unsupported masonry floor-dome in the world. Outside, you’ll find beautiful public gardens featuring fountains and sculptures by Alexander Stirling Calder and a koi pond.

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The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology was founded in 1887, when the University agreed to send out a first expedition to the site of Nippur in modern-day Iraq. Since then this active museum and research institution has been exploring cultures through time and across continents and sharing the adventure with the public.

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Great Kids’ Stuff

Children are fascinated by the ancient Egyptian mummies. A special ongoing project and gallery, In the Artifact Lab: Conserving Egyptian Mummies, lets everyone watch a conservator at work—and ask questions!

Buy Tickets In Advance

Tickets for the Penn Museum are available in advance online. Click the button below to purchase tickets online.

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