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Penn Museum - University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology & Anthropology)
3260 South St. Philadelphia, PA 19104
215-898-4000
  • Calendar
    Upcoming events
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      Cultures in the Crossfire: Stories from Syria & Iraq
    • Tuesday, October 17, 2017
    • 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. 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 tell stories of the cultures of Syria and Iraq through time. Contemporary artwork from Issam Kourbaj, a Syrian artist based in Cambridge, UK, provides an art intervention-a modern-day response to the artifacts and themes. The exhibition features the important work being done by the University of Pennsylvania and Smithsonian Institution in conjunction with individuals and groups in the Middle East to help combat the loss of irreplaceable cultural heritage.
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      Moundbuilders: Ancient Architects of North America
    • Tuesday, October 17, 2017
    • The Great Pyramids in Egypt, Stonehenge in England, and the Maya city of Teotihuacan were all built thousands of years ago. Add to that list of extraordinary achievements the earthen mounds--some rising to heights of 70 or 100 feet, some more than 5,000 years old--that dot the landscape of North America. This new exhibition tells the sometimes enigmatic story of more than 5,000 years of Native American moundbuilding through photographs, archival excavation records, and more than 60 artifacts excavated at mound sites throughout the eastern United States. The exhibition runs June 24 through December 2017.
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      In the Artifact Lab: Conservation in Action
    • Tuesday, October 17, 2017
    • Part exhibition and part working laboratory, this exhibit allows visitors to see various archaeological tools and watch as conservators work on art and artifacts from the middle east. Staff will be opening their windows several times daily to answer visitor questions.
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      Objects Speak: Media Through Time
    • Tuesday, October 17, 2017
    • 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.
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      "What in the World?" Early Television Meets the World of Archaeology, 1950-1966
    • Tuesday, October 17, 2017
    • The 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.
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      Travels of an Archaeologist: Finding a Sense of Place
    • Tuesday, October 17, 2017
    • Richard Hodges, former Williams Director of Penn Museum and President of The American University of Rome, returns to discuss his new book Travels of an Archaeologist: Finding a Sense of Place.  Come travel with Dr.  Richard Hodges as he explores sites across the globe and ponders the relationship of the individual with the past and the present of the past in its ruins, monuments, and traces of distant worlds and civilizations. A book signing and reception follow. Free.
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      Drum Circle Workshop
    • Wednesday, October 18, 2017
    • Come and drum with Philly's own master world-percussionist Joseph Tayoun on Wednesdays, beginning September 13 through December 13. All sessions are held in a gallery space, surrounded by ancient artifacts. This class is for all ages and for all levels of drumming! Dancers welcome! A limited number of drums will be provided. BYOD (bring your own drum) recommended! Pay at the door: $15 general admission; $10 Museum members and students with ID.
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      Homeschool Day -- Archaeological Adventures: More Than Mummies
    • Wednesday, October 18, 2017
    • The Penn Museum's Archaeological Adventures Homeschool Days help groups and families use the international collection to spark their students' learning. Guests are encouraged to use the flexible format of hands-on workshops, interactions with conservators, and more to shape a customized experience around their homeschool or cyber school curricula. Explore all things Egypt at this extra spooky Homeschool Day! Take a tour or join a Storytime Expedition of the Egypt galleries to view the Sphinx, real mummies, and artifacts from the Museum's collection. Join an interactive workshop to discover the process of mummification, or create your own tomb "False Door." Explore hieroglyphs and Ancient Egyptian culture through an archaeology-inspired art activity. Admission: $12 per child/adult. One adult per family is free and children 3 and under are free. Advance reservations are required; reserve tickets on the website calendar: penn.museum/calendar or call (215)746-6774 for more information.
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      The Ancient Greeks & the Future of the Human Race
    • Wednesday, October 18, 2017
    • Why, especially in times of great social upheaval, should we turn to the ancient past? Because if we fail to understand the experiences of earlier societies, we limit our ability to imagine possible futures, debate courses of action, make wise decisions, and defend hard-won freedoms. Join noted classics scholar Edith Hall (King's College London) as she resurrects Aristotle's notion of "disciplined recollection" and explains how it can be helpful for meeting the challenges of the present day. Cosponsored by the Department of Classical Studies and Penn Museum.
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      The Afrosphere
    • Thursday, October 19, 2017
    • Enjoy a special night of interactive global arts, bringing together contemporary live music, art, dance, and fashions of the African diaspora. Discover some of Philadelphia's leading performing and visual artists working in various media. From diverse sounds to dance, including Reimagined Jazz, Afrobeat, Caribbean and more, in the Museum's awe-inspiring ancient Egyptian gallery and Rotunda. Light fare and cash bar. Presented by the Artvolution Cultural Innovation Project. $10 cover.
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      International Archaeology Day
    • Saturday, October 21, 2017
    • Celebrate the Penn Museum's newest exhibition Moundbuilders: Ancient Architects of North America, and learn more about the real work of archaeology, in North America and around the world at this special event co-sponsored by the Archaeological Institute of America Philadelphia Society. Meet archaeologist and Moundbuilders curator Megan Kassabaum and other Penn Museum researchers. Take a behind-the-scenes tour of the Center for the Analysis of Archaeological Materials (CAAM), where archaeologists and other scholars are making new discoveries about the ancient past via analyses of ceramics, metallurgy, faunal and skeletal remains, and more.
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      Of Scribes & Stables: Recent Discoveries in a New Kingdom Cemetery at South Abydos
    • Saturday, October 21, 2017
    • Dr. Kevin M. Cahail, Curatorial Assistant, Egyptian Section, Penn Museum, and Lecturer, History Department., Penn State Abington campus, speaks at this lecture presented by the American Research Center in Egypt, Pennsylvania Chapter (ARCE-PA).The tombs of the New Kingdom Temple cemetery consisted of modest, vaulted mud-brick substructures, with small pyramids once standing above them. Yet, recent Penn Museum excavations at the site have shown that these humble tombs once contained a staggering number of individuals, some of whom can be placed into the historical fabric of New Kingdom history. Burials include all ages, making this site one of potentially great importance to our understanding of non-royal life during the late Eighteenth and early Nineteenth Dynasties. In this lecture, Dr, Cahail will discuss the cemetery, its tombs and inhabitants, and explore how recent findings in the field fit with the history of Abydos and Egypt as a whole. Admission: $10 for the general public, $7 for Penn Museum members and Penn faculty and staff, $5 for Students with ID, and FREE for ARCE-PA members and children under 12. Anthropology Department, Room 345 (take elevator off Kress Entrance to 3rd floor).
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      The Afterlives of Babies: A View From West Africa
    • Wednesday, October 25, 2017
    • In some religious traditions, "the afterlife" represents another stage in a life cycle believed to be endlessly cyclical rather than linear. For the Beng people of Côte d'Ivoire in West Africa, babies are not born as clean slates but as reincarnations of ancestors who long to return. A Beng infant is thought to begin its new life filled with spiritual knowledge, a belief that profoundly affects the way the Beng care for and raise their children.
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      World Cultures Series: Mexico - Day of the Dead
    • Saturday, October 28, 2017
    • The Consulate of Mexico in Philadelphia, the Mexican Cultural Center and the Penn Museum present this Day of the Dead celebration. Enjoy Mexican culture and the rich traditions of Día de los Muertos at this family-friendly afternoon filled with music and dance, storytelling, and arts and crafts. The centerpiece of the afternoon is a traditional Day of the Dead altar created by volunteers from the Consulate of Mexico in Philadelphia and the Mexican Cultural Center, built just for the celebration, with dedications to those who died placed upon the ofrenda (altar). Costumed guests under age 12 receive half-price admission to the celebration. Guests dressed in a Day of the Dead-themed costume such as La Catrina, or as a traditional Mexican icon like Frida Kahlo, can join a parade and costume contest!
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      The Religious Center of the City of Knossos: Excavations of a Plot in the Modern Village
    • Thursday, November 2, 2017
    • Dr. Athanasia Kanta, Director Emerita, 23rd Ephorate of Prehistoric and Classical Antiquities, and Director of the Study Center of Cretan and Mediterranean Archaeology at Monastiraki Amari, Rethymnon, speaks about recent rescue excavations at the upper village of Knossos that have uncovered evidence of a religious center of the town. The program is presented by the INSTAP Study Center for East Crete. Free.
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      Museum Playdate: Native American Voices
    • Tuesday, November 7, 2017
    • Learn about Native American origin stories through story time in the Native American Voices: The People--Here and Now gallery, plus touchable artifacts and hands-on activities, during this playdate! The Penn Museum's newest program for young guests, ages 3 to 5, Museum Playdates are offered monthly through April (no January Playdate). Each one-hour program has a different theme connecting to one of the galleries, with activities designed for young learners: story-time and dramatic play in a gallery; art-making in a classroom; and a small snack.
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      Second Saturdays at the Penn Museum: Mythology
    • Saturday, November 11, 2017
    • Explore mythology from around the world! Join the Penn Museum every second Saturday of the month through April to learn new perspectives about ancient and contemporary cultures through hands-on activities. Each Second Saturday includes a craft workshop, touchable artifacts, and gallery activities around a theme. For information about all the Second Saturday programs, visit online: penn.museum/secondsaturdays. Free with Museum admission.
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      Double Film Screening: Forever Chinatown & A Family Day
    • Sunday, November 12, 2017
    • Meet two families in Chinatown in these short films about elders and legacy. Frank Wong makes amazingly detailed miniature rooms to relive memories of 1940s Chinatown in Forever Chinatown (2016), directed by James. Q. Chan. In A Family Day (2015), filmmaker Jeff Mann takes a day to visit his Granny, gaining insight into his past, present, and future. Dr. Chi-Ming Yang, Associate Professor, English and Asian American Studies at Penn,  leads a post-film discussion. The Asian American Studies Department and Cinema Studies at Penn, and the Philadelphia Asian-American Film Fest are program sponsors. Time travel is this year's theme for the annual Second Sunday Film Series, offered October through February (no December films) and held in collaboration with the Wolf Humanities Center's 2017-2018 Forum on Afterlives. Free with Museum admission.
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      The Musician's Life
    • Sunday, November 12, 2017
    • Dr. Nikolaus Xanthoulis, a Music Researcher with the National Archaeological Museum in Athens, offers this Archaeological Institute of America Philadelphia Society talk, a wide-ranging look at the life of the ancient Greek musician. With degrees from from the Sofia Music Academy (Ph.D.), the Panteion University of Athens, and the Athens and Athenaeum Conservatories, Dr. Xanthoulis studies the music of ancient Greece, the ancient Greek trumpet (Salpinx) and lyre, and the performance of ancient Greek lyric songs. Previously, he has served with the Greek National Opera, as Principal Trumpet Player and Head of Education, and with Greek Public Radio & Television as Artistic Director of the Orchestras and Choir. Following the lecture, Dr. Xanthoulis presents a small concert with 6th-century BCE poems set to his original music and accompanied by a seven-chord ancient Greek lyre.
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      Voices from Syria: A Conversation with Author Wendy Pearlman
    • Monday, November 13, 2017
    • In the ongoing Syrian Civil War nearly 500,000 citizens have been killed and millions more have been injured and displaced. Both land and property have been destroyed. Cultural heritage destruction has become both a by-product and a tactic of the ongoing war. Join this heartbreaking, but necessary, conversation with Wendy Pearlman, Associate Professor of Political Science at Northwestern University and author of We Crossed a Bridge and It Trembled: Voices from Syria, a collection of intimate testimonies from Syrian men and women whose lives have been transformed by revolution, war, and flight.  Following the program guests can visit the Museum's special exhibition Cultures in the Crossfire: Stories from Syria and Iraq. A cash bar and optional book-signing follow the event. Admission (includes reception): $35; with book $55. Penn Museum and World Affairs Council members: $20; with book $40. Students (with full-time valid school ID) and Young Friends Members of the World Affairs Council: $10; with book $30. Registration begins at 5:30 pm. The program runs from 6:00 to 7:00 pm, and the book signing and exhibit viewing with reception take place from 7:00 to 7:35 pm.
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      Museum Happy Hour: Mummies & Martinis
    • Thursday, November 16, 2017
    • Enjoy the dramatic backdrop of the Museum's collections during an after-work happy hour in the Egypt (Mummies) Gallery. Includes one free drink for guests 21 and older.
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      Brown Bag Lecture: The Gordion Cultural Heritage Program as Public Engagement
    • Thursday, November 16, 2017
    • Ayse Gursan-Salzmann, Anthropologist and Gordion Project Assistant Director, speaks about the Gordion Archaeological Project in Gordion, Turkey, at this Penn Cultural Heritage Center lunchtime lecture. This project is developing a heritage education program for local high school students and teachers from Gordion and nearby villages and towns, building understanding about preserving Gordion and its environment through cultural heritage training. Participants of the program learn by visiting sites and observing the historical and natural environment. The feedback from Students and teachers engage in on-site discussions and oral and written presentations in the course of training. Program attendees are welcome to bring a lunch. Free. Nevil Classroom.
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      The Afterlife of Egyptian Kings
    • Saturday, November 18, 2017
    • Dr. David P. Silverman, Curator-in-Charge, Egyptian Section, and Eckley Brinton Coxe, Jr. Professor of Egyptology, Dept. of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, University of Pennsylvania, considers the afterlife of Egyptian rulers at this lecture presented by the American Research Center in Egypt, Pennsylvania Chapter (ARCE-PA). Egyptian pharaohs went to great lengths to prepare their final resting places. These architectural monuments could take various shapes, such as mastabas, pyramids, and rock cut graves. In addition to containing the ruler's mummified body, these tombs also became a storehouse for all the necessities the kings required for their journey to what lay beyond. They also represented a microcosm of the environment in which royalty would spend eternity. This lecture focuses on what we know and don't know about the necessities that the pharaohs would require in order to maintain their existence in this new and eternal cosmos. Anthropology Department, Room 345 (take elevator off Kress Entrance to 3rd floor).
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      Sleepover Program: 40 Winks With the Sphinx
    • Friday, December 1, 2017
    • Penn Museum's popular sleepover, 40 Winks with the Sphinx, invites guests on an overnight "expedition" of the Museum. The night's activities are geared to take intrepid explorers on a journey through time and across continents, with hands-on opportunities, through games and crafts, to explore ancient Egypt, the mummies and hieroglyphics, the ancient Greeks and Romans, the world of the ancient Maya, and more. An unforgettable experience for kids, ages 6 to 12, and their parents or chaperones!.
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      Holiday Celebrations Around the World
    • Sunday, December 3, 2017
    • The Penn Museum's international collection of art and artifacts forms the backdrop of this free annual celebration, the Museum's holiday "gift" to the community. This spirited event features holiday traditions from throughout the year and around the world. Groups from across the region share their cultural heritage through music and dance performances, craft stations, storytelling, and more. The Museum Shop participates with its annual holiday sale.
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      Ancient Brews: Rediscovered & Re-created
    • Tuesday, December 5, 2017
    • Dr. Patrick McGovern--Scientific Director of the Biomolecular Archaeology Project and the Museum's own "Indiana Jones of Ancient Ales, Wines, and Extreme Beverages"--takes attendees "back to the future" around the world in his latest book, Ancient Brews: Rediscovered and Re-created. He's joined by Sam Calagione, founder and owner of Dogfish Head Brewery, who wrote a forward to the book and has been a long-time collaborator on the Ancient Ales and Spirits series.  Tap into "Dr. Pat" and Sam's remarkable backstories of how their re-created elixirs came about--together with delicious tastings--during this evening celebration of extreme fermented beverages, ancient cultures, and human innovation through the ages. A book-signing follows. 
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      DIY Craft Night: Turkish Silk Scarf
    • Thursday, December 7, 2017
    • Discover the deep history and unique beauty of Turkish marbling with artist Richard Aldorasi in this after-work, hands-on program. Participants are introduced to the historical significance of the 15th-century Turkish art of ebru, before creating their own high-quality, wearable art on a silk scarf to take home.
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      Unusual Libation Basin in the Glencairn Museum, Un
    • Saturday, December 16, 2017
    • Dr. Jennifer Houser Wegner, Associate Curator, Egyptian Section, Penn Museum, and Adjunct Assistant Professor, Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, University of Pennsylvania, speaks at this lecture presented by the American Research Center in Egypt, Pennsylvania Chapter (ARCE-PA).Libation bowls featuring a kneeling figure are a well-known but uncommon artifact type from ancient Egypt.  Dating to the New Kingdom (1539-1075 BCE) and later, these bowls were carved from single blocks of stone and were used for liquid offerings, an essential part of Egyptian cult practices. In this talk, Dr. Wegner examines an unusual example of this type, in the collection of the Glencairn Museum, Bryn Athyn, Pennsylvania, and explores its purpose. Anthropology Department, Room 345 (take elevator off Kress Entrance to 3rd floor).
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