Discovering the UPENN Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Over the past 120 years, the Penn Museum has sponsored more than 400 scientific expeditions around the world, which have yielded the majority of artifacts that guests can observe at the museum. Historic items include the Sumerian cuneiform clay tablets, which display some of the oldest writing in the world, architectural artifacts from the palace of pharaoh Merenptah from 3,200 years ago, and a Hopi bridal outfit along with the Queen Puabi’s jewelry, which dates back 4,500 years.

The History of The Penn Museum

Also called the Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, the Penn Museum was founded at the University of Pennsylvania in 1887. The facility has since then become an attraction for visitors when the University moved from Center City, Philadelphia to a more open space in West Philadelphia.


One of the current feature pieces at the Penn Museum is the Egyptian sphinx, which weighs 12 tons. It’s one of nearly one million objects at the museum facility. There are also a number of Greek and Italian artifacts at the museum, presented in an exhibition called Worlds Intertwined: Etruscans, Greeks and Romans. There are galleries in the museum that feature ancient Egypt, as well as areas like Ancient Israel, Canaan, African and Asia. Smaller exhibits within these displays change every few months.

This enlightening epicenter offers education classes every second Sunday of the month, from October to April, where participants are taught about new perspectives on both ancient and contemporary cultures and take part in a number of hands-on activities. Sessions are free with a donation to the museum. Also enjoy a number of kid-friendly activities at the Museum, such as World Culture Days, which is designed to teach visitors about the rich traditions attached to certain ethnic groups. The event is free with a museum donation at admission. There’s even an overnight activity called 40 Winks with the Sphinx; this allows kids to spend the night at the museum and learn more about the history of Egypt.

Museum Hours for Visiting

The museum is open Tuesday through Sunday. On Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, Saturday and Sunday, the facility is open from 10am to 5pm. On Wednesday, The Penn Museum is open from 10am to 8pm. Guests can reserve tickets in advance by calling 215.898.4000.


Moving? Know the value of your home …