The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology—commonly called the Penn Museum—is an archaeology and anthropology museum that is part of the University of Pennsylvania. It is located on Penn's campus in the University City neighborhood of Philadelphia, at the intersection of 33rd and South Streets.
The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology—which has conducted more than 300 archaeological and anthropological expeditions around the world—was founded during the administration of Provost William Pepper. In 1887, Provost Pepper persuaded the Trustees of the University of Pennsylvania to erect a fireproof building to house artifacts from an upcoming expedition to the ancient site of Nippur in modern-day Iraq (then part of the Ottoman Empire). During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, North American and European museums regularly sponsored such excavations throughout the Mediterranean and Near East, sharing the ownership of their discoveries with the host country. Penn Museum followed this practice in acquiring the vast majority of its collections, and, as a result, most of the Museum's objects have a known archaeological context, increasing their value for archaeological and anthropological research and presentation.
|Tuesday||10:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Wednesday||10:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Thursday||10:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Friday||10:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Saturday||10:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
|Sunday||10:00 AM – 5:00 PM|
Andrew Farquer | Feb 23, 2018
This is one of the best anthropological and archaeological museums in the world. If you're thinking of going, you won't be disappointed. There is a cafe, gift shop inside and a parking garage next to it. Be sure to check out the Sphinx and crystal ball!
Chris Samuel | Jan 28, 2018
Fantastic archaeological museum with a broad focus. I have a terrible habit of reading all the signs and so after two visits each of several hours I only covered a few areas comprehensively. Would really like to see information on provenance of all items, even if that is just "unknown".
Jaime Higgins | Feb 21, 2018
Although this is not one of the bigger, more elaborate museums, the Penn Museum has many exciting exhibits from cultures around the world. All of their exhibits showcase a plethora of artifacts with descriptions of items and their significance to the culture. Some of the exhibits even have interactive elements, such as audio recordings, touch screen monitors, artifacts that can be touched, etc. We recently enjoyed their Chinese New Year celebration. We saw a martial arts demonstration and the lion dance. We got to play with several tangram puzzles and made our own marionette dog puppet. I think their incentive for 7th grade students in Philadelphia is amazing, as well as their borrowing program for teachers in the district. If you teach in Philly or have a student in a Philly school, you should definitely check out what The Penn Museum has to offer.
Steven Roll | Feb 6, 2018
A true hidden gem! Wonderful Egyptian artifacts, and the China section was a great compliment to the Terracotta Warriors exhibit we'd seen the day before at the Franklin Institute. I highly recommend it!
Margaret Rickards | Mar 3, 2018
Compared to the many museums and exhibits in Philadelphia it's a little worn and dated. We were there for the Chinese New Year celebration. This was a special cultural event with exhibits shoe and vendors placed throughout the entire museum. It had many children's things to do.
Marie Parsons | Mar 20, 2018
Although part of the University of Pennsylvania the Musrum is open to the public with admission or membership. It us smaller than many similar museums. As explained on its website it is,also sunder some construction for expansion (eg a Middle Eastern section). While my specific goal was visiting the Etruscan section for some research, (which I greatly enjoyed) I also visited the Canaan, and the Japan and China sections. I was impressed by the amount of information in the Etruscan and Canaan sections but thought there could have been more background in the Japan/China.
Liam Tahaney | Mar 13, 2018
I'm honestly really disappointed in this museum. I have been to Harvard, Yale, and Princetons' museums, and this one was a huge let down. Some of the exhibits are, of course, amazing, however, it is under construction. Hopefully this means they are improving, but beware! We went and payed full price for a museum that was half under construction. There was no warning or discount for what felt like half a museum. Also, their African exhibit was a humiliating joke. It spent more time bragging ABOUT what they have instead of actually exhibiting it. It was incredibly disrespectful to a place with such rich cultural history. A humiliating example of more western arrogance.
Duo Maxwell | Mar 8, 2018
Went for a field trip and the tour guide was very nice with the children. All the employees were very nice. The guy from the shop pointed out that nearly all of the items from Egypt were made in Egypt, not China. They also have an Artifacts Lab where you can watch conservationists at work and they will describe what they're doing, why it needs to be done, and answer questions about the process. On the downside, there is construction around the building and it looks like they may be using pay off the parking as a staging area, so finding a spot was a pain. Inside they are beginning a five year renovation so what is on display for the next five weeks might disappear and may or may not come back after the reno. Some of the improvements are in the restrooms, so they will likely be more ADA accessible.
Tom B | Apr 10, 2018
So many great exhibits its tough to spend time at each of them. I highly recommend a few trips to be able to see each thoroughly.
Mike Wynne | May 11, 2018
So many great exhibits! Lots of detail and information. They also host weddings here. A really wonderful place.
she redden | May 11, 2018
A must for children of any age. I took my 21 year old daughter and to see how amazed she was at the artifacts and especially the mummies almost made it one of our best times together. Now when she watches shows on TV she can truly relate to them.
Andrew Ford | Apr 21, 2018
The Death Pit in the Middle East galleries was an impressive display. The museum has many areas for kids including hands-on exhibits and a children’s center. The garden outside has a large and lovely pool with koi fish. Rated four stars because the toilets are a bit old. Could do with some renovations.
Michael Rahimi | Apr 20, 2018
The new Middle East wing is brilliant. It's bright, full of well displayed objects. Fascinating and a joy to walk through.
Joshua Hunger | Jun 10, 2018
Nice museum. I enjoyed myself and spent 4 hours there. The new Middle Eastern exhibit was really neat and had lots of very interesting items. There was a tour going on that I listened in on quite a bit and it was well lead and very informative. Overall it was a great trip, I would like to come back once they finish renovating.
Alex Jimenez Labora | May 24, 2018
This place is just getting better every time I came. Their collections are great. They have stuff I don't even remember seeing in DC, London or Paris. Of course not as extensive as the once I mentioned but for a university museum amazing!
Miccalex S | May 20, 2018
Excellent exhibits and very welcoming! There was an incident where the emergency alarms were set off for evacuation, and they were highly effective in part because they didn't offend the eyes or ears. The staff was excellent, and i hope you be back again. The university campus was beautiful too!
Abdullah Almalki | May 24, 2018
The museum is beautiful with a great outdoor spots to get some work done, have your lunch, or just sit and enjoy the sunshine. It definitely a relaxing and informative place to visit. I have been there for a few times in the past 2 years and the museum always leaves me wanting more. I wish the Islamic section was bigger.
Reena Miller | Jun 6, 2018
This Museum is amazing, so many wonderful artifacts from diverse cultures. I attended the Jamaican celebration. Participated in an African dance class. There was also music from a Caribbean Steel Drums Ensemble. Loved it!
Nadir Sharif | Jun 22, 2018
Disclaimer: I am an employee of the University of Pennsylvania. I have visited Penn Museum on several occasions, often with friends and family visiting Philadelphia for the first time. The main attraction at the museum is the impressive collection of Egyptian artifacts. The museum is fairly small, so it makes for a good stop during a short trip to the city. The staff rotate the exhibitions a couple times a year to bring out items from storage or have traveling exhibitions. The connection between the Penn Museum and Penn's Anthropology department means that there is an abundance of research connected to the historical collections. Special tours are offered by the researchers and the staff upon request. K-12 students in particular are welcomes. The facility is currently undergoing extensive renovations that will last another four to five years. Parking is available at the neighboring garage. Penn's campus and most of University City is within walking distance. The museum is also easily accessible by SEPTA (train/trolley/bus). There is a cafe that offers a good selection of beverages and snacks.
Maria Regina | Jul 18, 2018
The collection is as good or better than many university museums (and I've been to both Yale's and Oxford's). I had not realized how active the school was in the early days of archeology. The Middle Eastern collection in particular is outstanding, and they have updated that part of the museum with interactive displays. I was fascinated by the ornaments from the burial of a queen from what is now Iraq. I also like that they work with people in Syria and Iraq to save artifacts there from ISIS. There is also an extensive Egyptian collection, housing the only sphinx in the Western Hemisphere. She will be under wraps for a while, though, while they renovate that part of the historic building. Visitors have a chance to watch conservators at work in two parts of the museum, with glass-sided labs.
Roweena D'Souza | Jun 30, 2018
All of the exhibits were simply fantastic. The Egyptian exhibits specifically those housing the sphinx (understandably since it's the largest sphinx in America) and mummies seem popular however I really enjoyed the middle eastern and canaan/Israel exhibits. Special mention to the replica Rosetta Stone as well. The staff/volunteers are very friendly and wear tags so you can ask them anything. It takes about 2 hours to go through the museum. Depending on from which entrance you enter, it may just be convenient to go down to the floor 1 (sphinx, special galleries) first. Small cafe and museum shop are on the main floor.
Jim Marnell | Jul 14, 2018
The new Persian exhibit is terrific! The American Indian Gallery as a really fascinating way of describing American Indian history and culture. The Egyptian area is being upgraded and is very nice as well as the China Japan exhibit. It's one of my favorite places in the city.
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