The Egypt (Sphinx) Gallery houses one of the finest collections of Egyptian architecture on display in the United States. A 13-ton red granite sphinx, the largest in the United States and believed to be the third largest in the world, dominates the gallery. There is also a display of materials from the beginnings of Egyptian history, and the founding of a unified country of Upper and Lower Egypt including ivory tags that bear examples of some of the earliest hieroglyphs found in Egypt, dating over 5,000 years ago. The Islamic Near East Gallery houses material that comes from the central lands of the Islamic world: Iraq, Iran, Syria, Turkey and Egypt. These are the very regions where the more ancient cultures were discovered, such as Sumer and Assyria, Pharaonic Egypt, Neolithic and Bronze Age Iran, and Asia Minor.
The North America Gallery focuses on key cultural concepts and social practices of enduring importance to the four thriving tribal groups of the American Southwest.
The Mexico and Central America Gallery introduces you to the pre-Columbian civilizations of Mesoamerica, which flourished before the Spanish Conquest. Major traditions represented here include those of central and western Mexico, the Gulf Coast, Oaxaca, the highland and lowland Maya of Yucatan, Belize, Guatemala, Honduras, and a variety of Central American cultures.
The Africa Gallery includes objects from Morocco to South Africa and everywhere in between. The current gallery contains approximately 360 artifacts dating from the 16th to the 20th centuries.
The Classical World offers more than one thousand ancient artifacts – including marble and bronze sculptures, jewelry, metalwork, mosaics, glass vessels, gold and silver coins, and pottery.
Penn Museum holds nearly 25,000 artifacts from the area that encompasses modern Israel, the West Bank and Gaza, Jordan and Lebanon, and parts of Syria, the largest collection of artifacts from this region. A sampling is on display in the Canaan and Israel Exhibition.
The Buddhist Asia and Japan Galleries trace Buddhism from its origins in India, through its development along ancient land and sea routes into Central Asia, Southeast Asia, Tibet, China, and Japan. Completed in 1915, the Chinese Rotunda is one of the largest unsupported masonry domes in the United States, housing one of the finest collections of monumental Chinese art in the country, covering some 4,000 years of Chinese history.
The Egypt (Mummies) Gallery displays carved reliefs, stone coffins, and three-dimensional sculpture that testifies to the superb craftsmanship of Egyptian artists and sculptors throughout that country's long history. Explore human and animal mummies, tomb artifacts, and funerary objects and materials used in the mummification process. Learn about the ancient Egyptian belief in an afterlife, and the complex funerary practices they developed over thousands of years.