Anniversary of Founding Celebrated With 12-hour Open House 10 am to 10 pm Thursday, December 6, 2012
Museum Launches Online Excavation Timeline, Publishes Special Expedition Magazine Issue, as Part of Celebration

PM AnniversaryLogo BlackWhitewebPHILADELPHIA, PA—On Thursday December 6, 2012—One hundred twenty five years to the day that marks its founding—the Penn Museum (University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology) celebrates with a free community Open House from 10 am to 10 pm.

Throughout the twelve-hour-long extravaganza, visitors are invited to meet the curators, collections keepers, conservators, archivists, archaeologists, anthropologists and researchers of the Penn Museum—and find out about their favorite artifacts or current research activities at the Museum and around the world. The day features conservators at work on Egyptian mummies and related artifacts at the "In the Artifact Lab" gallery project, educators offering interactive "cartifacts" exploring the Maya and ancient Egyptian and Mediterranean cultures, special "Reports from the Field" excavation talks by Kolb Junior Fellows, and behind-the-scenes tours of the Mainwaring Wing storage collections. Later at night, guests can experience the galleries in a distinctively different way, as Penn graduate students, counselors for the popular "40 Winks with the Sphinx" sleepover program, offer flashlight tours of the ancient Egyptian and Mediterranean galleries.

Penn Museum Members have special opportunities to view treasures from the Museum's vault, and share in a toast with Director Julian Siggers prior to the Reports from the Field evening lectures.

Penn Museum Collections StaffAll guests can warm up to the celebration with complimentary hot apple cider and cookies in the Museum Café throughout the day.

A full schedule of activities is below.


It was on December 6, 1887, that University of Pennsylvania officials approved a first "exploring expedition to Babylonia" and agreed to build a museum to house excavated artifacts—a commitment that set the course for what grew to be a great and unique museum in the world, with an extraordinary breadth and depth of research and collections (more than 400 research expeditions, and nearly one million artifacts, from all the inhabited continents).

Because of its extensive and ongoing international activity, beginning with the first excavations at Nippur in what is now Iraq, the Museum has an audience that includes scholars, students, and the interested public from around the world. In January 2012, Penn Museum commenced its 125th anniversary celebration with the launching of its Online Collections Database—a unique research tool that began with 326,000 object records representing 660,000 objects, and 51,500 images illustrating 24,500 object records, from the Museum's vast Collection. The database continues to grow as Collections staff and volunteers continue to input data, images, and new information as it becomes available.

The Museum concludes its celebration year by launching a new Timeline of Archaeology and Anthropology Research ( The Timeline, linked to the Online Collections Database, provides visitors with a data-rich interactive map and timeline featuring 125 of the Museum's most famous expeditions from around the world. The Timeline highlights major historical events that give archaeological context to the Museum's work—making it a useful resource for scholars, students, and anyone interested in the human story.

The winter issue of Expedition magazine—the official magazine of the Penn Museum—scheduled for release in December 2012, features a look at some of the people, expeditions, research, and artifacts that made, and continue to make, Penn Museum the unique institution it is.

Archivist Alessandro Pezzati invites guests in.Extended hours:
Inside the Artifact Lab: Conserving Egyptian Mummies—meet project conservator Molly Gleeson and other conservators (10 am to 7 pm)
Cartifacts—explore and learn with Museum docents educators (12:30 pm – 6:30 pm)
Hot cider and cookies in the Museum Café (10 am to 7 pm)


  • 10:00 Near East Collection Keeper Katherine Blanchard (Iraq's Ancient Past)
  • 10:30 Historical Archaeology Associate Curator Robert Schuyler (Pepper Gallery)
    • Mediterranean Association Curator Ann Brownlee (Roman Gallery)
  • 11:00 Asian Collection Keeper Stephen Lang (Rotunda)
    • MEMBERS' ONLY: Artifacts from the Vault/American Associate Curator Clark Erickson (Collections Study Room)
  • 11:30 Near East Assistant Curator Lauren Risvet (Pepper Gallery)
    • Behind-the-scenes Mainwaring Collection Storage Tour/American Associate Keeper William Wierzbowski


  • 12:00 Mediterranean Collection Keeper Lynn Makowsky (Greek Gallery)
  • 12:30 Deputy Director, Babylonian Associate Curator Stephen Tinney and
    • Associate Curator Grant Frame (Pepper Gallery)
    • Egyptian Associate Curator Jennifer Wegner (Egypt-Mummies)
    • Near East Curator Brian Spooner (Pepper Gallery)
  • 1:00 Archivist Alessandro Pezzati, Open House and Tour (Archives)
  • 2:00 African Collections Keeper Dwuane Latimer (Africa Gallery)
    • Oceanian Collections Keeper Adria Katz (Pepper Gallery)
    • Demonstration: Online Collections Database/ Database Manager Scott Williams
  • 2:30 Asian Art Assistant Curator Adam Smith (Rotunda)
    • European (Early Human) Curator Harold Dibble (Pepper Gallery)
  • 3:00-7:00 Education Open House, featuring Penn Museum collection-inspired artwork by area students (Community Engagement Classroom)
  • 3:30 Mediterranean Curator C. Brian Rose (Roman Gallery)
  • 4:00 Asian Collection Keeper Stephen Lang (Rotunda)
    • MEMBERS ONLY: Artifacts from the Vault/American Associate Curator Clark Erickson (Collections Study Room)
  • 4:30 Behind-the-scenes Mainwaring Collection Storage Tour/American Associate Keeper William Wierzbowski
  • 5:00 Near East Collection Keeper Katherine Blanchard (Iraq's Ancient Past)
  • American Associate Keeper William Wierzbowski (Southwest Gallery)
    • MEMBERS ONLY: Pre-lecture reception and toast with Director Julian Siggers
  • 5:30 Egyptian Curator David Silverman (Egypt-Mummies)
    • Near East Curator Holly Pittman (Iraq's Ancient Past)
    • Cultural Heritage Center Director Richard Leventhal (Pepper Gallery)
  • 6:00 Douglas G. Lovell, Jr. Annual "Reports from the Field"
    • Kolb Junior Fellows share current research:
    • Jordan Pickett, "Temples, Churches, and Cisterns: Late Antique Water Management at Jarash, Jordan"
    • Daira Nocera, "Excavations at the Villa of Emperor Maxentius in Rome"
    • Steve Renette, "Kani-Chaie and the Bazian Valley Archaeological Project: New Field work in the Unexplored Region of Iraqi Kurdistan"
  • 7:00 Physical Anthropology Curator Janet Monge (Human Evolution)
    • Mediterranean Collections Keeper Lynn Makowsky (Roman Gallery)
  • 7:30 Flashlight Tour of Egypt and Mummies Galleries*
  • 8:00 Archives Tour with Archivist Alessandro Pezzati
  • 8:30 Flashlight Tour of Egypt and Mummies Galleries*
  • 9:00 Flashlight Tour of Mediterranean Galleries*
  • 9:30 Flashlight Tour of Egypt and Mummies Galleries*

*All Flashlight tours led by Penn graduate students, "40 Winks with the Sphinx" sleepover program guides.


Penn Museum (the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology), celebrating its 125th anniversary this year, is dedicated to the study and understanding of human history and diversity. Founded in 1887, the Museum has sent more than 400 archaeological and anthropological expeditions to all the inhabited continents of the world. With an active exhibition schedule and educational programming for children and adults, the Museum offers the public an opportunity to share in the ongoing discovery of humankind's collective heritage.

Penn Museum is located at 3260 South Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104 (on Penn's campus, across from Franklin Field). Public transportation to the Museum is available via SEPTA's Regional Rail Line at University City Station; the Market-Frankford Subway Line at 34th Street Station; trolley routes 11, 13, 34, and 36; and bus routes 12, 21, 30, 40, and 42. Museum hours are Tuesday and Thursday through Sunday, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm, and Wednesday, 10:00 am to 8:00 pm, with P.M. @ PENN MUSEUM evening programs offered select Wednesdays. Closed Mondays and holidays. Admission donation is $12 for adults; $10 for senior citizens (65 and above); $10 for U.S. Military; $8 for children (6 to 17) and full-time students with ID; free to Members, PennCard holders, and children 5 and younger; "pay-what-you-want" the last half hour before closing. Hot and cold meals and light refreshments are offered to visitors with or without Museum admission in The Pepper Mill Café; the Museum Shop and Pyramid Shop for Children offer a wide selection of gifts, books, games, clothing and jewelry. Penn Museum can be found on the web at For general information call 215.898.4000. For group tour information call 215.746.8183.

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