University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
Loan Box Program for K12 students at the Penn Museum..

Enhance your classroom curriculum with incredible artifacts from our teaching collection. Artifact Loan Boxes focus on the daily life of ancient world cultures. These themed objects sets provide primary and secondary sources for classrooms and other educational settings – for up to a month! Through touching and studying replica artifacts, students foster deeper connections to other cultures.

About the Program

Artifact Loan Boxes are comprised of replica objects that come from the Penn Museum’s Teaching Collection. Artifacts can be handled without gloves and are appropriate for all ages and a variety of learning environments. These portable “object kits” can be shared among many classes for maximum educational impact.

Artifact Loan Boxes are great for history and world cultures classes, but also can be used for library displays, and language and visual art courses (creative writing, drawing, 3-D scanning, design, etc.). These provide a great pre-visit or post-visit experience for students that visit the Penn Museum for tours and workshops. Borrow a box for up to a month!

Artifact Loan Boxes feature:
  • 8-10 touchable artifacts
  • Classroom lesson plans, worksheets, and activities
  • Penn Museum Gallery Guides
  • Expedition magazine articles written by Penn experts
Preview of items in a loan box


The following themes connect directly to our signature galleries.


African Continent
Immerse students in the diverse array of cultures represented on the continent of Africa through carefully paired artifacts and related activities. Investigate musical instruments, ritual masks, wooden figures, and clothing that vary in material and design to discover the similarities and differences between African countries.
Connects to: Africa Gallery, Imagine Africa exhibition, International Classroom programs

Dive deeper into ancient Egyptian studies with an array of robust activities, articles, and visuals. Learn more about domestic life and society with objects related to writing, agriculture, and entertainment. Complement your studies in ancient mummification with select funerary artifacts.
Connects to: Egypt Gallery, Mummy Makers Workshop, Egyptian False Doors Workshop, International Classroom programs

Ancient World

Classical World
Get an inside look into the Classical world with artifacts from Etruscan, Greek, and Roman civilizations. Close study of coins, votive figures, and drinking vessels tell the story of these influential cultures.
Connects to: Greek Gallery, Etruscan Italy Gallery, Rome Gallery, Digging Up Rome Interactive Workshop, Daily Life in Ancient Rome, International Classroom Programs

Bring the earliest civilization to life with Mesopotamian replica artifacts! Discover how these first cities, writing system, and mythologies evolved with close study of raw materials, cuneiform tablets, votive figures, and more.
Connects to: China Gallery, Japan Gallery, International Classroom programs


Asian Continent
Explore the vast continent of Asia with domestic artifacts and artworks from China, Japan, Thailand, and India. Reveal the thread linking the major cultural traditions in Asia through Buddhist artifacts, activities, and Penn Museum publications.

Explore the rich history of China through the examination of paper cutouts, currency, replica tomb figures, silk textiles, and more! Religious and scholastic artifacts encourage a deeper understanding of daily life in ancient China.

Analyze the deep cultural traditions of India with close analysis of musical instruments, embroidered textiles, and cosmetic artifacts. Religious figurines, artworks, and Diwali Lamps foster a deeper understanding of spiritual beliefs.

Porcelain painted vessels, along with a manuscript and tea set, provide insight into cultural traditions, past and present. Learn more about Japanese Buddhist practices through the association of Amid Buddha statue and Singing Bowl set.

North America

Native American Voices
Authentic artifacts ranging from the Southwest to the Arctic describe diverse Native American tribes, past and present. Refer to the vocabulary list, maps, and lesson plans in the included Native American Voices Educator Guide to structure appropriate groups discussion and activities.
Connects to: Native American Voices: The People Here and Now exhibition, International Classroom programs

South America

Mayan Civilization
Spindles, looms, textiles, and jade ear flares reveal insight into the daily life of ancient Mayans. Examination of replica pendants, stela, and craved bones provides an opportunity to closely investigate ancient Mayan glyphs.
Connects to: Mexico and Central America Gallery, Maya 2012 Educator Guide

Mexico and Central America
Study the rich cultural traditions of Mesoamerica, the birthplace of the Maya and Aztecs, with artifacts from common kitchen tools to replica stela that commemorate the power of ancient rulers.
Connects to: Mexico and Central America Gallery, Maya 2012 Educator Guide

Booking Information

Age All Ages
Length 30 Days (one month)
Price $95 for one month loan

Add on an Artifact Loan Box!
$75 for a one-month loan if you’ve purchased other Penn Museum programs
Pick-Up Timing Monday to Friday 8:00am to 3:00pm. Teacher must pick up and return Loan Boxes
When to Book Reservations must be finalized by the 10th of the month prior to your Loan Box loan month


Outreach Programs Manager, Ms. Allyson Mitchell


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