Penn Museum visitors now have a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to walk in the shoes of an archaeologist.
“Ancient Egypt: From Discovery to Display” allows guests to explore the journey that artifacts take on their way to museum display, from excavation to conservation to storage and research.
Many of the more than 200 objects have never been on view before and are included throughout the three-part, 6,000-square-foot exhibition. Eventually, these objects will become a part of the re-envisioned Ancient Egypt and Nubia Galleries, a much-anticipated cornerstone of the Museum’s, “Building Transformation.”
“Unlike most exhibitions about ancient Egypt, ‘Ancient Egypt: From Discovery to Display’ provides an insider’s look into how objects are excavated, conserved and store — treating visitors to a unique experience of the Museum’s world-renowned Egyptian collection as we prepare for the renewal of the full Ancient Egypt and Nubia galleries,” said Jennifer Houser Wegner, exhibition curator, in a statement.
In the exhibition’s first stop, visitors are introduced to what life was like in ancient Egypt through objects representing gods, royalty, and everyday individuals. Then, visitors begin to “peel back the layers,” as they follow artifacts through their journeys — in reverse.
In the second gallery, museum-goers will get a closer look at artifacts from the Old Kingdom, also known as the “Age of the Pyramids,” starting in 2613 BCE, through the time of Cleopatra’s death in 30 BCE. Objects in this “visible storage” section include two model boats (a sailboat and a rowboat) featured in the critically-acclaimed Smithsonian Institution book, “History of the World in 1,000 Objects.”
The final gallery, also known as the highly-popular Artifact Lab, will provide visitors with an opportunity to learn more about excavation and to observe conservators in action as they work to preserve Egyptian artifacts, including the mummy of a 40-year-old named Hapi-Men and his dog, exquisite gold jewelry worn by the ancient Egyptians, and an intricate model of the throne room of the Palace of Merenptah (the 13th son of Ramesses II), the columns and portals of which will be erected at full height in the Ancient Egypt and Nubia galleries.
For more information on the Penn Museum, 3260 South St., visit penn.museum or call (215) 898-4000.