Penn Museum

The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology 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.

Events and Programs

MAYA 2012: Lords of Time
Opening weekend: Saturday, May 5 and Sunday, May  6, 10:00 AM – 4:00 PM

In honor of the grand opening of MAYA 2012, Penn Museum celebrates the vibrant cultures of Central America through dance, music, and family activities throughout the weekend. The celebration is free with regular Museum admission or with a timed ticket to MAYA 2012. With this world premiere exhibition, Penn Museum confronts the current fascination with the year 2012, comparing predictions of a world-transforming apocalypse with their supposed origins in the ancient Maya civilization of Mexico and Central America.  MAYA 2012 leads visitors on a journey through the Maya’s time-ordered universe, expressed through their intricate calendar systems, and the power wielded by their divine kings, the astounding “lords of time.”  Visitors explore the Maya world through interactive experiences and walk among sculptures and full-sized replicas of major monuments. The exhibition features more than 100 remarkable objects including artifacts recently excavated by Penn Museum archaeologists from the site of Copan, Honduras. Visitors follow the rise and fall of Copan, moving across the centuries to discover how Mayan ideas about time and the calendar have changed up to the present day. Contemporary Maya speak to their own heritage and concerns for the future.


20th Annual Maya Weekend
Friday, May 4 – Sunday, May 6

For almost 30 years, international scholars, Maya enthusiasts, artists, linguists, archaeologists, and others have joined together for a lively weekend of engaging talks and programs centering on the world of the Maya people, an indigenous culture of Mexico and Central America. During the weekend, numerous lectures and workshops provide opportunities for attendees to delve deep, learning about Maya culture and current archaeological work at Maya sites. Participants can expect a rich intellectual experience—and activity choices—as the weekend provides diverse opportunities for engagement.  Admission fees.


Ancient Pottery Effigy Vessel: This vessel, on display in the Penn Museum’s Mexico and Central America gallery, is from the Mixtequilla region, Mexico, A.D. 250-900.

Mexico and Central America Gallery Tours
Saturday, May 12 (Cancelled) and Sunday, May 20, 1:30 PM

Penn Museum bilingual docents provide tours of the Museum’s ancient Mexico and Central America Gallery. Since the early 1900s, Penn Museum has been a leader in research on the ancient Maya and other peoples who lived in the area often referred to as “Mesoamerica”—encompassing Mexico, Guatemala, Belize, El Salvador and parts of Honduras, Nicaragua and Costa Rica.  Most of the Museum’s strong Mesoamerican collection of more than 28,000 ancient artifacts, some dating to as early as 3,500 years ago, were obtained through field excavations, providing context for piecing together a richer understanding of these ancient peoples and the complex civilizations they built. Tours are free with Museum admission.


Young Friends’ MAYA 2012 Celebration: Lords of Tequila
Thursday, May 10 ,6:30 PM

Join the Young Friends of the Penn Museum for this special evening event! Start with a specially-crafted Patrón cocktail in the Warden Garden followed by an exclusive, tutored tequila tasting that explores the history and tradition of Patrón’s signature brand along with special Maya-themed appetizers. Guests may extend the experience with a visit to the newly opened MAYA 2012: Lords of Time exhibition, exploring the Maya’s time-ordered universe and the power wielded by their divine kings, the astounding “lords of time.”

Tickets: (on sale beginning in March)

Superathletes, and the Greatest Race the World Has Never Seen
Info TBA


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