The first time I visited the University of Pennsylvania’s Museum of Archeology and Anthropology, I was a bright-eyed and bushy-tailed college student attending in-between classes for the day. It was an assignment given to me by my professor for a class that I wish I could remember at this time, that required us to go to the museum on our own time and write down responses to certain questions.
Although it was the first time I visited, it wasn’t the last. My husband had never visited the museum, but after hearing some things about it online, he kept asking if we could visit, so he could experience it for himself. So for his birthday, we decided to safely visit (masked up, socially distanced, following protocols, etc) so he could experience what I enjoyed about it for the first time.
Before I get into why I think you should visit the museum, here’s some of the safety protocols to keep in mind before going.
Since we went before cases rose and museums temporarily shut down, the protocols were different. In addition to being masked, your asked to be mindful of the markers on the floor, instructing you where to stand and how far to stand from those around you. Thankfully when we went, I intentionally picked a time where I knew there wouldn’t be as many people so we got to explore the museum while being able to safely distance from other masked individuals.
The tickets are timed so that they aren’t over-packing the museum. There are hand-sanitizing stations, reminders to not get on an elevator with someone not within your household, arrows telling you which stairs to go up and down and how to move safely around the exhibits in the museum. They were incredibly thorough in their approach to keeping people as safe as they could while browsing through the museum and everyone there was respectful of what those restrictions and expectations were.
Why You Should Visit the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology
I suppose this goes without saying, but this museum has so many amazing artifacts for you to view during your time there. There are so many exhibits from different parts of the world that both the history nerd and former history teacher in me couldn’t help but geek over all of the artifacts. Epic of the Gilgamesh? Got it. Stelas? Got that too. Jars that go back centuries? You got it! We’ve been to museums before that cost more with fewer exhibits. It’s definitely worth the money for what you’re viewing when you go there.
You Can Watch the Archeologists Work Behind the Scenes:
Although we could not experience this when I went with my husband, there’s a section of the museum where you can normally. watch archeologists work on items they’ve gathered in excavations. While standing behind a plexiglass wall, you can watch them at work as they continue to safely unearth, identify, and preserve artifacts from centuries before us.
One of the things about visiting museums downtown is parking for a reasonable price can be a bit challenging. I love that there is parking right next to the museum that you can access rather easily for a reasonable price. I am not sure if prices have increased since writing this, but when we went it was a reasonable price for the amount of time we were staying there and its proximity to the museum.
These are just a few of the many reasons why we’d recommend attending this museum. It’s one of the coolest museums in our city that allow you to learn more about the history of ancient civilizations around the world. I guarantee you that you will enjoy every minute of it. If you’re ever in the city, it’s definitely one you want to add to your list of places to visit!