National Archaeology Day at the Penn Museum

Saturday, October 20, 2012 is the second annual National Archaeology Day—and the Penn Museum (University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology) celebrates the occasion with an afternoon of archaeological adventure and some Hollywood-inspired fun, with Indiana Jones Day.
Cosponsored by the Philadelphia Chapter of the Archaeological Institute of America, Indiana Jones Day, 1:00 to 4:00 pm, honors the fictional explorer-archaeologist Professor Henry Walton Jones (aka Indiana Jones) with a host of adventurous activities. The event is free with Museum admission ($12 for adults; $10 for seniors [65+] and military personnel; $8 for full-time students [with ID] and children [6-17]; and free for children under 6). Visitors wearing an Indiana Jones-style fedora receive $2 off the price of admission!

Guests to Indiana Jones Day can join in a What in the World? game show; hear real archaeology adventure stories from a world-traveling National Geographic archaeologist; take part in a hands-on program using archaeology to solve a mystery; and even touch a real ancient mummy (without a curse!). Kids and families can take a literal “run in Indy’s footsteps” in an outdoor obstacle course, make Indy-inspired arts and crafts, follow a scavenger hunt for (not so) hidden treasures, and try movie-inspired cuisine (monkey brains, anyone?).

What in the World?—was Penn Museum’s popular weekly TV program in which a panel of experts try to identify an object from the Penn Museum’s Collections first airing in 1951. Starting at 1:00 pm, host Judith Barr, Vice President, Philadelphia Chapter of the Archaeological Institute of America, lets the audience guess the objects in a remake of the now-retired game show.

Real Life Indiana Jones: What It Is Like to Be an Archaeologist is the subject of a 2:00 pm talk by Dr. Fredrik HiebertNational Geographicarchaeologist and fellow, and curator of the traveling exhibition, Indiana Jones and the Adventure of Archaeology, featuring many objects from the Penn Museum’s own collections. Dr. Hiebert brings the excitement of archaeology to audience members through his personal vignettes of exploration in faraway places.

Children and families can enjoy Indiana Jones and the Mystery of the Ruby Crown, an interactive archaeology program by Ann Guinan, Penn Museum Babylonian Section Research Associate, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania Lecturer, and International Classroom programs speaker. Using careful excavation techniques, attendees can solve the mystery of the ruby crown and learn about modern archaeology.

From 1:00 to 4:00 pm, visitors can see and touch a real mummy if they dare! Mummification Around the World, presented by Paul Mitchell, Penn graduate student and Assistant to the Curator of Physical Anthropology, features a table of crania, organs, and various tools used in the process of mummification. Mr. Mitchell discusses the mummy on display and shares how different cultures preserved and treated their dead.
Those willing to test their reflexes—like a sure-footed Indiana Jones—can enter the Warden Garden to dodge a rolling boulder or forge ahead through a snake pit and a tangle of spiderwebs. For those who would prefer a calmer field experience, a visit to the interactive dig site offers adults and children the opportunity to sift for pot shards and artifacts like a true archaeologist!

Throughout the afternoon, visitors can design their own tomb walls and holy grails at family craft tables in the China Gallery, or enjoy a themed scavenger hunt throughout the Museum. The Pepper Mill Café offers Indiana Jones-inspired food as well as traditional lunch fare.

Also, during National Archaeology Day, the American Research Center in Egypt’s Pennsylvania Chapter presents a 3:30 pm program at the Penn Museum. Dr. Nigel Strudwick, University of Memphis visiting professor of Art History, speaks about Pharaoh’s Chancellor: the Tomb of Senneferi at Luxor, an in-depth exploration of a nobel’s tomb. Admission: $8.

For more information:

Location:  3260 South Street, Philadelphia, PA 19104

Cost: 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;