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New Year’s Eve at the Penn

December 31, 2008

thepennAfter living in Philadelphia for over a year, we finally got to the Penn Museum on the last day of 2008.

Since Philadelphia is currently celebrating the Year of Evolution, the big exhibit at the Penn right now is one on evolutionary science entitled Surviving: The Body of Evidence. The displays that make up the exhibit are first rate and a must see if one is in the area. I might bring my students from Temple later in the spring semester when we are covering Darwin.

urlyreHowever, a trip to the Penn would not be complete with out a look at their extensive collection of Mesopotamian materials. Unfortunately, a fair number of these pieces are currently on various tours. Only a handful of items from UrIII were on display. Luckily, one of these artifacts was the larger lyre from the “Royal Tombs” of Ur (pictured right).

Apparently, this situation will be changing some time next year. After the evoltuion exhibit leaves, there is talk of showcasing the museum’s Mesopotamian artifacts. As someone teaching Gilgamesh in the Philadelphia area, I can only hope that such an exhibit occurs in the near future.

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