University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology

Artifact Lab

Penn Museum is a founding partner and a core collaborator of the annual Philadelphia Science Festival, running April 21 through 29, 2017.

Founded in 2011, the Philadelphia Science Festival is a nine-day, community-wide celebration of science that takes place annually in April. Featuring lectures, debates, hands-on activities, special exhibitions and a variety of other informal science education experiences for all ages, the Festival aims to provide opportunities for all Philadelphians to positively engage with and build a community around science, engineering, and technology. Created and organized by The Franklin Institute and presented by The Dow Chemical Company, the annual Festival brings science to restaurants, parks, breweries, libraries, museums and other neighborhood places!

Kids looking at objects

Find the Penn Museum at these Philadelphia Science Festival events, both at the Museum and around the city:

Philadelphia Science Festival Kick Off:
Science After Hours: Prom

Friday, April 21, 7:30 pm to 10:00 pm
The Franklin Institute, 222 North 20th Street, Philadelphia, PA

Celebrate the Science of Archaeology with records and photos from the Penn Museum archives, as the Museum presents Archa-What?: Digging Through the Past at this kick off evening event! Visitors will view field notes, archeological photos, and replica objects to learn more about influential archaeologists and excavations connected to the Penn Museum. Visitors will use photo props and replica artifacts to capture their trip down memory lane with the Penn Museum!

Science in the Park at Clark Park:
Can Trees Be Calendars?

Saturday, April 22, 1 pm to 5 pm
Clark Park, 4398 Chester Avenue, Philadelphia, PA

The Penn Museum joins with other science organizations for a free day of discovery at this West Philadelphia neighborhood park, where we ask: can trees be calendars? Discover how archaeologists use the patterns and number of tree rings to learn more about ancient settlements. Explore the science of archaeology hands on, as you uncover the age of trees through careful investigation of tree stumps with their own scales.

Be a Scientist!
Be a Conservator!

Sunday, April 23, 10 am to 1:30 pm
Penn Museum

The Penn Museum is one of several Science Festival collaborators inviting guests to participate in hands on science activities unique to their institution. Find out what it takes to preserve archaeology’s greatest treasures, through a visit to the Artifact Lab. You’ll investigate the science of deterioration and preservation through conservation activities, while witnessing live conservation of ancient artifacts. Conservators are available to answer questions from 12:00 to 1:00 pm. Free with Museum General Admission.

Science After School
What in the World is that Kitchen Tool?

Weekday, 3:30 to 5:30 pm
Philadelphia City Institute
1905 Locust Street
Philadelphia, PA

Discover beyond-the-ordinary kitchen tools from the Penn Museum’s teaching collection, at this program, designed for children and families after school. Can you guess the function of each tool and where it’s from? Learn how the science of archaeology can help us learn about the diet of ancient civilizations.

Science Carnival at Penn’s Landing
Saturday, April 29, 10 am to 4 pm
Penn’s Landing Great Plaza, Columbus Boulevard, Philadelphia, PA

The Carnival at the Great Plaza at Penn's Landing features more than 175 exhibitors offering non-stop, family-friendly experiments, interactive activities, games, and a packed line-up of live entertainment. Penn Museum joins in with activities around the theme, How was science used to make ancient adornments? Discover how the earliest jewelry was made through the investigation of ancient artifacts and minerals. Explore the process of metal working practiced thousands of years ago while being adorned with gold tattoos [or creating your own pendant] inspired by patterns and designs common in Mesopotamia!

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