Philadelphia’s Mummy Central: Penn Museum

When it comes to the artifacts and culture of the pharaonic civilization that flourished along the Nile for more than 30 centuries, there’s nothing anywhere else in our region quite like the Penn Museum. It is truly Philadelphia’s Mummy Central. The recent national press coverage of the move of its 13-ton sphinx and temporary closure of the gallery that statue once occupied may have obscured the fact that there are actually four ancient Egyptian galleries in the museum. Three of them are open and remain as interesting as ever: the just-opened new sphinx gallery at the main entrance, the Artifact Lab, where mummies and such are repaired as you watch, and the separate “Egyptian Mummy Secrets and Science” Gallery, focused on a closer look at the ancient mechanics of mummification. Here’s a brief look at them.