The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology—commonly known as the Penn Museum—is an archaeology and anthropology museum at the University of Pennsylvania. It is located on Penn's campus in the University City neighborhood of Philadelphia, at the intersection of 33rd and South Streets. Housing over 1.3 million artifacts, the museum features one of the most comprehensive collections of middle and near-eastern art in the world. The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology—which has conducted more than 300 archaeological and anthropological expeditions around the world—was founded during the administration of Provost William Pepper. In 1887, Provost Pepper persuaded the trustees of the University of Pennsylvania to erect a fireproof building to house artifacts from an upcoming expedition to the ancient site of Nippur in modern-day Iraq (then part of the Ottoman Empire). During the late 19th and early 20th centuries, North American and European museums regularly sponsored such excavations throughout the Mediterranean and Near East, sharing the ownership of their discoveries with the host country. Penn Museum followed this practice in acquiring the vast majority of its collections, and, as a result, most of the museum's objects have a known archaeological context, increasing their value for archaeological and anthropological research and presentation. More information...

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