Ancient Egypt

Cleopatra Statue

In conjunction with the Franklin Institute’s exhibition “Cleopatra: Search for the Last Queen of Egypt,” the Penn Museum is offering a self-guided tour, “Pharaohs of Ancient Egypt,” exploring the long tradition of pharaonic rule that ended with Cleopatra’s suicide in 30 B.C.E.

The Penn Museum, renowned for its Egyptian archaeological expeditions and research, boasts ancient Egyptian galleries and artifacts representing 5,000 years of history. Visitors can stand before the world’s third largest sphinx, dating to the reign of Pharaoh Ramesses II (ca. 1279-1213 B.C.E.) and walk among monumental architectural elements from the palace of his son, Pharaoh Merenptah (ca. 1213-1203 B.C.E.).

David Silverman, curator-in-charge of the Museum’s Egyptian section, is the principal consulting curator for the “Cleopatra” exhibition and previously curated the Franklin Institute exhibition, “Tutankhamun and the Golden Age of the Pharaohs.” The Franklin Institute show includes more than 100 remarkable treasures from Cleopatra’s reign, many of which were recovered from her incredible royal palace that sunk in the Mediterranean some 1,600 years ago.

Silverman says together the exhibits “offer the public an immersive ancient Egyptian experience that may not be possible anywhere else outside Egypt.”

“Cleopatra” opens at the Franklin Institute on Saturday, June 5, and runs through Jan. 2, 2011. The exhibit’s hours are Monday through Wednesday, 9:30 a.m. to 5 p.m., with last entry at 3:30 p.m., and Thursday through Sunday, 9:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m., with last entry at 7 p.m.

The Penn Museum is open Tuesday through Saturday, 10 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., and Sunday, 1 to 5 p.m. For more information, call 215-898-4001 or visit Tickets are required. Doublebill tickets are available; call 877-TFI-TIXS. My Life On June 8, Louise A Memoir,” the story of her life and upbringing at Penn Bookstore. Info: 215-898-7595 or

Originally published on May 20, 2010