Founded in 1887, Penn Museum is an internationally renowned educational and research institution housed within the University of Pennsylvania, which has conducted more than 300 archaeological and anthropological expeditions around the world. The Museum’s Middle East Galleries tell a story critical to all humanity; the story of the world’s first cities. Ten thousand years ago, in the fertile crescent of the Middle East, human history was transformed; people shifted from hunting and gathering to farming; villages developed, then towns, then cities. The gallery (which is reviewed in The Guardian here) explores these astonishing developments through a series of spectacular artefacts, including;
The 4,500-year-old jewellery of a Mesopotamian queen, one of the world’s oldest wine vessels, a baby’s rattle and the very first spreadsheet.
We were commissioned by the museum to develop a series of 32 programmes for the refurbishment of the galleries; a mix of video projections, touchscreen interactives and animations. The programmes help bring the story to life, including an animated journey through the ancient city of Ur, re-enacted gold-smithing techniques, and a series of interactive ‘Object Explorer’ touchscreens, through which visitors can learn more about the objects on display – screen shots can be seen below.