Anthropology

Programs & Exhibitions

Canopic JarThe ethnographic and archaeological collections of Anthropology are featured in three major exhibition halls that emphasize current anthropological thought.

The Egyptian collection, amassed through the activities of the Pittsburgh Chapter of the Egypt Exploration Society, forms the basis for Walton Hall of Ancient Egypt. Included in the hall is a 3,800-year-old funerary boat from the pyramid complex of Senwosret III, one of six such craft discovered at the site of Dashur. The hall also features a reproduction of a middle-class tomb, interactive video programs, and 634 artifacts to illustrate the aspects of ancient Egyptian daily life.

Many of the collection's arctic specimens can be seen in Polar World: Wyckoff Hall of Arctic Life, which portrays 4,500 years' worth of cultural change and adaptation among the Inuit. Dioramas, photographs, artifacts, and a reproduction of an igloo illustrate the effects of the arctic environment, the consequences of European exploration, the impact of the whaling industry, and the influence of government policies on Inuit culture.

Alcoa Foundation Hall of American Indians emphasizes the interactions of American Indian people with the natural world. Through exploration of five groups—the Lakota of the Plains, the Tlingit of the Northwest Coast, the Hopi of the Southwest, the Iroquois of the Northeast, and American Indians living in urban areas—visitors gain an appreciation for the diversity and creativity of native peoples. Our online exhibit North, South, East, West: American Indians and the Natural World explores some of the hall's major themes.