I went to the University of Pennsylvania archaeology museum today. Oh. My. God. I could have basically set up camp in there and lived there. I don't often regret the path I've chosen in life, going software engineering. But sometimes I do miss archaeology... and this was one of those times. There was a WONDERFUL section of Egyptian artifacts... stuff from pre-dynastic Egypt, all sorts of tomb recreations, hundreds of artifacts dating from the first dynasty up through to post-Ptolemaic Egypt.
They also had a really wonderful exhibit of Etruscan, Greek, and Roman artifacts, showing how the cultures were wound together and how they drew from each other. In the Greek area, they had coins and artifacts from the reign of Alexander the Great, and showed how he changed a lot of things. And in the Roman area, they had all sorts of neat stuff... glass bottles, coins that Octavian had minted to glorify his reign, a bust of Agrippa's daughter, statuary from a sanctuary of the Cult of Diana as a healer which has been found by more recent studies to be actually part of the Isiac temple, etc. I think stephdray might've liked the exhibit. ;)
It was a LOT of fun. And someone had rented out the Lower Egypt gallery for a /wedding/, being married in front of a twelve-ton stone sphinx with ceremonial columns nearby. Now THAT's an interesting wedding!
I also picked up a few things. The guidebook/catalog of the Etruscan/Greek/Roman exhibit, with pictures of everything and all the descriptive card texts, for one. But I also picked up a t-shirt with the Code of Hammurabi written on it in cuniform, which I just had to have. And I picked up a paperweight which is a reproduction of a Mesopotamian tablet... which happened to be a receipt for beer (quite a LOT of beer, evidently for the Mesopotamian equivalent of a kegger). It was the last one they had, and I just /had/ to get it, because it's so bizarre. A gold reproduction of a Mesopotamian beer receipt!
Anyway, Jon just called, so we're off to pick him up and head out for dinner. :)