Harvard Museums of Science & Culture

Harvard Museums of Science & Culture The Harvard Museums of Science & Culture is a partnership of six museums at Harvard University.
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The mission of the Harvard Museums of Science & Culture (HMSC) is to foster curiosity and a spirit of discovery in visitors of all ages, enhancing public understanding of and appreciation for the natural world, science, and human cultures. HMSC works in concert with Harvard faculty, museum curators, and students, as well as with members of the extended Harvard community to provide interdisciplinary exhibitions, events and lectures, and educational programs for students, teachers, and the general public. HMSC will draw primarily upon the extensive collections of the member museums and upon the research of their faculty and curators. The Harvard Museums of Science & Culture consortium includes: Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments Harvard Museum of Natural History Harvard Semitic Museum Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology HOURS AND ADMISSION Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments http://chsi.harvard.edu/visit-us Harvard Museum of Natural History http://hmnh.harvard.edu/plan-your-visit Harvard Semitic Museum http://semiticmuseum.fas.harvard.edu/visit Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology https://www.peabody.harvard.edu/visit

Why We Eat What We Do
11/25/2019
Why We Eat What We Do

Why We Eat What We Do

"Resetting the Table," a new exhibit at the Peabody Museum, examines American food traditions.

11/20/2019

Join us at 6 PM on Thursday, November 21 as Robert McCracken Peck discusses the remarkable life and natural history paintings of Edward Lear (1812–1888).

11/18/2019

Join us on Tuesday, November 19th as Elizabeth Minor discusses human sacrifice in the Kerma Kingdom, an ancient Nubian civilization.

Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology
11/14/2019

Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology

The new exhibition Resetting the Table: Food and Our Changing Tastes opens this Saturday, November 16.

Food has long been a uniquely powerful measure of social inclusion: Who gets to eat oysters or drink champagne, and how might these privileges change over time?

https://www.peabody.harvard.edu/resetting-the-table-exhibition

11/12/2019

Join us at 6 PM this Wednesday, November 13, as Harmit Malik discusses the significant role that ancient viruses played in shaping contemporary human biology.

11/05/2019

Join us at 6 pm on Thursday, November 7th as Susan Alberts discusses how the social environment affects physical health and belonging in both humans and baboons

10/28/2019

Join us tomorrow at 6 PM as Philip Jones discusses the complicated legacy of a Harvard expedition to Australia in the 1930s aimed at understanding its Indigenous communities.

“This is understanding America through an African American lens. Part of changing the narrative is embracing much more o...
10/25/2019
The story of the National Museum of African American History and Culture

“This is understanding America through an African American lens. Part of changing the narrative is embracing much more of African American history.”

Lonnie G. Bunch III, secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, recalls his challenges in founding the National Museum of African American History and Culture

10/22/2019

Join us tomorrow at 6 pm as Smithsonian Secretary Lonnie Bunch engages in a conversation with Harvard professor Henry Louis Gates to discuss the significance and impact of the National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Celebrate International Archaeology Day this Sunday! “Shrink” yourself down to “walk” into an ancient Maya vessel using ...
10/18/2019
Augmented Reality Maya Chocolate Plate

Celebrate International Archaeology Day this Sunday! “Shrink” yourself down to “walk” into an ancient Maya vessel using augmented reality at the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, https://bit.ly/32sD69J or “travel” in fifteen minutes to an archaeological site in Ashkelon, Israel to explore the first-ever excavation of a Philistine burial ground at the Semitic Museum, https://bit.ly/2pztICi.

10/16/2019

Join us tonight at 6 pm for our livestream lecture! Three Boston-based artists will engage in a conversation with author Emily Freidenrich and museum curator Narayan Khandekar to discuss the human presence in objects or artwork.

10/09/2019

Join us at 6 pm on Thursday, October 10th for our next lecture. Barbara Schaal will discuss the domestication of plants and animals and how this type of selection has influenced their genetics, evolution, and capacity to flourish.

09/27/2019
Harvard Museum of Natural History

Harvard Museum of Natural History

The U.S. is celebrating #ClimateWeek and generating a lot of important conversations around #climatechange. Inform yourself on the latest topics and challenges in our Climate Change exhibit, which includes engaging video and storm simulations, a “check your knowledge” interactive station, and a dramatic inside look at a high-tech Argo float from the Woods-Hole Oceanographic Institute.

Developed in collaboration with the Harvard University Center for the Environment, the exhibit offers visitors the hard facts­­—the knowns and unknowns—about one of the greatest challenges the world faces. http://bit.ly/ClimateChangeExhibitHMNH

09/25/2019

Join us at 6 pm on Thursday, September 26th for the livestreaming of "Breaking the Noses on Egyptian Statues." Focusing on the ancient world of the pharaohs and on the Late Antique world that emerged following Egyptian conversion to Christianity, Edward Bleiberg will examine the patterns of damage inflicted on Egyptian images for personal, political, religious, and criminal reasons.

09/24/2019

Join us at 6 pm on Wednesday, September 25th for the livestreaming of "Wildhood: Coming of Age on Planet Earth." Barbara Natterson-Horowitz and Kathryn Bowers look across species and evolutionary time to find answers to a single, consequential question: Why do some adolescents safely, successfully, and independently enter the adult world, while so many others do not?

09/16/2019

Join us at 6 pm on Tuesday, September 17th for our next livestream, Assembling the Dinosaur. Tracing the links among dinosaurs, capitalism, and culture, Lukas Rieppel will reveal how these giant reptiles became intertwined with commercial culture, philanthropic interests, and the popular imagination during America’s long Gilded Age.

Gabriela Badillo, Maung Nyeu, and Maria Luisa Parra-Velasco take part in a panel discussion about what can to be done to...
09/11/2019

Gabriela Badillo, Maung Nyeu, and Maria Luisa Parra-Velasco take part in a panel discussion about what can to be done to embed culturally and linguistically sustainable practices for heritage languages in teaching, parenting, and social activities.

Thank you to all of our members!
08/22/2019

Thank you to all of our members!

The Harvard Museums of Science & Culture is a dynamic partnership of our museum plus three sister museums: The Harvard Museum of Natural History (home of the Glass Flowers), The Harvard Semitic Museum (home to the full-scale reproduction of an ancient Egyptian throne belonging to Queen Hetepheres), and The Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments (Gregorian reflecting telescopes, & more).

We are looking forward to hosting our Annual Harvard Museums of Science & Culture Member Appreciation Night this evening. Members will take part in family-friendly activities, and interact with the collections in new and fun ways.

One Membership opens the doors to behind-the-scenes tours, discounts on classes, and opportunities to interact personally with celebrated scientists, archaeologists, artists, and experts from Harvard and around the world. Additionally, membership supports the museums’ ability to bring dynamic exhibitions and engaging public programs to a broad and diverse audience. Join today! http://bit.ly/2TVWFU9

Hakuna matata, what a wonderful phrase!
08/20/2019

Hakuna matata, what a wonderful phrase!

The amazing, new live-action remake of the #LionKing is still in theaters. Top off the experience with a trip to see Simba and Pumba in the Africa gallery. Hakuna matata!

Use AR technology to discover more about the Dream Stela (the original can be found between the paws of the Great Sphinx...
08/16/2019
Semitic Museum

Use AR technology to discover more about the Dream Stela (the original can be found between the paws of the Great Sphinx) at the Semitic Museum. While in the gallery, visitors will be able to use an app to see how a three dimensional Sphinx looked during different time periods, as well as translations of the Dream Stela's hieroglyphics. #FreeFunFridays

We are thrilled to see so many visitors using the augmented reality feature in our Dream Stela gallery during the Highland Street Foundation-sponsored #FreeFunFridays. Learn more about the technology, and what's available at the museum everyday: https://semiticmuseum.fas.harvard.edu/dream-stela

#FreeFunFridays at the museums is still in full swing!
08/16/2019

#FreeFunFridays at the museums is still in full swing!

Two more hours to take advantage of our #FreeFunFridays deal through the Highland Street Foundation. Come see a real #moonrock in our new Cosmic Origins exhibit, located off the Mineralogical & Geological Museum gallery. http://bit.ly/2L9xZ9a

Don't miss #FreeFunFridays at the Harvard Museums of Science & Culture. Visit our #climatechange video learning center, ...
08/16/2019

Don't miss #FreeFunFridays at the Harvard Museums of Science & Culture. Visit our #climatechange video learning center, the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology All the World is Here exhibit, Painting the Deep, the Kronosaurus, and more! The Semitic Museum & Harvard Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments are open all day as well. http://bit.ly/2TE8IoZ

We are FREE all day this Friday, August 16! Stop by at one of our four museums for great exhibits! #freefunfridayFor tra...
08/12/2019
Free Fun Friday 2019!

We are FREE all day this Friday, August 16! Stop by at one of our four museums for great exhibits! #freefunfriday

For transportation tips, map of the area, and addresses to all four museums, go to our website! https://hmsc.harvard.edu/event/free-fun-friday-2019

This event is sponsored by the Highland Street Foundation.

Date: Friday, August 16, 2019, 9:00am to 5:00pm Location: Harvard Museum of Natural History, 26 Oxford Street; Peabody Museum, 11 Divinity Avenue; Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments, 1 Oxford Street; Harvard Semitic Museum, 6 Divinity Avenue Enjoy free admission on Friday, August 16 a...

Harvard Museum of Natural History
08/08/2019

Harvard Museum of Natural History

The fishing cat is a wild cat from Asia, and is the largest cat in the Prionailurus genus, which includes the leopard cat. It lives in wetlands, swamps and mangroves, and can swim long distances under water. Fishing cats have been observed while hunting along the edges of watercourses, grabbing prey from the water, and sometimes diving into the water to catch prey further from the banks. Their main prey is fish, comprising three-quarters of their diet, with the remainder consisting of birds, insects, and small rodents. Can you find this one in our Asia gallery? #InternationalCatDay

Harvard Museum of Natural History
08/05/2019

Harvard Museum of Natural History

Happy Birthday to everyone celebrating this August! Peridot is a lovely accompaniment to the heat of August. This gem with a cool lime to olive green color is a variety of forsterite, the magnesium rich end-member of the olivine group. The intensity of its green color depends on how much iron is present. Olivines are a main constituent of igneous rocks from the mantle that were carried to the Earth’s surface by volcanic activity and can also be found in meteorites. This one is from St. John Island, Red Sea, Egypt. Come see more examples in our gem gallery! #mineralmonday

Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology
08/04/2019

Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology

Happy #SistersDay! Sisters sure make life more fun. This photo of sisters and cousins was taken in Peliaton, Bali, Indonesia in 1975 or 1976. Photograph by Danielle Toth. © President and Fellows of Harvard College, Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology, PM2016.7.1.3769

Harvard Museum of Natural History
07/30/2019

Harvard Museum of Natural History

Give the gift of lifelong learning to a friend on this #InternationalDayOfFriendship. A Harvard Museums of Science & Culture membership opens the doors to all four museums, behind-the-scenes tours, exclusive member events, and opportunities to interact personally with celebrated scientists, archaeologists, artists, and experts from Harvard and around the world. Additionally, membership supports the museums’ ability to bring dynamic exhibitions and engaging public programs to a broad and diverse audience. Sign up soon and enjoy a member appreciation night on August 22nd! http://bit.ly/2ZqT7eQ

Dr. Gregory Skomal has studied and tracked white sharks in the Atlantic for more than 30 years. In this video, he discus...
07/29/2019

Dr. Gregory Skomal has studied and tracked white sharks in the Atlantic for more than 30 years. In this video, he discusses how shark sightings are becoming more frequent, and how scientific research can help sharks and humans coexist in the Cape Cod waters. 🦈

In this YouTube video Gregory Skomal, from the Massachusetts Division of Marine Fisheries, talks about how the #whiteshark population has increased in recent years in response to the dramatic increase in the seal population. Skomal has studied and tracked white sharks in the Atlantic for more than 30 years. He discusses how shark sightings—some close to popular swimming and surfing beaches—are becoming more frequent, and how scientific research can help sharks and humans coexist in the #CapeCod waters. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=-c0uJGCELDI #SharkAwarenessDay

Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology
07/22/2019

Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology

#ICYMI: Only one more month until the exhibit Arts of War closes (open through August 18th)!

This carefully constructed armor from the Pacific Islands of Kiribati is called te otanga. Such armor became highly prized by collectors and museums in the 19th and early 20th centuries. No other Pacific culture created armor on this scale, making it uniquely identifiable as coming from Kiribati (pronounced “Kiribas”). The te otanga is made from coconut fiber from several thousand coconuts, and decorated with human hair. Used in both battle and for ritual purposes, the armor would have provided protection from the dangerous shark’s teeth-edged swords, spears, and daggers carried by the island warriors.

Warriors also wore helmets – called te barantauti – made from the skin of porcupine fish, which were provoked underwater to make them inflate to several times their size, after which they were caught, and buried in sand to let insects clean out the interior. After cleaning, the remaining outer hardened skin with its impressive spines was left out to dry in the sun, retaining its naturally rounded shape, perfect for a helmet.

While the practice of making such armor ended in the early 1900s, a recent “Pacific Presences” Project in the United Kingdom worked with i-Kiribati communities to revive the skills.

Kirabati armor. Body armor with neck guard, PM 00-8-70/55608; Gauntlet, PM 29-24-70/D3273; Porcupine fish or puffer fish skin helmet, PM 00-8-70/55612; Shark’s tooth edged sword, PM 36-45-70/333. #ThrowbackThursday #TBT #harvardpeabody #harvardmuseums

Harvard Museum of Natural History
07/16/2019

Harvard Museum of Natural History

On this day in 1969 the #Apollo11 crew boarded the rocket that would make its historic landing on the moon on July 20th. Visit the museum this Saturday for the unveiling of our new exhibit: Cosmic Origins, featuring a lunar sample loaned directly from #NASA. Join us in our Earth & Planetary Sciences gallery to investigate the processes that helped shape planetary bodies and stars, interact with touchable specimens, and engage with interactive media. #Apollo50 http://bit.ly/2L9xZ9a

Image from NASA's Office of Space Science / Jet Propulsion Laboratory.

In Sioux aunt’s work, historian finds art on fringes of modernism, tradition
07/15/2019
In Sioux aunt’s work, historian finds art on fringes of modernism, tradition

In Sioux aunt’s work, historian finds art on fringes of modernism, tradition

In historian Philip Deloria’s new book, “Becoming Mary Sully: Toward an American Indian Abstract,” he re-examines the art of his "eccentric" great-aunt, particularly her 134 “personality prints,” three-panel pieces inspired, in many cases, by artists and celebrities including Babe Ruth, Ge...

Provide the whole family with new experiences every Sunday this summer at the Semitic Museum. Visit every Sunday from Ju...
07/05/2019

Provide the whole family with new experiences every Sunday this summer at the Semitic Museum. Visit every Sunday from July 7th to August 25th (11am-4pm), and explore different aspects of arts from the ancient Near East. Construct models of an Egyptian pyramid, inscribe clay tablets, and decode hieroglyphics. Activities change daily; drop in for five minutes, or 30, to see what is new every day! http://bit.ly/2JslGRY

A team of archaeologists--including Harvard Semitic Museum curator Adam Aja--and geneticists who have spent more than 30...
07/03/2019
DNA Begins to Unlock Secrets of the Ancient Philistines

A team of archaeologists--including Harvard Semitic Museum curator Adam Aja--and geneticists who have spent more than 30 years excavating the city retrieved, for the first time, genetic data from ten Ashkelon skeletons, from about 3,600 to 2,800 years old.

https://nyti.ms/2JlkbFf

Genetic analysis of remains from ruins in Israel hints at the origins of the Levantine people described in the Hebrew Bible.

We are looking forward to summer favorites like fresh watermelon, sweet corn, and potato salad this holiday. Feast your ...
07/02/2019

We are looking forward to summer favorites like fresh watermelon, sweet corn, and potato salad this holiday. Feast your eyes on this visual treat of watermelon look-alike Elbaite from our Earth & Planetary Sciences gallery at the Harvard Museum of Natural History. A reminder that the Harvard Museum of Natural History & Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology are open normal hours, 9-5pm on July 4th. The Semitic Museum and the Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments are open 11AM - 4PM. Take a tour, and cool off!

Harvard Museum of Natural History
06/26/2019

Harvard Museum of Natural History

The otter civet is not actually a type of otter, although it does prefer an aquatic habitat. It is part of the Viverridae family like the tree dwelling Binturongs, and inhabits the Malay Penninsula and the islands of Borneo and Sumatra. The otter civet is endangered due to the conversion of peat swamp forests into oil palm plantations. Come visit this little guy in our museum! #WhiskerWednesday

Summer Solstice was a blast!
06/24/2019

Summer Solstice was a blast!

Live scorpions, glass flowers, and more in the galleries, and live music, performances, flame-jumping, traveling animal farm, and make-your-own fresh flower crowns outside. Last Friday's Summer Solstice celebration was a great night with free admission to the four Harvard Museums of Science & Culture.

It's finally here! #HarvardSolstice #summersolstice
06/21/2019

It's finally here! #HarvardSolstice #summersolstice

The #HarvardSolstice must go on! New England weather can be unpredictable, but it's looking like Mother Nature will smil...
06/20/2019

The #HarvardSolstice must go on! New England weather can be unpredictable, but it's looking like Mother Nature will smile upon us for the longest day of the year. Our Summer Solstice Celebration on Friday will be held outdoors as originally planned. Rain is expected to end before the celebration begins. The grass may still be damp; feel free to bring a blanket. See you there! http://bit.ly/2EGIaxk

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