Walking through a museum is like journeying back into time, only without the offensive odors, frustrating class barriers, or disturbingly sexy younger versions of your current congressional representative. Today's Groupon lets you experience the past without the risk of altering the course of local legislation forever: for $2, you get a ticket (a $5 value) to Arizona State Museum on the University of Arizona campus.
Established in 1893, the year history was invented, the Smithsonian-affiliated museum is the oldest and largest anthropology museum in the American Southwest. The Arizona State Museum houses more than 150,000 archaeological artifacts, including the world's most expansive collection of Southwest Native American pottery, a Navajo textile collection, Harrison Ford, and more than 500 Mexican folk masks. The anthropology annex is also home to an eclectic assortment of permanent and temporary exhibitions that explore the art, crafts, cocktails, and rudimentary iPods of the people who have inhabited this rocky region throughout history. Current exhibitions explore the artwork of bullfighter-turned-muralist Salvador Corona—who painted extensively throughout Mexico and southern Arizona—and examine efforts to preserve the skeleton of a mammoth found near Naco, whose bones contain archaeological evidence that it was hunted by early humans.
Without anthropology museums, mankind would operate in a perpetual state of confusion, unaware of the trials and tribulations of the generations that came before us and unable to gain wisdom from their past political and fashion mistakes. Keep humanity from falling back into an era of powdered wigs, rib-crushing corsets, and paisley bell-bottoms with today's Groupon to the Arizona State Museum, or gift one to the Arizona enthusiast in your life.
Visitors under 17 and students of Pima College and the University of Arizona get in free.
- …recognized as one of the world's most important resources for the study of Southwestern cultures. – Fodor's
- …one of the state's most interesting exhibits on prehistoric and contemporary Native American cultures of the Southwest. – Frommer's
- Great educational experience for teenagers and young adults. º FernandezMunoz, TripAdvisor
Arizona State Museum
As they enter the massive brick building, visitors pass the Watercarrier, a curved bronze statue that lends a first glimpse at a staggering collection of ancient and modern Native American works. Established in 1893, the Arizona State Museum celebrates and records Southwest Indian cultural history with more than 3 million objects, including a collection electrified with more than 25,000 pieces of woven basketry, more than 300,000 catalogued archaeological artifacts, 500,000 photographic negatives and original prints, 90,000 volumes of rare titles, 6,000 maps, 1,500 feet of archival documents, and more than 1,000 sound recordings. The collection forays out onto the museum floor in exhibitions such as Ancient Architecture of the Southwest, where striking photographs frame some of the crumbling archaeological ruins of 1,000-year-old cliff dwellings set against a rugged desert landscape while tastefully photoshopping out the ancient satellite dishes. The Pottery Project spans 2,000 years of Native ceramics with more than 20,000 whole pieces and a lab for hands-on pottery testing. Using artifacts, life-size dioramas, and film, Paths of Life explores the history and contemporary lifeways of ten Native cultures, including those of the Yaqui, O’odham, Apache, Navajo, and Hopi.
Museum staff further engage visitors in events that range from talks with museum curators and Native artisans to learning expeditions, which invite guests to tag along with museum and university archaeologists to survey nearby sites, immersing them in the scientific dig experience nearly as effectively as watching Indiana Jones with your nose to the screen. Educational outreach for public-school and university students immerses them in camps and workshops. At the Native Goods museum store, visitors browse a stock of books alongside basketry, jewelry, carvings, and textiles crafted by artists from Yaqui, Hopi, and other nations.
1013 E University Blvd.
P.O. Box 210026
Tucson, Arizona 85721-0026Get Directions