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Sparky's Quill: Discovering the ASU Museum of Anthropology

Tom in front of SHESC.
Tom in front of SHESC.

Tom in front of SHESC. Tom in front of SHESC.

At first glance, tall classic columns stand out against the uniform yellowed brick. The stairs lead up to an entryway that is set back, allowing for a U-shape building layout. The green of palms and shrubs are a nice contrast to the yellow earth-colored structure. The classic architecture and sandy tones fit well into the Arizona desert that they call home. This building is referred to as the School of Human Evolution and Social Change or SHESC for short and is located along the intersection of Tyler and Cady Malls in the Northwestern corner of ASU Tempe Campus.

Upon entry, the ASU Museum of Anthropology is the first room noticed. Glass doors are the entryway to new knowledge and thought-provoking ideas. The museum opened over 50 years ago in 1961 in the Social Science Building. SHESC started to house the museum in 1972.

What you find inside the museum changes a few times a year. Currently until May 10, the museum is showing an exhibit called “Looking for the Future in the Past: Archaeology’s Long-Term View.” The exhibit discusses the significance of archaeology and a sustainable future. In the back there is a layout of what a basic archaeological site looks like. There are lots of hands-on activities like sorting pottery shards and drinking coffee. That’s right college students, free coffee! A whole section is dedicated to interesting information about the wonders and importance of coffee. I highly recommend stopping by and opening up your brain to some fascinating new approaches to the world. It is open Monday through Friday 11-3 and is completely free.

This day in history:

On April 3 1860, the Pony Express began its services.

On April 3, 1917, notorious outlaw Jesse James was shot in the back by Bob Ford for a $10,000 reward.


Have any questions about museums at ASU or around campus? Drop us a line at or find us on Twitter @sparkysquill.

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