Harvard Museum of the Ancient Near East

Harvard Museum of the Ancient Near East We are a FREE museum that explores the rich history of cultures connected by the family of Semitic la
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Founded as the Harvard Semitic Museum in 1889, the museum moved into its present location in 1903. From the beginning, it was the home of the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, a departmental library, a repository for research collections, a public educational institute, and a center for archaeological exploration. Among the Museum's early achievements were the first scientifi

c excavations in the Holy Land (at Samaria in 1907-1912) and excavations at Nuzi and Tell el-Khaleifeh in the Sinai, where the earliest alphabet was found. During World War II, the Museum housed Naval offices and was closed to the public. In the 1970's, academic activities resumed in the museum, which is again home to the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, and to the University's collections of Near Eastern archaeological artifacts. These artifacts comprise over 40,000 items, including pottery, cylinder seals, sculpture, coins and cuneiform tablets. Many are from museum-sponsored excavations in Israel, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, Cyprus, and Tunisia. In 2020, the museum was renamed the Harvard Museum of the Ancient Near East to better reflect the diversity of its collections. The museum remains dedicated to the use of these collections for the teaching, research, and publication of Near Eastern archaeology, history, and culture. Exhibitions include a full-scale replica of an Iron Age house, life-sized casts of famous Mesopotamian monuments, authentic mummy coffins, and tablets containing the earliest forms of writing. Like the artifacts it displays, the museum itself has a rich and nuanced history.

12/20/2023

Happy holidays! When planning your visit please keep our holiday hours in mind.

The Harvard Museum of Natural History and the Peabody Museum of Archaeology and Ethnology will be closed: Friday, December 22–Tuesday, December 26, and Monday, January 1

The Harvard Museum of the Ancient Near East will be closed:
Friday, December 22–Monday, January 1

The Harvard Collection of Historical Scientific Instruments will be closed: Friday, December 22–Tuesday, December 26th, Thursday, December 28, and Monday, January 1

Some of us are wishing for snow! Do you like snow over the holidays, or wish it would wait until January? Leave your answer in the comments. ❄️☃️

Although we will be closed tomorrow and Thursday, due to the holiday, you can now explore our galleries by taking a mobi...
11/21/2023

Although we will be closed tomorrow and Thursday, due to the holiday, you can now explore our galleries by taking a mobile tour!

The Harvard Public Affairs and Communications team recently put together a fascinating Harvard Public Art & Culture tour now available on the "Visit Harvard" mobile app. The self-guided tour features over 40 stops, including our museum.

See links to download for your mobile platform: https://www.harvard.edu/visit/tours.

In case you missed it: did you know we have videos of many of our programs on YouTube? Check out a library of talks from...
11/09/2023

In case you missed it: did you know we have videos of many of our programs on YouTube? Check out a library of talks from experts on topics of Egyptian history, the making of an exhibit, conservation, the Epic of Gilgamesh, and more.

The Harvard Museum of the Ancient Near East (formerly the Harvard Semitic Museum) houses over 40,000 Near Eastern artifacts, most of which derive from museum...

11/03/2023

Editor’s Note: This Bible History Daily article discusses an unprovenanced object. Learn more about the problems associated with objects that lack a

Tonight! Free hybrid lecture: The Mummies of Aswan: The Missing Link. Register for virtual and in-person attendance: htt...
11/02/2023

Tonight! Free hybrid lecture: The Mummies of Aswan: The Missing Link. Register for virtual and in-person attendance: https://tinyurl.com/MummiesAswanRegister.

Patrizia Piacentini, University of Milan “La Statale,” will discuss four hundred ancient tombs, dating from the 6th century BCE to the 3rd century CE, that have been discovered on the West Bank at Aswan, Egypt. Piacentini will share the first results of this archaeological research, highlighting the multicultural environment of the necropolis and possible diverse geographical origins of the people buried there.

Free event parking at the 52 Oxford Street Garage. Advance registration required for both in-person and online attendance.

Photo © EIMAWA

In recent years more than four hundred ancient tombs, dating from the 6th century BCE to the 3rd century CE, have been d...
10/17/2023

In recent years more than four hundred ancient tombs, dating from the 6th century BCE to the 3rd century CE, have been discovered on the West Bank at Aswan, Egypt, near the Aga Khan mausoleum. A multidisciplinary team, including the Egyptian-Italian Mission, has found more than a hundred individuals along with their funerary equipment.

In the upcoming free hybrid lecture Patrizia Piacentini, University of Milan “La Statale,” will share the first results of this archaeological research, highlighting the multicultural environment of the necropolis and possible diverse geographical origins of the people buried there.

The Mummies of Aswan: The Missing Link
November 2, 2023
6:00 pm - 7:00 pm (advance registration required for in-person and online): https://tinyurl.com/MummiesAswanRegister. Free event parking at the 52 Oxford Street Garage.

© EIMAWA

Don't miss the free hybrid lecture tomorrow on "The Living Dead in Ancient Egypt."Ancient Egyptians believed in the cont...
10/10/2023

Don't miss the free hybrid lecture tomorrow on "The Living Dead in Ancient Egypt."

Ancient Egyptians believed in the continued influence of the dead in the lives of the living. Dr. Julia Troche, Associate Professor, Missouri State University; Visiting Scholar, Brown University Department of Egyptology and Assyriology, will deliver a free hybrid lecture on her book, Death, Power, and Apotheosis in Ancient Egypt (Cornell University Press, 2021).
October 11, 6 - 7pm. Advance registration required for both in-person and online attendance: https://tinyurl.com/LivingDeadEgypt.

Free event parking at the 52 Oxford Street Garage.

Image Courtesy of CFEETK

Starting in October—also National Blindness Awareness Month—new touch tours explore the From Stone to Silicone exhibitio...
10/04/2023

Starting in October—also National Blindness Awareness Month—new touch tours explore the From Stone to Silicone exhibition featuring ancient Mesopotamia.

The tours are designed for blind and visually impaired visitors. Touchable replicas are coupled with descriptions to spark discussion about the sculpted art in the Assyrian palace of King Ashurnasirpal II.

Learn more and request a reservation: https://hmane.harvard.edu/group-visits-tours

Ancient Egyptians believed in the continued influence of the dead in the lives of the living. Dr. Julia Troche, Associat...
09/28/2023

Ancient Egyptians believed in the continued influence of the dead in the lives of the living. Dr. Julia Troche, Associate Professor, Missouri State University; Visiting Scholar in Egyptology and Assyriology, Brown University, will deliver a free hybrid lecture on her book, Death, Power, and Apotheosis in Ancient Egypt (Cornell University Press, 2021).

October 11, 6 - 7pm. Advance registration required for both in-person and online attendance: https://tinyurl.com/LivingDeadEgypt.

Free event parking at the 52 Oxford Street Garage.

Save the date for the free hybrid lecture Finding the God Osiris: Latest Excavations at Abusir and Saqqara. Join us the ...
09/22/2023

Save the date for the free hybrid lecture Finding the God Osiris: Latest Excavations at Abusir and Saqqara. Join us the evening of Thursday, September 28th to hear Miroslav Bárta present the latest results from archaeological research at Abusir and Saqqara, two ancient Egyptian cemeteries.

Free event parking at the 52 Oxford Street Garage. Advance registration is required for both in-person and online attendance: https://bit.ly/3EOUxpy.

Image Courtesy of Miroslav Bárta

Who knew there was a National Beard Day? We have just the thing. Stylish beards run in this Assyrian family! World beard...
09/02/2023

Who knew there was a National Beard Day? We have just the thing. Stylish beards run in this Assyrian family! World beard day is the perfect time to highlight this massive stela showcasing King Esarhaddon, who ruled Assyria in the seventh century BCE, and his magnificent beard. He’s flanked by his sons Ashurbanipal and Shamash-shum-ukin, each with elaborate beards of their own. These are not the only beards in our collection — pay a visit and see how many you can spot!

08/30/2023

The presentation schedule is now out for “Archaeology in the Mediterranean and Ancient Near East: Recent Discoveries and Retrospectives” a Friends of ASOR Weekend Seminar in Raleigh-Durham, NC.
Register through the Online Portal, and book your discounted room rate today!
Click the link to register: https://buff.ly/3KicPmg

Throughout the course of human civilization, societies have always found a way to have some fun. Learn how to play the g...
08/14/2023

Throughout the course of human civilization, societies have always found a way to have some fun. Learn how to play the game of "20 squares" by watching these videos. This game was part of the museum’s “Houses of Ancient Israel” exhibit. https://hmane.harvard.edu/games

Learn more about other games from across campus: https://www.harvard.edu/in-focus/games

This Dreaming the Sphinx exhibit displays a resin cast of the Great Sphinx of Egypt’s Dream Stela, and is best experienc...
07/30/2023

This Dreaming the Sphinx exhibit displays a resin cast of the Great Sphinx of Egypt’s Dream Stela, and is best experienced with a companion augmented reality app (available to borrow from the Front Desk).

The original stela—an expertly carved monument—can be found between the paws of the Great Sphinx. The story it tells is a romantic one: the young Prince Thutmose IV falls asleep by the Sphinx, who then appears to Thutmose in a dream, offering him the throne if he will only liberate the Sphinx from all the sand covering his body.

Did you know that Queen Hetepheres’ tomb was revealed when a camera tripod slipped near the Giza pyramids? Expedition ph...
07/25/2023

Did you know that Queen Hetepheres’ tomb was revealed when a camera tripod slipped near the Giza pyramids? Expedition photographer Mohammedani Ibrahim’s tripod prodded a soft plaster surface, which eventually led to the discovery. See her reconstructed throne on the second floor.

Happy National Moon Day! King Esarhaddon is shown keeping his eyes to the sky in this large stela. Among the twelve gods...
07/20/2023

Happy National Moon Day! King Esarhaddon is shown keeping his eyes to the sky in this large stela. Among the twelve gods he worships in this depiction is Sin, the moon god, shown as a crescent moon. You can see the Victory Stela of Esarhadden on the museum's third floor. https://bit.ly/HMANEVisit

What are curator Adam Aja’s favorite parts of the Mediterranean Marketplaces exhibition? Hear Adam share a few of his fa...
07/07/2023

What are curator Adam Aja’s favorite parts of the Mediterranean Marketplaces exhibition? Hear Adam share a few of his favorite objects and places in this audio tour. Enjoy it in the gallery or at home! https://tinyurl.com/MedMarketplaceAudioTour

We were happy to invite visitors into our galleries on the night of the Summer Solstice! The newest exhibit, Mediterrane...
06/27/2023

We were happy to invite visitors into our galleries on the night of the Summer Solstice!

The newest exhibit, Mediterranean Marketplaces: Connecting the Ancient World, explores how the movement of goods, peoples, and ideas around the ancient Mediterranean transformed the lives and livelihoods of people at all levels of society.

Open Sunday to Friday, 11am - 4pm.

Our doors will be open the evening of Wednesday, June 21 for the annual Summer Solstice festival. We hope you can join t...
06/08/2023

Our doors will be open the evening of Wednesday, June 21 for the annual Summer Solstice festival. We hope you can join the celebration!

Free In-Person Special Event Join the Harvard Museums of Science & Culture on the longest day of the year—free of charge—to explore the galleries and new exhibitions at the Harvard Museum of Natural History, the Peabody Museum of Archaeology & Ethnology, the Collection of Historical Scientific I...

Have you explored the new online exhibit spotlight, "Theresa B. Goell: Breaking Ground in Archaeology"? https://bit.ly/G...
05/30/2023

Have you explored the new online exhibit spotlight, "Theresa B. Goell: Breaking Ground in Archaeology"? https://bit.ly/GroundbreakerGoell

Donald Sanders is the archaeologist and architect who compiled and published the life's work of Theresa Goell, a 20th century archaeologist who broke gender and cultural barriers in her field with her work at Nemrud Dagi, an archaeological site in the remote mountainous regions of modern Turkey. Donald donated a portion of her archive to the Harvard Museum of the Ancient Near East.

Host Jennifer Berglund interviews Donald about what it was like to compile another archaeologist's life's work, and how that informs Donald's own practice in the field:

“Because she was a woman, and because she was going deaf, she had many strikes against her, but because of her research, we know so much more about that area of Southeastern Turkey. Not only did she open up this area of Turkey for tourism and economic benefit, but she opened up a whole new area of archaeology that needed to take more seriously this middle area between East and West.”

Listen: https://bit.ly/HMSCPodcast.

It's a perfect day for commencement. We are open until 4pm today and tomorrow. Stop by after the celebration!
05/25/2023

It's a perfect day for commencement. We are open until 4pm today and tomorrow. Stop by after the celebration!

05/24/2023

Due to a special event we will open at 12:30 today. Thanks for your patience!

05/15/2023

Due to an unforeseen power outrage we will be temporarily closed until further notice. Thank you for your patience.

Have you seen the King Tut "boy king" throne replica in the museum? The fully restored 1929 reproduction is made of teak...
05/12/2023

Have you seen the King Tut "boy king" throne replica in the museum? The fully restored 1929 reproduction is made of teak with ivory and mother-of-pearl inlays, and faithfully replicates the iconography of the original.

Read the Gazette article about the project: https://bit.ly/HMANETutThrone.

Photo by Tony Rinaldo

This massive monument is a replica of the stela erected by Esarhaddon (680-669 BC) in the main citadel gate of Sam'al. T...
05/05/2023

This massive monument is a replica of the stela erected by Esarhaddon (680-669 BC) in the main citadel gate of Sam'al. The ruler proclaims in its inscription "I am all-powerful ... I am gigantic … I am the chosen one of Assur." This is reinforced by the carved scene, where the ruler towers over his leashed prisoners, one of whom is the Egyptian pharaoh. Esarhaddon salutes the gods, who appear as divine symbols above his head.

Many replicas of the reliefs that decorated his son Ashurbanipal’s palace appear in the our gallery "From Stone to Silicone." Can you visit and locate the Stela of Esarhaddon shown here?

Photo by

Tomorrow night! Yasmin El Shazly, Deputy Director for Research and Programs, American Research Center in Egypt, will giv...
04/17/2023

Tomorrow night! Yasmin El Shazly, Deputy Director for Research and Programs, American Research Center in Egypt, will give a hybrid talk on the topic of
"Divine Mortals: Royal Ancestor Worship in Deir el-Medina."

The Egyptian craftsmen and artists who created and decorated royal tombs during the New Kingdom period (ca. 1550–1070 BCE) lived in Deir el-Medina. Today, this well-preserved village is a key source of information about the daily lives, artistic practices, and religious traditions of ancient Egyptians.

Yasmin El Shazly will discuss the importance of ancestor worship in Deir el-Medina—particularly of Amenhotep I and his mother Ahmose-Nefertari. Prominently featured in homes, artwork, and tombs, these two royal figures held important positions in the Egyptian “hierarchy of being” and exerted great influence over the daily lives of Deir el-Medina residents.

Tuesday, April 18, 2023, 6:00 pm - 7:00 pm ET. Advance registration required: https://bit.ly/DivineMortals. Free event parking at the 52 Oxford Street Garage.

Photo of art ©James VanRensselaer

Have you seen the reproduction of Tutankhamun’s throne recently installed in the museum?Read more about the project and ...
04/16/2023

Have you seen the reproduction of Tutankhamun’s throne recently installed in the museum?

Read more about the project and the history in this Harvard University Gazette article: https://bit.ly/HMANETutThrone.

Admission: Free; Sunday–Friday, 11:00am–4:00pm

Photo by Tony Rinaldo

Yasmin El Shazly is the Deputy Director for Research and Programs, The American Research Center in Egypt - ARCE. On Apri...
04/06/2023

Yasmin El Shazly is the Deputy Director for Research and Programs, The American Research Center in Egypt - ARCE. On April 18th she will give a free hybrid talk titled "Divine Mortals: Royal Ancestor Worship in Deir el-Medina." Advance registration required: https://bit.ly/DivineMortals.

The Egyptian craftsmen and artists who created and decorated royal tombs during the New Kingdom period (ca. 1550–1070 BCE) lived in Deir el-Medina. Today, this well-preserved village is a key source of information about the daily lives, artistic practices, and religious traditions of ancient Egyptians.

Yasmin El Shazly will discuss the importance of ancestor worship in Deir el-Medina—particularly of Amenhotep I and his mother Ahmose-Nefertari. Prominently featured in homes, artwork, and tombs, these two royal figures held important positions in the Egyptian “hierarchy of being” and exerted great influence over the daily lives of Deir el-Medina residents.

Photo of art ©James VanRensselaer

Address

6 Divinity Avenue
Cambridge, MA
02138

Opening Hours

Monday 11am - 4pm
Tuesday 11am - 4pm
Wednesday 11am - 4pm
Thursday 11am - 4pm
Friday 11am - 4pm
Sunday 11am - 4pm

Telephone

(617) 495-4631

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Founded as the Harvard Semitic Museum in 1889, the museum moved into its present location in 1903. From the beginning, it was the home of the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, a departmental library, a repository for research collections, a public educational institute, and a center for archaeological exploration. Among the museum's early achievements were the first scientific excavations in the Holy Land (at Samaria in 1907-1912) and excavations at Nuzi and Tell el-Khaleifeh in the Sinai, where the earliest alphabet was found. During World War II, the museum housed Naval offices and was closed to the public. In the 1970s, academic activities resumed in the museum, which is again home to the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, and to the University's collections of Near Eastern archaeological artifacts. These artifacts comprise over 40,000 items, including pottery, cylinder seals, sculpture, coins, and cuneiform tablets. Many are from museum-sponsored excavations in Israel, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, Cyprus, and Tunisia.

In 2020, the museum was renamed the Harvard Museum of the Ancient Near East to better reflect the diversity of its collections. The museum remains dedicated to the use of these collections for the teaching, research, and publication of Near Eastern archaeology, history, and culture. Exhibitions include a full-scale replica of an Iron Age home, life-sized casts of famous Mesopotamian monuments, authentic mummy coffins, and tablets containing the earliest forms of writing. Like the artifacts it displays, the museum itself has a rich and nuanced history.

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