Oriental Institute - University of Chicago

Oriental Institute - University of Chicago A leading research center for the ancient Middle East that houses a world-renowned museum with artifacts excavated mainly by OI archaeologists.
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The Oriental Institute Museum is a world-renowned showcase for the history, art, and archaeology of the ancient Near East. The museum displays objects recovered by Oriental Institute excavations in permanent galleries devoted to ancient Egypt, Nubia, Persia, Mesopotamia, Syria, Anatolia, and the ancient site of Megiddo, as well as rotating special exhibits.

Week 10: The OI and Landscape Archaeology This week we will be exploring landscape archaeology: highlighting past, prese...
05/18/2020

Week 10: The OI and Landscape Archaeology

This week we will be exploring landscape archaeology: highlighting past, present, and future projects of the OI in our aim to understand the complex civilizations of the ancient Middle East, from both land and air! Click here to learn more about landscape archaeology: bit.ly/oi-landscapeintro

05/17/2020
OI Ancient Languages Workshop | Session 2: Meroitic

Join us on YouTube today at 2 p.m. CDT, or any time after, for our second OI Ancient Language Seminar!

If you tune in for the premiere, Brian Muhs, associate professor of Egyptology, will be on hand to answer your questions in the chat section.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3AG4W6o921c

In our second ancient languages seminar, Brian Muhs, associate professor of Egyptology, discusses Meroitic. **This is an at home seminar, please excuse the a...

Happy #catterday! Check out this relief from the temple of Naqa in Nubia with King Natakamani and Queen Amanitore before...
05/16/2020

Happy #catterday! Check out this relief from the temple of Naqa in Nubia with King Natakamani and Queen Amanitore before the lion-headed god Apedemak. You can learn more about the Meroitic language that was used at the time in this week's Sunday Seminar with Brian Muhs, associate professor of Egyptology. ⁠

Explore more photographs of Nubia from the Breasted's trips in 1905–1907 here: bit.ly/NubianExpedition

In this week's Sunday Language Seminar, we learn about Meroitic! Brian Muhs, associate professor of Egyptology, will tal...
05/15/2020

In this week's Sunday Language Seminar, we learn about Meroitic! Brian Muhs, associate professor of Egyptology, will talk about the language of ancient Nubia. It will be available on YouTube this Sunday, May 17th, at 2pm CDT!

Click the link to watch on Sunday: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3AG4W6o921c

Sandstone stele with Meroitic inscription, E23258, not on display

Day 5: Art and Artists in the Ancient WorldGood morning! Looking for something to read over your coffee? Why not explore...
05/15/2020

Day 5: Art and Artists in the Ancient World

Good morning! Looking for something to read over your coffee? Why not explore a bit on relief making, including info on this limestone relief of a falcon, which scholars believe was used to train artists in ancient Egypt. Check it out here: http://bit.ly/oi-stone

E9802, not on display

#TBT to Donato Bastiani hard at work restoring a wall relief panel showing a hunting scene (A11254, on display in The Dr...
05/14/2020

#TBT to Donato Bastiani hard at work restoring a wall relief panel showing a hunting scene (A11254, on display in The Dr. Norman Solhkhah Family Assyrian Empire Gallery)! Learn about Bastiani and his restoration efforts here: http://bit.ly/oi-bastiani

Day 4: Art and Artists in the Ancient WorldWant to learn how to draw like an Egyptian? How about create a Michael Rakowi...
05/14/2020

Day 4: Art and Artists in the Ancient World

Want to learn how to draw like an Egyptian? How about create a Michael Rakowitz-inspired piece of art? You can do these and more in this week’s workbook! Download it here: bit.ly/oi-artbook

E13704, on display in The Joseph and Mary Grimshaw Egyptian Gallery

The OI turns 101! Although we are socially distancing, we wish we could celebrate our birthday with all of you. N15841: ...
05/13/2020

The OI turns 101! Although we are socially distancing, we wish we could celebrate our birthday with all of you.

N15841: Photo taken in the garden of the Continental hotel at Cairo, Egypt. Dr. Breasted and Professor Reisner.

Day 3: Art and Artists in the Ancient WorldSit back, relax, and enjoy this OI lecture investigating how we can reconstru...
05/13/2020

Day 3: Art and Artists in the Ancient World

Sit back, relax, and enjoy this OI lecture investigating how we can reconstruct the once brightly painted facades of the monuments and palaces of Persepolis in Iran, by Alexander Nagel! Click here to watch: bit.ly/oi-nagelpersepolis

A73100, on display in The Robert and Deborah Aliber Persian Gallery

Day 2: Art and Artists in the Ancient World Read about the way that ancient artists created through OI objects and publi...
05/12/2020

Day 2: Art and Artists in the Ancient World

Read about the way that ancient artists created through OI objects and publications! Explore our reading list that discusses palettes and practice drawings, while admiring the final product of a painting from the tomb of Amenemhat (TT82), an official from the time of Thutmose III (copy seen here): bit.ly/oi-readings9

Bowl containing Egyptian blue pigment. Excavated at Persepolis. A19384, not on display; Nina de Garis Davies. Copy of a painting from the tomb of Amenemhat (TT82), an official from the time of Thutmose III.

Week 9: Art and Artists in the Ancient WorldWe have an exciting week planned around ancient art and artists! Today, we t...
05/11/2020

Week 9: Art and Artists in the Ancient World

We have an exciting week planned around ancient art and artists! Today, we take a look at the Megiddo Ivories of the Late Bronze Age (LBA), read more here: bit.ly/oi-ivories

A Note From digitalEPIGRAPHY:Modeling the Past: Creating 3D Models from Archival ImageryThis week we would like to highl...
05/10/2020

A Note From digitalEPIGRAPHY:

Modeling the Past: Creating 3D Models from Archival Imagery

This week we would like to highlight an article by one of the Epigraphic Survey's talented photographers, Owen Murray (@omm_photo) - you might also have ‘seen’ him presenting about this project recently at the virtual annual ARCE meeting (@arcenational).

Owen explains how he used photogrammetry to reconstruct the east wall of the Hall of Offerings in Luxor Temple with photos taken by the French Egyptologist Alexandre Moret from 1914-1937. Owen walks through the specifics of the process (with super helpful videos), discusses some of the issues that he had to navigate around (including variable lighting and the physical state of Moret’s negatives), and has a link to the awesome 3D model of the wall!

It is a great example of how we can use modern technology to extract data from historic photos - it allows us to see what the monument would have looked like about 100 years ago, to do a detailed comparison of how it has changed between then and now, and to rectify those photos so that accurate measurements can be taken from them (particularly useful if part of an otherwise intact monument is no longer preserved).

Read the article here: http://www.digital-epigraphy.com/projects/modeling-the-past-creating-3d-models-from-archival-imagery

Also, check out the Chicago House Epigraphic Survey’s #Sketchfab page for more of our modeling projects!

Day 7: The OI thanks our essential workersToday we honor our delivery workers who keep our homes and essential businesse...
05/10/2020

Day 7: The OI thanks our essential workers

Today we honor our delivery workers who keep our homes and essential businesses stocked at all times. Here we see brightly painted reliefs of offering bearers from the Tomb of Montuemhat (TT34). Montuemhat was the Mayor of Thebes in Dynasty 25/26.

E17974 and E17975 on display in the Joseph and Mary Grimshaw Gallery.

Day 6: The OI thanks our essential workersToday we honor our grocery workers, all the people working each day to make ce...
05/09/2020

Day 6: The OI thanks our essential workers

Today we honor our grocery workers, all the people working each day to make certain that we can purchase the food we need. This Ptolemaic period text written in Demotic, E19447 (not on display), lists the number of bread loaves sold by the baker Tefnakht in return for silver in the month of Phaophi, which is an Egyptian month that consists of most of October and the beginning of the November.

Happy #catterday! Here is a cat napping on a reused block with the cartouche of the Dynasty 25 Pharaoh Taharqa, which is...
05/09/2020

Happy #catterday! Here is a cat napping on a reused block with the cartouche of the Dynasty 25 Pharaoh Taharqa, which is upside down. Don't forget that tomorrow, May 9, is the first of our Sunday Seminars; this week is on Ancient Egyptian! The video will be released on YouTube, live at 2 p.m. via this link: https://bit.ly/LanguagesWorkshop1

05/08/2020
OI Ancient Languages Workshop | Session 1: Ancient Egypt

Join us for our free, at-home OI Ancient Language Seminars Sundays in May!
Corrected link included below.

This week, Foy Scalf, head of OI research archives, discusses ancient Egyptian languages and the Hieroglyphic writing system. Anyone who has taken Foy's classes can tell you that this is a seminar you don't want to miss!

Click the link and join us on the OI YouTube channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=otn3d3b5hJI

In our first ancient languages seminar, Foy Scalf, head of the OI Research Archives, discusses ancient Egyptian languages and the Hieroglyphic writing system...

Day 5: The OI thanks our essential workersToday we thank our police, security officers, and other professionals who help...
05/08/2020

Day 5: The OI thanks our essential workers

Today we thank our police, security officers, and other professionals who help keep us safe at this time. Here we see a photograph of Leo Schmitz of the Chicago Police Department. In antiquity, security was also a concern and there were officials who helped with the security of the community. The Dynasty 20 granite statue (ca. 1127 BC) pictured here comes from the site of Medinet Habu and the individual on it is described as "chief of the Mejday, Bekenwerel." In other words, Bekenwerel was the chief of police.

Click the link to explore activities that highlight the tasks of essential workers in antiquity: bit.ly/oi-jobsworkbook

E14663, on display in the Joseph and Mary Grimshaw Egyptian Gallery

Every night, first at 8pm and now at 8:30pm, Chicagoans city-wide connect for Chicago Unite At Night, a sing-along and D...
05/07/2020

Every night, first at 8pm and now at 8:30pm, Chicagoans city-wide connect for Chicago Unite At Night, a sing-along and DIY light show to show support for the efforts in place to keep us safe and applaud our frontline heroes. Hearts can be seen across the cityscape, as brightly lit designs in windows and on balconies, and as massive projections on the sides of buildings, some accompanied by the words “Chicago Health Care Workers.”

In recognition of these nightly efforts and in support of our health care workers, we share a #TBT to a small heart amulet that OI archaeologists excavated in 1933 at the Assyrian capital city of Dur-Sharrukin (modern Khorsabad) in present-day Iraq (A11665, on display). The tiny object—which was part of a collection of amulets, pendants, and beads discarded in a temple well, shown strung together in the first photo, taken shortly after excavation—is carved from shell and would have been worn by an individual in the hopes of warding off disease and other misfortune.

Stay strong, Chicago!

Day 4: The OI thanks essential workersToday we say thank you to all our nurses, doctors, hospital and nursing home staff...
05/07/2020

Day 4: The OI thanks essential workers

Today we say thank you to all our nurses, doctors, hospital and nursing home staff, first responders, technicians, pharmacists, and at-home healthcare workers. Here we see physician Kelly Nicholas with a medical tablet (A3441); a Neo-Babylonian period copy of Esagil-kīn-apli's Diagnostic Handbook, which was supposedly edited in the time of King Adad-apla-iddina (1068–1047) and arranged into forty tablets with over 3000 entries. This is Tablet 28 and gives an insight into how the Mesopotamians viewed the causes of neurological conditions and possible treatment. Part of the text reads: "If “hand” of ghost turns into seizure, that person is sick with “hand” of his city god; in order to save him from “hand” of his city god, you sew up the flesh of wild animals, the “little finger of a corpse” (a plant name), old rancid oil (and) copper in virgin she-goat skin with dormouse tendon. If you put it on his neck, he should recover."

To watch a video about ancient Egyptian doctors, click here: bit.ly/egyptiandoctor

Check out "Our Work," https://bit.ly/oi-ourwork

This Sunday at 2pm, join us on our OI YouTube channel for the first of our Sunday Language Seminars! These half-hour-lon...
05/06/2020

This Sunday at 2pm, join us on our OI YouTube channel for the first of our Sunday Language Seminars! These half-hour-long pre-recorded seminars feature different researchers talking about some of the different languages that we study here at the OI. First up: Foy Scalf, PhD, head of the OI Research Archives, will speak about ancient Egyptian.

Check back closer to the event for the YouTube Link.

E527, not on display

Day 3: The OI thanks our essential workersToday we say thank you to our farmers and our farmworkers, who work so hard at...
05/06/2020

Day 3: The OI thanks our essential workers

Today we say thank you to our farmers and our farmworkers, who work so hard at planting, growing, nurturing, and harvesting all the food that we need. Pictured here is farmer Erika Allen with a clay sickle (A33006) from the site of Chogha Mish in Iran, ca. 3400–3100 BC. Such clay sickles were widespread in use at the site and have a sharp cutting edge. The edge of this sickle is actually still quite sharp! Some of the sickles were made to be held in the left hand (the most common and the type pictured here) and others in the right hand.

Click to read the exhibition catalog, "Our Work," here: https://oi.uchicago.edu/museum-exhibits/special-exhibits/our-work-modern-jobs-ancient-origins

We want to say thank you to everyone who has supported us today! We are grateful for everyone who is staying connected a...
05/05/2020

We want to say thank you to everyone who has supported us today! We are grateful for everyone who is staying connected and engaged with us during these times! As a sign of our appreciation, we will be giving an annual subscription to our quarterly magazine News & Notes for all gifts of $25 or more and a family membership for all gifts of $50 to anyone who makes a fully tax-deductible contribution today on May 5th.

Click the link to access the secure online donation form: bit.ly/oi-onlinegift

05/05/2020
Thank You

Day 2: The OI thanks our patrons

Today, on May 5th, we at the OI celebrate and express our appreciation for all our wonderful faculty, staff, volunteers, supporters, and friends who continually believe in and advance our mission as the world’s leading research center on the study of the ancient Middle East.

We hope you will support us during these uncertain times by spreading the word about the OI to your family members and friends, subscribing to our e-newsletter, downloading our free educational kids’ activities and scholarly publications from our website, or sharing your own impressions and memories of the OI on social media!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YFq2DVEmtiE

Today, on May 5th, we at the OI celebrate and express our appreciation for all our wonderful faculty, staff, volunteers, supporters, and friends who steadfas...

Happy #StarWarsDay!⁠⁠#MayThe4thBeWithYou
05/04/2020

Happy #StarWarsDay!⁠

#MayThe4thBeWithYou

Day 1: The OI thanks our essential workersThis week we celebrate our essential workers, whom we need now more than ever....
05/04/2020

Day 1: The OI thanks our essential workers

This week we celebrate our essential workers, whom we need now more than ever. Such essential workers also existed in antiquity, pointing to the necessity of such professions and why they have continued to exist for thousands of years.

Today, we thank those people who work preparing and making our food, like baker Mario Silva, photographed with an Egyptian bread mold (E1986) in our exhibition catalog "Our Work." The historical importance of these jobs is exemplified with this granite statue from Egypt, ca. 2500 BC (Dynasty 4 or Dynasty 5). Tchenenet, for whom the statue is made, is described as being abnr, a title that is normally translated as a "confectioner," meaning someone who makes sweet things.

E14054, on display in the Joseph and Mary Grimshaw Egyptian Gallery

Check out "Our Work," here: https://oi.uchicago.edu/museum-exhibits/special-exhibits/our-work-modern-jobs-ancient-origins

A Note From digitalEPIGRAPHY:Reconstructing the Western High Gate Digitally“In digitalEPIGRAPHY’s next project descripti...
05/03/2020

A Note From digitalEPIGRAPHY:

Reconstructing the Western High Gate Digitally

“In digitalEPIGRAPHY’s next project description, Survey epigrapher Ariel W. Singer, Egyptologist, PhD candidate at the University of Chicago and epigrapher at the Epigraphic Survey of the Oriental Institute, writes about the challenges proposed by creating 3D photogrammetric models for the blocks of the Western High Gate at Medinet Habu Temple. If you have any comments on the subject or would like to share your own experience reconstructing fragments, you can do so here on Facebook or at www.digital-epigraphy.com. BTW, did you know that you can find all tags labeling dE articles at the bottom of our main page?! Happy reading!”

Click the link to read more: http://www.digital-epigraphy.com/projects/reconstructing-the-western-high-gate-digitally

Happy #catterday! Ending our week looking at magic, here is an agate lion amulet from the site of Ishchali in Iraq! A169...
05/02/2020

Happy #catterday! Ending our week looking at magic, here is an agate lion amulet from the site of Ishchali in Iraq!

A16974, not on display

Magic in the Ancient WorldWant to go on an in-depth tour of Magic in the Ancient World? Then take a seat in your favorit...
05/01/2020
Magic in the Ancient World - Oriental Institute Museum - Google Arts & Culture

Magic in the Ancient World

Want to go on an in-depth tour of Magic in the Ancient World? Then take a seat in your favorite chair and fire up your computer, the OI's Magic in the Ancient World tour is live on Google Arts and Culture! Click the link to explore: https://artsandculture.google.com/exhibit/magic-in-the-ancient-world/BwISzJZdqxZrJQ

What is magic? In the Penguin Book of Magic, Brian Copenhaver suggested that finding a universal definition of magic encompassing the wide range of socio-c...

Day 5: Magic in the Ancient WorldWant to hunt for ancient magic objects? How about design your very own mummy case or ta...
05/01/2020

Day 5: Magic in the Ancient World

Want to hunt for ancient magic objects? How about design your very own mummy case or take an Egyptian deity personality quiz? Well, you are going to love this week's Magic Workbook! Click the link to begin your adventure: bit.ly/oi-magicbook

E6792, on display in The Joseph and Mary Grimshaw Egyptian Gallery

#TBT to a man getting his fortune told! What do you think this fortune teller saw in his future?This photograph was take...
04/30/2020

#TBT to a man getting his fortune told! What do you think this fortune teller saw in his future?

This photograph was taken in the late 19th-century, by the Armenian-Iranian photographer Antoin Sevruguin; it is one of over 100 Qajar-period photographs in the OI Museum collection (P. 1213).

04/30/2020
Awakening the Dead for Love | Robert Ritner, Rowe Professor of Egyptology, and Foy Scalf, OI

Day 4: Magic in the ancient world

Drive a man mad with lust! Join us on our OI YouTube channel for a special at-home podcast. Robert Ritner, The Rowe Professor of Egyptology, and Foy Scalf, head of OI research archives join OI podcast host, Steven Townshend, for a discussion about an ancient Egyptian love binding spell that they recently published. This unique spell has recently attracted a good amount of media coverage.

To explore their work in translating this spell and to discover the spell itself, click on the YouTube link!

Hit subscribe on our OI YouTube Channel for up to date notification of our new videos!

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VadMR0RW4CY

A spell in which an ancient Egyptian woman employs the aid of a ghost to drive a man mad with lust. Join us for this at-home podcast as Robert Ritner, The Ro...

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1155 E 58th St
Chicago, IL
60637

Take the Jackson Park Express CTA bus (Number 6), the Hyde Park Express (Number 2) south to Hyde Park. Get off at 59th street, walk to Woodlawn Ave., make a right and the museum will be located to your left, behind Rockefeller Chapel. Check out this link to view the museum and surrounding campus in real-time: http://buscam.uchicago.edu/view/index.shtml.

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The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago is a leading research center for the ancient Middle East. The museum houses some 350,000 artifacts—around 5,000 of which are on display—excavated mainly by OI archaeologists. Founded in 1919, at a time when the Middle East was called the Orient, the OI has pioneered innovative excavations and comprehensive dictionary projects that chronicle ancient civilizations. The Oriental Institute Museum aims to understand, reveal, and protect ancient Middle Eastern civilizations.

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