Tuesday, December 23, 2008

Publications: Kerkenes Special Studies 1: Sculpture and Inscriptions from the Monumental Entrance to the Palatial Complex at Kerkenes Dag, Turkey

Kerkenes Special Studies 1: Sculpture and Inscriptions from the Monumental Entrance to the Palatial Complex at Kerkenes Dag, Turkey

Catherine M. Draycott and Geoffrey D. Summers, with contribution by Claude Brixhe and Turkish summary translated by G. Bike Yazıcıoğlu

Available for purchase or for download

Between 2003 and 2005, various remains of sculpture and fragments of an important inscription in the Old Phrygian language were unexpectedly found during excavations at the sixth century B.C. walled city on Kerkenes Mountain in the highlands of Central Turkey. These unusual finds have a significant role to play in the interpretation of the site and the interpretation of Phrygian history and culture. Large-scale sculpture in the round and small reliefs have distinctive characteristics so far unattested within territory inhabited by Phrygian speakers, while the extensive inscription names individuals so far unknown. Together, they attest to an ambitious and distinctive identity of power at this relatively remote mountaintop city, which may be equated with the strongly fortified place of Pteria mentioned in Herodotus, and which may have flourished for a brief period between the death of King Midas of Gordion and the conquering of Anatolia by the Persian King, Cyrus the Great.

This volume presents these striking new finds, all of which come from the Monumental Entrance to a sector of the city known as the Palatial Complex. An introduction to the archaeological context is followed by a detailed catalog of the sculpted fragments, associated architectural fragments, and the inscribed fragments. Within the catalog there is erudite discussion of comparanda aimed at placing the unique material in its wider cultural and historical context, as well as a tentative reconstruction of the major pieces into a single monument. Rounding off the work is a commentary on the Phrygian inscription by Prof. Claude Brixhe. The volume is profusely illustrated with line drawings and photographs of every fragment together with a set of color plates that highlight the violence done to the monuments when the city was looted and burnt in the mid-sixth century B.C.. A Turkish summary is provided.

* Oriental Institute Publications, Volume 135
* Chicago: The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, 2008
* ISBN-13: 978-1-885923-57-8
* Pp. xxiv + 89; 98 plates
* $90.00

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

OI in The Core: College Magazine of The University of Chicago

The Fall / Winter 2008 issues of The Core includes a section in which alumni share memories of their favorite or most memorable places at the University.

One of them remembers studying in the Oriental Institute Library
Another remembers working in the basement with Linda Braidwood



Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Events at the OI

I have added a widget serving the newsfeed for Events at the Oriental Institute to the right hand sidebar

Friday, December 5, 2008

The Oriental Institute Rated

Paul Klein invited readers of his Art Letter to grade Chicago’s institutions that exhibit visual art. The results of the survey apeared yesterday in Art Letter (12/3/08). The Oriental Institute tied for 2nd/3rd place with the Smart Museum.

The highest grades were for (B or higher)
1. Chicago Cultural Center
Oriental Institute
Smart Museum
Art Institute of Chicago
Hyde Park Art Center
National Museum of Mexican Art
Museum of Contemporary Photography

The lowest grades were for: (D or below - - - perhaps more votes here would have made a difference)
Cervantes Institute
Southside Community Arts Center
Little Black Pearl
DuSable Art Museum
Chinese American Museum of Chicago

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

OI in Life Magazine

Google's new collection of scanned images from the Life Magazine collection includes some Oriental Institute related material.


TIME cover 12-14-1931 ill. of leading American Egyptologist James H. Breasted.


"The sixth grade class making their annual visit to the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago to establish a first hand feeling for life in ancient Middle East."


"Students and instructors standing around ancient relief sculpture of a pair of eunuchs in the Oriental Institute's Assyrian room."


"Egyptologist Dr. Charles F. Nims (C) lecturing students at the temple of Amen at Karnak."


"Egyptologist Dr. Charles F. Nims (C) lecturing to students at temple of Amen-Ra in Thebes."


"Egyptologist Dr. Charles F. Nims lecturing students at the temple of Amen at Karnak."


"Dr. Charles F. Nims lectuing students of Int'l School of America at Ave. of Ram-Headed sphinxes near temple of Amen-Ra."

Monday, December 1, 2008

Walter Kaegi on Hyde Park

Walter Kaegi, voting member of the Oriental Institute and Professor of History at the University of Chicago, talks about what he loves about Hyde Park.

With Chicago as one of the candidate cities for the 2016 Olympics everyone is asking "Why Chicago?" We took this question to the University of Chicago community and here's what they had to say.