The Oriental Institute Museum will present an exhibit entitled “Pioneers to the Past: American Archaeologists in the Middle East, 1919–20” from January 12 to August 30, 2010.Read more about the exhibit here.
James Henry Breasted had received a large donation from John D. Rockefeller, Jr. to establish the Oriental Institute in 1919 and quickly organized an expedition to travel across the Middle East to acquire objects for the Institute and identify sites for excavation. World War I had just ended, the political map of the Middle East had not yet been redrawn, and it was a dangerous time to be travelling through the region. The exhibit will present the incredible adventure story of the Breasted expedition through photographs, excerpts from letters, original documents from the archives, and objects purchased on the trip.
The trip also raises a number of issues about American involvement in the Middle East that still resonate today. How do archaeologists relate with people living in the areas they study? Whose history do archaeologists study and write? What is the relationship between archaeology and international politics?
Thursday, October 8, 2009
Upcoming Exhibit at the OI: “Pioneers to the Past: American Archaeologists in the Middle East, 1919–20”
Pioneers to the Past: American Archaeologists in the Middle East, 1919–20