Tuesday, April 27, 2010

Emily Teeter's 200 Words

Emily Teeter contributes to the UofC Theater Blog's 200 word project: Teeter (The Oriental Institute)"
The artifacts that I deal with were made thousand of years ago. They can take on a certain abstractness due to their chronological separation from today. But sometimes, there is an immediacy that compresses the millennia and brings the past vividly alive. The coffin and mummy of a woman named Meresamun are such objects...
See Geoff Emberling's 200 words.

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Friday, April 23, 2010

Monday, April 19, 2010

Geoff Emberling's 200 Words

Geoff Emberling contributes to the UofC Theater Blog's 200 word project: Emberling (Oriental Institute):
In the ancient Middle East, there was a very close connection between an image and what it represented. As an archaeologist and curator working with Mesopotamian art, I am frequently confronted with this intimate relation that is so different from our own...
See Emily Teeter's 200 words.

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Sunday, April 11, 2010

Oriental Institute in Fiction

A new book Assassin's Honor by Monica Burns features characters and events associated with the Oriental Institute. It's a bodice-ripper, naturally: "A sexy new adventure-packed romance with a paranormal twist!"
Archeologist Emma Zale sees the past when she touches relics. It's how she uncovered evidence of an ancient order of assassins-the Sicari. When a sinfully dark stranger shows up on her Chicago doorstep demanding an artifact she doesn't have, he drags her into a world where telekinesis and empaths-someone who can sense the emotions of others- are the norm. Now someone wants her dead, and her only hope of survival is an assassin who's every bit as dangerous to her body as he is to her heart.


The author has posted the first thirty-seven pages of the book online:
...Roberta’s wit was every bit as sharp as Emma’s friend, Ewan Redmurre. Perhaps that explained why Ewan couldn’t stand the woman. As an Oriental Institute board member, Ewan hated it when someone upstaged him. And Roberta had done that and more by buying herself an internship with her financial backing of the Ptolemy dig. It hadn’t made Charlie happy either...

...Although they’d released her, the Egyptian authorities remained suspicious of her, and the university’s Oriental Institute hadn’t hesitated to yank her out of the country the first chance they got. After the dean’s call this afternoon, she had the distinct impression she wouldn’t be working a dig anytime in the near future either...

..A small stack of mail sat in the center of the desk, and she sorted through it. The invitation to the opening of the Oriental Institute’s latest exhibition made her grimace. Just what she needed—intense scrutiny from her peers and other interested parties...

...Ewan Redmurre had just paid her one of the highest compliments she could ever receive. His approval wasn’t to be taken lightly given his degree of influence at the Oriental Institute. A member of the Institute’s Board of Directors, his power could easily advance or sidetrack any career...

If you want to read more, you'll have to order the book at Amazon.

I'm pretty sure I once compiled a list of works of fiction in which the Oriental Institute appears, but at the moment I can't locate it.

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Saturday, April 10, 2010

The History of the Oriental Institute in the Encyclopaedia Iranica

There is a short history of the Oriental Institute in the Encyclopaedia Iranica:

ORIENTAL INSTITUTE OF THE UNIVERSITY OF CHICAGO, a major research center devoted to the study of the history, languages, and archaeology of the ancient Near East and Egypt.

By Kamyar Abdi

The origins of the Oriental Institute can be traced back to 1892 and the foundation of the new University of Chicago in its present location in Hyde Park (Daniels 1979). The first president of the University, William Rainey Harper was also a professor of Semitic languages. Upon moving from Yale to Chicago to assume his new position, Harper invited a pupil of his, James Henry Breasted, and his younger Assyriologist brother Robert Francis Harper, to join him in the new Department of Semitic Languages...

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Tuesday, April 6, 2010

News: Tell Zeidan

Archaeological project seeks clues about dawn of urban civilization in Middle East
University of Chicago News
April 6, 2010

A team of archaeologists from the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute has joined a team of Syrian colleagues in excavating a key site from the prehistoric society that formed the foundation of urban life in the ancient Middle East.

The site already has yielded evidence of trade in obsidian, rich agricultural production and the development of copper processing — all of which flourished long before people domesticated pack animals for transportation or invented the wheel. The early culture also spawned a social elite that engaged in trade with far–flung regions and used stone seals to mark ownership of goods.

The American and Syrian archaeologists are digging at the long–known, but previously unexcavated mound of Tell Zeidan, which is one of the largest sites of the Ubaid culture in northern Mesopotamia. Tell Zeidan dates from between 6000 and 4000 B.C. and is expected to shed much light on the Ubaid period (about 5300–4000 B.C.), which immediately preceded the world’s first urban civilizations in the ancient Middle East...




See Video



Archaeologists Uncover Land Before Wheel; Site Untouched for 6,000 Years
National Science Foundation Press Release 10-054
April 6, 2010

A team of archaeologists from the University of Chicago's Oriental Institute, along with a team of Syrian colleagues, is uncovering new clues about a prehistoric society that formed the foundation of urban life in the Middle East prior to invention of the wheel.

The mound of Tell Zeidan in the Euphrates River Valley near Raqqa, Syria, which had not been built upon or excavated for 6,000 years, is revealing a society rich in trade, copper metallurgy and pottery production. Artifacts recently found there are providing more support for the view that Tell Zeidan was among the first societies in the Middle East to develop social classes according to power and wealth.

Tell Zeidan dates from between 6000 and 4000 B.C., and immediately preceded the world's first urban civilizations in the ancient Middle East. It is one of the largest sites of the Ubaid culture in northern Mesopotamia...





View a video narrated by Gil Stein, lead researcher and director of the University of Chicago's Oriental Institute.

See the chronicle of news about the Oriental Institute.

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Monday, April 5, 2010

News: Tell Zeidan in the New York Times

In Syria, a Prologue for Cities
By John Noble Wilford
New York Times
Published: April 5, 2010
Archaeologists have embarked on excavations in northern Syria expected to widen and deepen understanding of a prehistoric culture in Mesopotamia that set the stage for the rise of the world’s first cities and states and the invention of writing.

In two seasons of preliminary surveying and digging at the site known as Tell Zeidan, American and Syrian investigators have already uncovered a tantalizing sampling of artifacts from what had been a robust pre-urban settlement on the upper Euphrates River. People occupied the site for two millenniums, until 4000 B.C. — a little-known but fateful period of human cultural evolution...


Ext. 720

See the chronicle of news about the Oriental Institute.

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