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Additional press releases:
Oriental Institute opens major gallery on ancient Mesopotamia

The Oriental Institute studies the archaeological heritage of ancient Mesopotamia

Assyrian bull provides museum focal point

Dictionary documents ancient Mesopotamian language

It happened first in ancient Mesopotamia

Oriental Institute Exhibition Photos

Please click to enlarge.

[lion] Karen Wilson, Oriental Institute Museum Director, stands between a statue from the site of Khorsabad, Iraq (721-705 B.C.) and the figure of a lion, executed in molded and glazed brick, from Babylon (604-562 B.C.).
[bull][bull] The Assyrian Bull, one of the most popular items in the Oriental Institute Museum, is flanked in a new installation by relief-carved stone slabs showing ancient Assyrian courtiers and foreign tribute-bearers. The new Yelda Khorsabad Court evokes the grandeur of the Assyrian royal palace at Khorsabad, Iraq.
[gilstein] Gil Stein, Director of the Oriental Institute, stands with the Assyrian Bull.
[case] Beal Stafford, Oriental Institute Museum Mount-maker, dusts a case displaying cylinder seals, most of which were carved of stone. Impressions in clay of cylinder seals conveyed information regarding ownership and authenticity and also showed that a container or door fastening had not been opened since last sealed.
[cylinder seals][cylinder seals] Cylinder seals, which are rarely more than two inches high, bear intricate and beautiful designs incised in reverse so that the images were visible in the clay on which the seal was impressed. The Oriental Institute Museum displays a representative sample of the seals to show how they changed during the nearly 2000 years they were in use.
[clay tablet] Ray Tindel, Oriental Institute Museum Senior Curator and Registrar, examines a Mesopotamian clay tablet that is part of the museum's collection.
[cad] Ancient Mesopotamians pressed reeds into wet clay to create a script known as cuneiform, one of the world's first writing systems. This text records land transfer information. The tablets also included epic poetry, medical instructions, and official records of all kinds. Scholars at the Oriental Institute have studied thousands of texts and are producing a reference work to the ancient languages of the region, the Chicago Assyrian Dictionary.
[clay figures] Among the material that will be displayed in the new Mesopotamian Gallery at the Oriental Institute are small clay figures, which may have been fertility objects, as well as an extensive collection of pottery.
[tools] Tools for grinding flour and preparing food have survived for thousands of years, including these items that are on display in the new Robert and Linda Braidwood Exhibit in the Edgar and Devborah Janotta Mesopotamian Gallery. The gallery is arranged chronologically and begins with material excavated by archaeologists studying the development of agriculture, which led to urban civilization.
[museum] The Oriental Institute Museum at the University of Chicago will display one of the world's finest collections of Mesopotamian materials when it opens in October.
[ruler] HEAD OF A RULER
Gypsum, bitumen, blue paste (modern) H. 4 in. (10.16 cm.); W. 2 1/2 in. (6.35 cm.), D. 3 in. (7.62 cm.) Third Dynasty of Ur, ca. 2000-2050 B.C. Iraq, Bismaya Temple; OIM A173 Excavated by the Oriental Institute, 1904.
[vessel] VESSEL WITH RELIEF CARVING AND INLAY
Chlorite, limestone or marble H. 4 1/4 in. (10.8 cm.), W. 7 7/8 in. (20 cm.), Diam. 9 1/8 in. (23 cm.) Early Dynastic I, ca. 2800 B.C. Iraq, Bismaya Temple; OIM A195A,B,C Excavated by the Oriental Institute, 1904.
[plaque] PLAQUE SHOWING BANQUETERS AND MUSICIANS
Gypsum H. 8 in. (20.5 cm.), W. 7 7/8 in. (20 cm.), Th. 1 1/2 in. (3.81 cm.) Early Dynastic IIIa, ca. 2550 B.C. Iraq, Khafajah, Sin Temple IX; OIM A12417 Excavated by the Oriental Institute, 1933-34
[kneeling man] STATUE OF KNEELING MAN WITH VESSEL ON HIS HEAD
Gypsum, Red Pigment H. 4 1/2 in. (11.43 cm.), W. 2 1/8 in. (5.4 cm.), D. 2 1/4 in. (5.7 cm.) Early Dynastic I, ca. 2900-2600 B.C. Iraq, Tell Agrab, Shara Temple; OIM A18067 Excavated by the Oriental Institute, 1935-36.
[lion] STRIDING LION
Molded and glazed baked brick H. 35.55 in (90.3 cm), W. 7.57 ft. (2.305 m.) Neo-Babylonian Period, ca. 604-562 B.C. Iraq, Babylon. Purchased in Berlin, 1931 OIM A7481
[urnammu] FOUNDATION FIGURINE OF KING UR-NAMMU
Bronze H. 13 1/4 in. (33.7 cm.), W. 5 1/4 in. (13.3 cm.) Third Dynasty of Ur, ca. 21122095 B.C. Iraq, Nippur. Excavated by the Oriental Institute, 1955-56 OIM A30553
[land sale] ANCIENT LAND SALE DOCUMENT
Basalt 9 7/8 in. (25 cm) x 12 1/2 in. (32 cm.) x 2 1/8 in. (5.5 cm.) Early Dynastic III period (ca. 2600 B.C.) Iraq, possibly Isin. Purchased in New York, 1943 OIM A25412
[bird] VESSEL IN THE FORM OF A BIRD
Baked clay Ht. 12 1/4 in. (31 cm.), L. 10 5/8 in. (27 cm.), W. 6 1/4 in. (16 cm.) Early Dynastic I period (ca. 2900 B.C.) Iraq, Khafajah. Excavated by the Oriental Institute, 1935-36 OIM A17818
[wheels] VESSEL WITH ANIMAL HEAD AND WHEELS
Baked clay Ht. 7 in. (17.8 cm.), W. 6 5/8 in. (16.8 cm.), L. 8 3/4 in. (22.4 cm.) Early Dynastic II period (ca. 2700-2600 B.C.) Iraq, Khafajah. Excavated by the Oriental Institute 1931-32 OIM A11584
[male] MALE STATUE
Gypsum Ht. 29 in. (73.5 cm.) Early Dynastic II period (ca. 2700-2600 B.C.) Iraq, Khafajah. Excavated by the Oriental Institute, 1933-34 OIM A12440
[female] FEMALE STATUE
Gypsum Ht. 15 1/2 in. (42 cm.) Early Dynastic III (ca. 2600-2500 B.C.) Iraq, Khafajah. Excavated by the Oriental Institute, 1932-33 OIM A11441
[statues] MALE AND FEMALE STATUES
Gypsum Early Dynastic period (ca. 2750-2500 B.C.) Iraq, Diyala Region. Excavated by the Oriental Institute.
[khorsabad] VIEW OF THE YELDA KHORSABAD COURT
Gypsum, pigment Ht. 19 ft. Neo-Assyrian period, reign of King Sargon II (721-705 B.C.) Iraq, Khorsabad. Excavated by the Oriental Institute, 1928-29.

For more information, please contact William Harms at (773) 702-8356 or w-harms@uchicago.edu.


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