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The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago is a leading research centre 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.
OI has supported research and archaeological excavation in the Near East since 1919, and its Museum has major collections of antiquities from Egypt, Mesopotamia, Iran, Syria, Palestine and Anatolia, including material from the Hittite settlement of Alishar Hüyük, near Sorgun, where the Institute was involved in excavations in the early 1930s. There are sculptures from Persepolis and colossal Lamassu sculptural reliefs from Sargon II’s palace, Dur Sharrukin, Iraq, from around 705 BC. The Institute’s website offers a 360° interactive virtual tour.
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