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The Oriental Institute Museum

TREASURES FROM THE ROYAL TOMBS OF UR

October 21, 2000 - January 21, 2001

RELATED ACTIVITIES

For further information:

Contact the Oriental Institute Museum Education Office
772-702-9507
oi-museum@uchicago.edu



OPENING: Treasures from the ROYAL TOMBS of UR

Join us for a weekend of festivities to mark the public opening of the magnificent Treasures From the Royal Tombs of Ur exhibition.

Saturday, October 21
10am - 4pm

Docents will be available in the exhibition to answer questions from 10:30 - 4pm Iraq: Cradle of Civilization, the PBS documentary from the acclaimed Legacy series will be shown continuously in Breasted Hall from 10:30am - l:30pm and again from 3pm - 4pm. From 1pm - 3pm see local artists demonstrate the processes used to create the spectacular gold and silver objects on display in the exhibition. Have your name written in cuneiform from 1pm - 4pm. Be sure not to miss the 2pm lecture on the exhibition given by Karen L. Wilson, Director, Oriental Institute Museum.

Sunday, October 22
12 noon - 4pm

Today is a special day for children and their families. Take a self-guided Treasures hunt from 12 noon to 4pm. Docents will be available to answer questions in the exhibition from 12:30 to 4pm. Come to Breasted Hall any time between 12:30 and 4pm to see "Arizona Smith" and his team of young archaeologists-in-training explore ancient Sumer in a film from the award-winning Ancient Civilizations for Children series From 1 - 4pm have your name written in cuneiform, hear music from ancient times, play a Sumerian board game, and enjoy art activities based on tales and treasures from Ur.

ADULT EDUCATION COURSE

Ancient Sumer: Cities of Eden

Ancient Sumer--today's southern Iraq--is famed in the Old Testament as the site of the Garden of Eden. Archaeological discoveries show ancient Sumer was home to the world's first cities and a sophisticated urban culture that produced monumental art, the rule of kings, and the earliest known writing system--cuneiform. This six-session course introduces the great achievements of ancient Sumer in conjunction with Treasures from the Royal Tombs of Ur, a major exhibition of Sumerian artistic masterpieces. Visits to this exhibition, on loan to the Oriental Institute from the renowned collections at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, will be a special feature of each class session. Topics to be discussed include Sumerian art and architecture, literature, religious beliefs, burial practices, and the structure of Sumerian society over its two-thousand-year history, ca. 4000-2000 B.C.

Instructor: Clemens Reichel is a Ph.D. candidate in Mesopotamian Archaeology in the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago. He has participated in numerous archaeological excavations in the Middle East and he is currently working for the Diyala Project, an Oriental Institute study of Sumerian artifacts and texts recovered during the Institute's excavations near the Diayla River east of Baghdad.

This course will meet at the Oriental Institute on Wednesday evenings from 7pm - 9pm, beginning November 1 and continuing through December 13, 2000. There will be no class on November 22.

Tuition: $109 for Oriental Institute members; $129 for non-members. Pre-registration is required.

ORIENTAL INSTITUTE/GRAHAM SCHOOL OF GENERAL STUDIES SYMPOSIUM

Masterpieces and Mystique: Treasures from the Royal Tombs of Ur
Saturday, November 18, 2000
10am - 4pm
Breasted Hall

Continental Breakfast and Private Exhibit Viewing, 9am - 10am
Closing Reception

Ancient masterpieces rivaled only by the splendors of King Tut await you at a one-day symposium presented in conjunction with Treasures from the Royal Tombs of Ur, a landmark exhibition on loan to the Oriental Institute from the renowned collections of the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology.

Ancient Ur, once a flourishing city of 30,000 people, was a major urban center in Mesopotamia--today's Iraq. Archaeologists excavating at the site of Ur in the 1920s made a discovery that remains one of the greatest events in ancient Near Eastern archaeology. They unearthed a series of royal tombs built ca. 2600 B.C. and were stunned to discover that these burials contained some of the world's most spectacular examples of ancient treasure. Finds included jewelry of gold, lapis lazuli, and carnelian; vessels of silver and alabaster; exquisitely decorated musical instruments; and the magnificent headdress of a Mesopotamian queen. Other objects hinted at burial rituals never before or again seen at Mesopotamian sites. Royal attendants dressed in elaborate finery may have gone to their deaths in the tombs of Ur, believing they would be able to serve their deceased rulers in the afterlife.

This symposium will explore the significance of the excavations, the mysteries surrounding the burials, and how the treasures from the tombs opened the world's eyes to the glory and mystique of ancient Mesopotamian civilization as it existed over 4000 years ago.

Symposium presenters include:

Richard L. Zettler, Associate Curator-in-Charge of the Near East Section, The University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archaeology and Anthropology, on the discovery and excavation of the royal tombs, highlighting the remarkable work of celebrated archaeologist Leonard Woolley.

Karen L. Wilson, Oriental Institute Museum Director, University of Chicago, on the exceptional artistry of the tombs' treasures and the insights they provide on ancient Mesopotamian culture and society.

Anne Draffkorn Kilmer, Professor of Assyriology and Ancient Mesopotamian Civilization, University of California at Berkeley, on the Great Lyre and other musical instruments found at Ur, what they teach us about ancient melodies, and how they testify to the importance of music and dance in Mesopotamia and other ancient societies.

McGuire Gibson, Professor of Mesopotamian Archaeology, Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations at the University of Chicago, on royal burial practices in the ancient world, with special emphasis on the tombs at Ur and other Mesopotamian burial sites.

Fee: $55 Oriental Institute members; $62 for non-members. Includes tuition, packet of materials, continental breakfast, wine and cheese reception, and private viewing of the Treasures from the Royal Tombs of Ur exhibition. Pre-registration is required. Optional box lunches will be ordered upon request.

STUDIO WORKSHOPS

Ancient-Inspired Adornment: A Metalsmithing Workshop for Adults
Sunday, October 29, 2000
1 - 4pm
At Lill Street Art Center
1021 West Lill Street
Chicago IL 60614

Create jewelry and other ornamental objects in silver, copper, or brass using techniques that have remained virtually unchanged since ancient times. Join metalsmith Anna Pertzoff to learn how to hammer, form, file, chase, and stamp metals. No previous metalsmithing experience is needed. This Lill Street Art Center workshop is presented in conjunction with the Treasures from the Royal Tombs of Ur exhibition on view at the Oriental Institute.

Instructor: Anna Pertzoff holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Metalsmithing from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. An experienced arts educator and artist, she has been on the teaching staff at the Lill Street Art Center for the past four years.

Workshop Fee: $50 per person. All materials, tools, and supplies are included, except for silver, which can be purchased from the the instructor. Space is limited. To register, contact the Lill Street Art Center at (773) 477-6185.

Treasures to Go: A Jewelry Design Workshop for Adults
Sunday, November 5, 2000
1pm - 4:30pm

Be dazzled by the exquisite jewelry in the Treasures from the Royal Tombs of Ur exhibition, and then design your own version of an ancient-style adornment. We'll start in the galleries where you'll learn how to make sketches that capture details of the spectacular objects on view. In the downstairs studio we'll use polymer clay, metallic pigments, and a variety of surface embellishments to create brooches or pendants inspired by the artistry of ancient Ur. No prior drawing or design experience is needed to take part in this program, and all materials, tools, and supplies are provided.

Instructor: Cyd Engel is an artist/teacher who holds a Masters in Arts Education from the School of the Art Institute of Chicago. Formerly Interim Curator of Education for the Terra Museum of American Art, she is currently Manager of Special Education Projects for the Milwaukee Art Museum.

Workshop Fee: $26 for Oriental Institute members; $29 for non- members. Space is limited and pre-registration is required.

HANDS-ON ACTIVITIES

HANDS-ON ACTIVITY: Cylinder Seals, FREE
Tuesday, December 26, 2000
12:00 NOON - 2:00 PM
At The Oriental Institute

Enjoy four days of free hands-on art activities for children December 26 - 29, 2000. These activities are related to the traveling exhibition Treasures from the Royal Tombs of Uron view at the Oriental Institute.

Pre-registration is not required.

The kings and queens of Ur used cylinder seals incised with their names and titles to identify themselves on tablets and letters. Carve your own cylinder seal with your name or favorite decoration in the style of the royalty of Ur.

HANDS-ON ACTIVITY: Royal Headdress, FREE
Wednesday, December 27, 2000
12:00 NOON - 2:00 PM
At The Oriental Institute

Enjoy four days of free hands-on art activities for children December 26 - 29, 2000. These activities are related to the traveling exhibition Treasures from the Royal Tombs of Uron view at the Oriental Institute.

Pre-registration is not required.

Create your own royal headdress in the style worn by Queen Puabi and her handmaidens to their graves. Now you can create your own version of these ancient masterpieces.

HANDS-ON ACTIVITY: Magical Motifs, FREE
Thursday, December 28, 2000
12:00 NOON - 2:00 PM
At The Oriental Institute

Enjoy four days of free hands-on art activities for children December 26 - 29, 2000. These activities are related to the traveling exhibition Treasures from the Royal Tombs of Uron view at the Oriental Institute.

Pre-registration is not required.

Create Ur-inspired decorations with gold foil. View the beautiful items fashioned of gold in the exhibit, then let the treasures from Ur inspire your creation!

HANDS-ON ACTIVITY: Royal Jewelry, FREE
Friday, December 29, 2000
12:00 NOON - 2:00 PM
At The Oriental Institute

Enjoy four days of free hands-on art activities for children December 26 - 29, 2000. These activities are related to the traveling exhibition Treasures from the Royal Tombs of Uron view at the Oriental Institute.

Pre-registration is not required.

Design and create your own beaded jewelry like that worn by the kings and queens of Ur. Visit the exhibition to see examples of beaded jewelry and clothing the royalty of Ur took with them to their graves.

ORIENTAL INSTITUTE/MOSTLY MUSIC EVENT FOR FAMILIES

The Magic Carpet: Stories, Song, and Ancient Art
Sunday, November 12, 2000
2-4pm
LaSalle Banks Education Center
Oriental Institute Lower Level

Take a magic carpet ride to ancient Egypt and Mesopotamia to learn how tales like Star Wars and Harry Potter got their start. You'll sit on rugs and cushions as master storyteller Judith Heineman introduces you to Gilgamesh, the world's first superhero, and to the gods and goddesses of ancient Egypt. You'll be spellbound as you learn of ancient quests, miracles, magic, monsters and villains, and epic battles between good and evil. After the stories enjoy hands-on art activities inspired by the tales and take a treasure hunt to discover the stories that are told by the ancient art on view in the museum. The program is co-sponsored by Mostly Music, Inc., the Hyde Park organization that has been presenting emerging young talent and prize-winning artists to the community for 28 years.

Fee: $9 for Oriental Institute members: $11 . The program is recommended for children ages 5 and up, accompanied by an adult. Space is limited and pre-registration is required.

SUNDAY FILMS AND GALLERY TOURS

Each Sunday afternoon, you can enjoy the best in documentary and feature films on the ancient Near East at the Oriental Institute. Films begin at 1:30pm. Running time ranges from 30 - 50 minutes unless otherwise noted. Beginning on October 22 and continuing through December 17, the Sunday series will feature films that explore concepts or themes related to Treasures from the Royal Tombs of Ur. Admission is free, and docent-led guided tours of the Treasures exhibition follow each film showing.

Oct. 22
Ancient Mesopotamia
--The entire family will enjoy the adventures of "Arizona Smith" and his team of young archaeologists-in-training as they explore ancient Mesopotamia in this film from the award-winning Ancient Civilizations for Children series This film will be shown continuously from 12:30 to 4pm in conjunction with the public opening of the Treasures from the Royal Tombs of Ur exhibition.
Oct. 29
The Mole People
--Get set for Halloween with this 1956 horror film that presents an on-beyond-camp view of the ancient Sumerians. The film will be introduced by Matthew W. Stolper, John A Wilson Professor of Assyriology, who has a special interest in ways the ancient world is depicted in the movies. (78 minutes)
Nov. 5
Iraq:Cradle of Civilization
-- From the PBS Legacy: Origins of Civilization series. Narrated by Michael Wood, this film explores the great civilization of ancient Mesopotamia, which gave the world its earliest cities, the first epic literature, and earliest evidence of the rule of law.
Nov. 12
Out of the Fiery Furnace
-- this acclaimed PBS film on the discovery and use of metal highlights ancient processes like those used to create the magnificent metal objects in the Treasures From the Royal Tombs of Ur exhibition.
Nov. 19
Gilgamesh: Tablet XI
-- Live and computer imagery deluge the screen in this film that introduces the story of the Mesopotamian Noah and the Great Flood as it is told in the Epic of Gilgamesh. This fascinating film is presented in Akkadian, the language of the original text, accompanied by English subtitles.
Nov. 26
Ancient Treasures of the Deep
-- From the PBS Nova series, this documentary on the underwater excavation of a 14th-century B.C. shipwreck shows how the ancient world from Africa to the Baltic was united by trade.
Dec. 3
To be announced
--call Museum Education at (773) 702-9507 for information.
Dec. 10
Iraq: Cradle of Civilization
--(repeat of film shown Nov. 5)
Dec. 17
Gilgamesh: Tablet XI:
--(repeat of film shown Nov. 19)
Dec. 24 and 31
Holiday break
-- no film showings

ORIENTAL INSTITUTE LECTURES

LECTURE: Women of Ur: Gender and Sexuality in Ancient Mesopotamia, FREE

Jerrold S. Cooper, Professor, Johns Hopkins University
Wednesday, November 8, 2000
8:00 PM
Oriental Institute
Reception following

Professor Cooper will use the perspective of gender studies to examine the women of Ur, and of Mesopotamia more broadly, in their social, political, and historical contexts. Working women, as well as royal and elite women, will be discussed, as will family structure, prostitution, and sexuality.

Jerrold S. Cooper is professor in the Near Eastern Studies Department of The Johns Hopkins University, where he has taught since 1968. He received his Ph.D. from the University of Chicago in 1969. Professor Cooper's main research interests are Sumerian literature, Mesopotamian history, gender, and sexuality in the ancient world, and the early history of writing systems.

LECTURE: Treasures from the Royal Tombs of Ur, FREE

Richard L. Zettler, University of Pennsylvania
Sunday, November 19, 2000
3:00 PM
Oriental Institute

Held in conjunction with the Archaeological Institute of America and the Art Institute's Classical Arts Society.

View the temporary exhibit, Treasures from the Royal Tombs of Ur, from 4:00 - 6:00 PM after the lecture.

Richard L. Zettler, Curator for the traveling exhibition Treasures from the Royal Tombs of Ur,currently on view at the Oriental Institute, will speak about the work involved in maintaining the traveling exhibit as well as the history behind the beautiful objects on display.

LECTURE: The Craft Specialists of Power and Prestige: Traders, Jewelers, and Metallurgists of the Third Millennium BC, FREE

K. Aslihan Yener, Associate Professor of Archaeology
Wednesday, December 6, 2000
8:00 PM
Oriental Institute
Reception following

In the 1920s, when British and American archaeologists discovered a cemetery of royal tombs at the ancient Sumerian city of Ur, located in what is now southern Iraq, the discovery was hailed as one of the most important chapters in the history of archaeology. Since then, few archaeological finds have rivaled the richness of the sumptuous contents of the Royal tombs of Ur. Gold, silver, and semiprecious stones testify to an ancient culture consumed with conspicuous displays of wealth, power, and status. The Sumerian artists who created them were, by 2650 BC, true masters of their craft. Some of their greatest masterpieces were elegant, super-refined works of jewelry, each one offering a virtual geography of foreign luxuries in miniature. Gathered in a single piece were luxuries from all over the known world: gold from Egypt, Iran, and Nubia; precious shell from the Persian Gulf; lapis lazuli from Afghanistan; and carnelian from the Indus Valley. Unparalleled in their the beauty, elegance, and craftsmanship, the jewelry from Ur ranks among the highest achievements in nearly 3500 years of Near Eastern art.

Recent research by K. Aslihan Yener has revolutionized our understanding of metallurgy and metals trade responsible for the great treasures at Ur. In particular, her intensive survey and excavation work in the region of the Taurus mountains has given credence to ancient Sumerian epics that proclaimed Anatolia as the source for precious metals par excellence and the home of the legendary "Silver Mountain." Through intensive survey and archaeological work, she has successfully identified countless ancient mines, the likely sources for a bustling metals industry stretching back into the earliest periods of the region and Iraq's history. By using high-tech materials analysis to examine scores of metal objects, she has also been able to follow the movement of metals from Anatolia in and around the ancient Near East in the form of finished goods. Professor Yener will provide a rare glimpse into the lives and methods of some of the world's first miners, metallurgists, merchants, and artists and, in the process, suggest that the ancient inhabitants of modern Turkey, much like their Sumerian neighbors at Ur, were key players in a far-flung network of international trade that constituted Iraq's, and the world's, first global economy.

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