The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago is an interdisciplinary research center that integrates archaeological, textual, linguistic, and art historical data to understand the development and functioning of the ancient civilizations of the Near East from the earliest Holocene through the Medieval period. We achieve this by conducting archaeological excavations, text-based research, artifact analyses, the development of new research methodologies, the stewardship of systematic archival and museum collections as research resources, and the development of fundamental research tools such as dictionaries of ancient languages. We communicate our research to the scholarly community through the Oriental Institute’s (and other) publications and to the general public through our museum exhibits and our programs of outreach and education.

Our goal is to be the world’s leading center for the study of ancient Near Eastern civilizations by combining innovation in theory, methodology, and significant empirical discovery with the highest standards of rigorous scholarship.