November 29, 2005

Oriental Institute Job Posting: Tenure-track position in Hittitology

The Oriental Institute and the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations of the University of Chicago invite applications for a tenure-track position in Hittitology that will be occupied in Fall, 2006.

Applicants should have broad competence in Hittite and Anatolian languages and cultures, with a firm background in Akkadian. Familiarity with Hurrian is recommended. The successful applicant is expected to engage in research, both individual and as part of the Chicago Hittite Dictionary Project, and to teach introductory and specialized courses at the graduate and undergraduate levels. Junior-level candidates are strongly encouraged to apply but all levels will be considered. All applicants should have the Ph.D. completed at the time of application.

Please submit a letter of application, a curriculum vitae with list of publications, and a list of 3-5 referees (including e-mail addresses whenever possible) before January 15, 2006, to:

Chair, Hittitology Search Committee
The Oriental Institute
1155 E. 58th Street
Chicago, IL 60637

Inquiries and electronic submissions may be sent by email to with a copy to

The University of Chicago is an affirmative action/equal opportunity employer.

November 7, 2005

Oriental Institute Job Posting: Research Associate

Research Associate required for an ongoing research project at the Oriental Institute, University of Chicago. The successful applicant must be proficient in ArcGIS, ENVI, show familiarity with ASTER, Spot and Corona data. Research focus must include Mesopotamian archaeology, landscape and geo-archaeology. The main task for this research position is to compile, synthesize and analyze data on the ancient landscape of southern Mesopotamia. The research associate will be part of a multi-disciplinary team modeling the development of early settlement systems within their economic and environmental context. Some experience with computer application and the study of ancient agricultural systems is preferred.

Apply online via jobs link at by 12/4/05.

October 20, 2005


October 19, 2005

As part of its ELECTRONIC PUBLICATIONS ON-LINE, the Oriental Institute Publications Office announces two new electronic publications:

OIP 126. Tax Receipts, Taxpayers, and Taxes in Early Ptolemaic Thebes Brian P. Muhs

OIC 29. Catalog of Demotic Texts in the Brooklyn Museum George R. Hughes, with contributions by Brian P. Muhs and Steve Vinson

Both of these documents are Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format (PDF) files.

October 7, 2005

The Oriental Institute’s on-line catalogue of the Research Archives ( (note the URL change) has received a completely new look (you may have to empty the cache in your internet browser to get to the new version). The display problems of bibliographic entries in the old catalogue have been corrected, and search options have become more sophisticated and intuitive.

The changes are not limited to the graphical user interface. The entire catalogue has been moved from an iMac G3 computer to a brand new iMac Mini with a dedicated Apache server. This should ensure robust and very fast access to the catalogue.

The on-line catalogue of the Research Archives is a powerful and useful resource. In order to further improve it’s usefulness, we have significantly increased the efforts of retrospective cataloging of material from before 1990. In the last three months, we have added some 15,000 bibliographic records into the catalogue. As of today, the total number of records stands at 154,556.

September 22, 2005

The ETANA team has developed an RSS feed for the What’s New in Abzu pages. The XML source for the feed is:

Those of you who already use RSS feeds can now add Abzu to your aggregator.

Those of you who do not already use RSS feeds can find out more about it at: (among other places)

The Abzu feed will alert you to new entries as well as to newly edited entries in the database.

August 25, 2005

A new article by Robert K. Ritner, entitled “The Lost Land of Nubia: Egypt’s Southern Neighbor in Africa” is now available.

August 25, 2005

The Middle East Librarians Association Committee on Iraqi Libraries anounces the publication of “Indispensable yet Vulnerable: The Library in Dangerous Times A Report on the Status of Iraqi Academic Libraries and a Survey of Efforts to Assist Them, with Historical Introduction,” by Jeff Spurr:

August 4, 2005

Circa 106 new seal and seal impressions from the Diyala site of Tell Agrab, as well as several from Nippur, have been added to our on-line Iraq Museum Database, bringing the current total to circa 1256 objects.

August 2, 2005

Dr. Magnus Widell becomes Head of Oriental Institute Research Archives

The Oriental Institute is pleased to announce the appointment of Dr. Magnus Widell as the new Head of Research Archives. Magnus has studied Assyriology in Uppsala, Vienna and Changchun, and his research focuses on socio-economic, environmental and agricultural issues. For the past 2 1/2 years Magnus has been working as a Research Associate at the OI within the project, "Modeling Ancient Settlement Systems." This project, funded by the National Science Foundation's biocomplexity program, is working to create an interactive framework for modeling the social, agricultural and economic systems of ancient city-states in the Near East.

Magnus's agenda for the upcoming year and beyond is to build on many of the projects and programs that Chuck Jones developed over his years of exemplary service to the Archives. This includes, but is not limited to, updating and improving the online catalogue of research material, and continuing the Archives involvement in academic electronic communications.

July 29, 2005

After a several week hiatus the Oriental Institute is pleased to announce the re-launch of the ANE list. With the departure of Chuck Jones to Athens, the list is now organized and maintained by John C. Sanders (OI Computer Lab) and Magnus Widell (OI Research Archives). Basically, list operations remain as the were while Chuck was running the list. It’s a testament to Chuck’s capacity that it has been relatively easy for us to take over the list operations.

Ok, lets start ANE scholarly discourse again!

A description of ANE and instructions for subscribing are at:

The archive of traffic, dating from July 1993 is accessible via:

Offlist communications, private issues and list problems should be addressed to either John Sanders

or Magnus Widell

May 4, 2005

The Annual Oriental Institute Members' Event, PASSPORT TO THE MIDDLE EAST, Saturday, May 14, 2005, 3 to 7PM, at the Oriental Institute.

This year, the Annual Members' Dinner makes an exciting return in the form of a festival of Middle Eastern arts, culture, and (of course) food! Members are invited to see the entire Institute transformed into an authentic Middle Eastern Suq, centered around a huge, colorful bazaar featuring the finest selection of Middle Eastern carpets. Members enjoy the first look at these new arrivals. Then, travel from room to room exploring the wealth of cultural riches from the lands in the Fertile Crescent, collecting stamps in your "passport" along the way. From carpets to kebobs, you'll get a thorough taste of the Middle East without ever leaving the Midwest!

May 2, 2005

Peter Dorman, Associate Professor of Egyptology at the Oriental Institute, has authorized this preprint of his contribution, "The Long Coregency Revisited: Architectural and Iconographic Conundra in the Tomb of Kheruef," to a volume of essays in Memory of William Murnane. The projected title of the book is: "Causing his Name to Live: Studies in Egyptian History and Epigraphy in Memory of William J. Murnane". Editors: Peter Brand and Jacobus van Dijk.

"A generation of young scholars has been introduced to the complex issue of Egyptian coregencies through Bill Murnane's seminal dissertation on the topic, published by the Oriental Institute in 1977. Of all the coregencies discussed by Murnane, none has been debated with more passion than the one alleged between Amenhotep III and his son. The long coregency of ten or eleven years is far more than a chronological quibble: it has serious implications for the structure of royal administration, the determination of foreign relations, the management of economic resources, the promulgation of art styles, the coexistence of apparently conflicting religious cults, and the reconstruction of the genealogy of the royal family at the end of the Eighteenth Dynasty. This present revisitation of a subject that Bill Murnane himself addressed several times is affectionately dedicated to his memory, in admiration of his scholarship and out of gratitude for his unfailing personal generosity-and with the hope that he would have found the argument of interest..."

May 2, 2005

Recent additions to Abzu:

91 items have been catalogued in Abzu during April 2005

April 29, 2005

Oriental Institute Job Posting: Head of Research Archives

Head of Research Archives
The Oriental Institute
University of Chicago
Chicago, Illinois

The University of Chicago's Oriental Institute is an internationally recognized research center for studying the archaeological and textual record of the ancient Near East. A primary unit within the Institute is its Research Archives, a rapidly growing research facility with over thirty-seven thousand volumes covering the full range of scholarship on the Ancient Near East. The Head of Research Archives ensures the quality of the collections of the Library and provides objective assessment of needs in all areas of scholarship on the Ancient Near East; provides reference service to inquiries from national and international academic communities; manages the collections, acquisition and cataloging of material; supervises facility personnel and resources; and maintains and develops the on-line catalogue of the Research Archives collections. The Head of Research Archives is expected to participate actively in the intellectual life of the Oriental Institute and in the broader field of Ancient Near Eastern studies. Candidates must have academic experience in one or more fields of Near Eastern studies, and a demonstrated background or advanced degree in the field of library sciences.

To apply for this position, please apply online at, or send a CV and cover letter via mail to Gil Stein, Director, Oriental Institute, 1155 East 58th Street, Chicago, IL 60637, or email to

Applications must be received by May 23rd, 2005.

The University of Chicago is an Affirmative Action / Equal Opportunity Employer.

April 19, 2005

Circa 60 new seal and seal impressions from the Diyala sites have been added to our on-line Iraq Museum Database, bringing the current total to circa 1150 objects.

April 5, 2005

Recent additions to Abzu:

128 items have been catalogued in Abzu during March 2005

April 4, 2005

Information Regarding Access to Collections and Resources at The Oriental Institute during the Rencontre Assyriologique Internationale in July 2005 Is Now Available On The Oriental Institute's Website

March 14, 2005

As part of its ELECTRONIC PUBLICATIONS ON-LINE, the Oriental Institute Publications Office announces the electronic publication of a "corrected version" of: Implicit Models of Cross-Cultural Interaction: A Question of Noses, Soap, and Prejudice, by Robert K. Ritner. It was originally published as Chapter 34 in Life in a Multi-Cultural Society: Egypt from Cambyses to Constantine and Beyond (SAOC 51). This document is an Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format (PDF) file.

March 7, 2005

62 new entries were added to our Iraq Museum database, most of them sculpture and reliefs from the Diyala sites and seals and sealings from Tell Asmar. We are grateful to McGuire Gibson for supplying us with photographs of 16 mostly unpublished seals found during his excavations at the site of Umm al_Hafriyat; image scanning and text editing were done by Alexandra Witsell. Other additions include objects photographed in the Iraq Museum in May 2003, which were kindly provided to us by Joanne Farchakh. Since the last update in January we also changed the layout of the on-line database changed significantly in order to create a more user-friendly browser interface. Every page now has a horizontal bar with links to the "Lost Treasures of Iraq" homepage, the Iraq Museum Database homepage, our collection of recent photos of archaeological sites in Iraq, and the IraqCrisis email list.

In addition, every category and object page now has links to five major object sorting criteria in its left side bar:

Comments concerning these changes and suggestions on how to improve the layout are welcome and should be forwarded to Clemens Reichel (

March 3, 2005

Recent additions to Abzu:

149 items have been catalogued in Abzu during February 2005

February 7, 2005

Oriental Institute Post-Doctoral Fellowship for 2005-2006 Academic Year

The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago invites applications for the Oriental Institute Post-Doctoral Fellowship program for the 2005-2006 academic year. This is a twelve month, non-renewable fellowship. The Post-Doctoral Fellow will organize and conduct a one-to-two day conference at the Oriental Institute on key comparatively-oriented theoretical or methodological issues in the field of ancient studies (archaeological, text-based, and/or art historical avenues of research). We encourage cross disciplinary proposals that deal with the ancient Near East (including Egypt) or that compare the Near East with other cultural areas. The conference will take place in mid-February 2006. After the conference, the Fellow will assemble and edit the proceedings for publication by the Oriental Institute. The Fellow is also encouraged to pursue his or her own research while in residence and to interact with the Oriental Institute community. Qualifications: Ph.D. in a discipline relating to ancient studies must be complete at the time of application. Applicants should send: a) 5-page proposal outlining nature and structure of the conference (including names and paper topics of five to eight key participants who have agreed to make presentations, should the conference be funded) b) curriculum vitae, c) 3 letters of reference (these may be sent under separate cover). Electronic submissions are welcome. Deadline for completed applications is April 30, 2005. Start date is September 1, 2005.

Send applications to:

Oriental Institute Post-Doctoral Fellowship
Attn. Olivia Boyd
Oriental Institute
University of Chicago
1155 East 58th St.
Chicago, IL 60637

February 18, 2005

The 2002-2003 Oriental Institute Annual Report is now available. Links to its respective entries will be added shortly to homepages of numerous Institute archaeological and philogical projects and departments.

February 17, 2005

The MESOPOTAMIAN DIRECTORY - 2005 is now available as an Adobe Acrobat file. It lists the names and addresses of persons domiciled in North America who are engaged in research on the pre-Islamic archaeology, history, and languages of greater Mesopotamia (including Syria east of the Upper Euphrates, the Elamite plains, and regions using a standard cuneiform script). It includes academics, museum personnel, library staff, and senior graduate students with a formally approved dissertation topic.

February 17, 2005

A University of Chicago Chronicle article from February 17, 2005, entitled Scholars to examine language, power it gains in evolution from spoken to written is now available. The article elaborates on the up coming Oriental Institute conference, ÒMargins of Writing, Origins of Cultures: Unofficial Writing in the Ancient Near East and Beyond,Ó to be held in Breasted Hall Friday, Feb. 25, and Saturday, Feb. 26, 2005. This link will open in a new window!

February 14, 2005

162 photographs taken by Joanne Farchakh in Iraq (2002 - 2004) have been added to the "Lost Treasures" website

Joanne Farchakh, who is currently on a lecture tour through the United States (a webcast of her lecture at Berkeley given on February 7, 2005 is available on-line)) and who recently (February 4, 2005) addressed an audience at the Oriental Institute, is a Lebanese archaeologist and journalist.

Between 2002 and 2004, she undertook numerous trips to Iraq to document the state of its archaeological sites. Her site photographs bear dramatic testimony to the damage that sites such as Umma, Umm al-Aqarib, and Larsa in the South, or Nimrud and Nineveh in the North have suffered from looting since the 2003 Iraq War. In May 2003, one month after the end of the Iraq War, she visited the Iraq Museum and documented the damage by looting that had occurred under the eyes of Coalition Forces after the fall of Baghdad in early April.

In conjunction with her lecture tour, Mrs. Farchakh has provided us with numerous photographs taken on these trips, which are posted at "Lost Treasures" with her kind permission. The URL is:

February 8, 2005

As part of its ELECTRONIC PUBLICATIONS ON-LINE, the Oriental Institute Publications Office announces two new electronic publications:

OIP 124. Excavations at Tell Es-Sweyhat, Syria, Volume 1: On the Margin of the Euphrates: Settlement and Land Use at Tell Es-Sweyhat and in the Upper Lake Assad Area, Syria. Tony J. Wilkinson, with contributions by Naomi F. Miller, Clemens D. Reichel, and Donald Whitcomb.

OIS 1. Changing Social Identity with the Spread of Islam: Archaeological Perspectives. Donald Whitcomb, editor, with Case Studies by Jodi Magness, Tracy Hoffman, Yury Karev, Mark C. Horton, and Timothy Insoll.

Both of these documents are Adobe Acrobat Portable Document Format (PDF) files.

February 1, 2005

Recent additions to Abzu:

254 items have been catalogued in Abzu in the period 1 January - 31 January 2005

January 18, 2005

106 new objects are added to our on-line Iraq Museum Database, bringing the current total to 1090 objects. The new additions include Diyala sculpture (including relief and votive plaques) and more Diyala seals.

January 11, 2005

  Two Programs on The Oriental Institute are now available on a single DVD
Breaking Ground: The Story of the Oriental Institute
This outstanding documentary tells the story of the Oriental Institute and shows the extraordinary range of its discoveries through interviews, archival photographs, and breathtaking footage from ongoing Institute field projects such as the excavations at Tell Atchana in Turkey and the Epigraphic Survey's work at Luxor in Egypt.
Pioneer to the Past: The Life and Times of James Henry Breasted
A Chicago-area native, Breasted was the first American Professor of Egyptology and coined the phrase "The Fertile Crescent." His expansive scholarly vision, combined with an entrepreneurial flair and unbending determination, led to the creation, in a few short years, of a great academic institution that still guides itself by his principles.

January 3, 2005

The Oriental Institute Museum opens its East Wing with three new galleries on January 29, 2005, under the heading: Empires in the Fertile Crescent: Ancient Assyria, Anatolia and Israel. The new galleries are the Dr. Norman Solhkhah Family Assyrian Empire Gallery; the Henrietta Herbolsheimer, M.D. Syro-Anatolian Gallery; and the Haas and Schwartz Megiddo Gallery.

Visitors will get a rare look at one of the most important geographic regions in the ancient Near East. The galleries showcase artifacts that illustrate the power of these ancient civilizations, including sculptural representations of tributes demanded by kings of ancient Assyria, and some sources of continual fascination, such as a fragment of the Dead Sea Scrolls--one of the few examples in the United States.

The galleries also contain artifacts connected with the beginning of two important eras, the Bronze Age and the later Iron Age, as well as artifacts from a site connected figuratively with the end of all eras--Megiddo, the site referred to in the Bible as Armageddon.

January 3, 2005

Recent additions to Abzu:

138 items have been catalogued in Abzu in the period 1 December - 31 December 2004