OIMP 30.
Pioneers to the Past: American Archaeologists in the Middle East, 1919–1920

Edited by Geoff Emberling

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Pioneers to the Past: American Archaeologists in the Middle East, 1919–1920, the catalogue of the Oriental Institute special exhibit of the same name, highlights the interconnected stories of an important figure in intellectual history — James Henry Breasted — and the beginnings of American scientific archaeology in the Near East at a crucial turning point in world history. At the end of World War I, Breasted and a small team of scholars set sail for the Near East on what would be an eleven-month odyssey across the region. The fascinating mix of politics, scholarship, and history (both ancient and modern) as seen through a focus on the larger-than-life persona of James Henry Breasted lies at the heart of Pioneers to the Past. Breasted's letters and photographs from his trip provide a window into the engagement of modern scholarship with the ancient world, in a highly charged setting of power politics in the early twentieth century. The essays in this catalogue explain the historical, legal, and political context in a way that greatly enriches our understanding of Breasted's journey and its aftermath.

  • Oriental Institute Museum Publications 30
  • Chicago: Oriental Institute, 2010
  • ISBN: 978-1-885923-70-7
  • Pp. 160 + 119 full color and archival photographs
  • Paperback, 9 x 11.5 in
  • $22.95