Oriental Institute Museum – Chicago, Illinois - Atlas Obscura

Chicago, Illinois

Oriental Institute Museum

This surprising gem is a world-class archeological museum hidden at the University of Chicago. 

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This excellent archeological museum tucked away on the University of Chicago campus houses some 400,000 artifacts that provide a fascinating look at the art and cultures of the ancient Middle East. It takes you on a tour through the cradle of civilization, with artifacts from Mesopotamia, Sumer, Egypt, Assyria, Israel, Iran, Nubia, and more.

Housed in a beautiful historic building, the museum holds many surprising gems. Highlights include the ancient Temple of Sargon, built for the Assyrian King Sargon II; an exhibit on the evolution of writing from symbols to clay tablets; mathematical proofs from Babylonian times; artifacts from the Hebrew Bible; and a remarkable Egyptian collection. Wandering through these treasures, you will half expect to see Indiana Jones around the corner.

Know Before You Go

The museum is on the campus of the University of Chicago, not far from the Museum of Science and Industry. Don't miss going to the Seminary Coop Bookstore a couple of blocks away.

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