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Another trip to the O.I.
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kmt_sesh
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2005 11:17 pm    Post subject: Another trip to the O.I. Reply with quote

On my first day of vacation I spent the morning at the Oriental Institute, on the campus of the University of Chicago. What a beautiful little museum this is. I spent the usual ample amount of time in their ancient Egypt exhibit but spent more time than usual in their Mesopotamian exhibit. This is truly spectacular. One of the first things you see is a massive lamassu that grabs your attention:



This was in the throne room of the Assyrian king Sargon II (721-705 BCE), which equates to the Kushite 25th Dynasty of Egypt. A lamassu is a bull with a man's head, similar in concept to the Egyptian sphinx. This particular lamassu was excavated in 1929 by Dr. Edward Chiera, at Dur-Sharrukin (modern Khorsabad). It's 16 feet tall and weighs 40 tons!

On either side of the lamassu are wall reliefs that came, I believe, from a courtyard outside the throne room of Sargon II. They show processions of people coming to pay homage to the king, and they're more than life-size. I snapped a picture of this one:



This regal-looking fellow is Sennacherib, son of Sargon II and the crown prince. He is in the gesture of greeting his father. Sennacherib reigned from 704 to 681 BCE.

The next Assyrian king was Esarhaddon (680-669 BCE), and after him came Ashurbanipal (668-626 BCE). These were the two who drove the Kushite pharaohs from Egypt and took over their rule there.

I don't have a lot of interest in the ancient cultures of Mesopotamia, but seeing such magnificant artifacts as these is inspiring. The O.I. has a fabulous Mesopotamian collection, and if any of you folks are ever in Chicago and have some spare time, I highly recommend a visit there.

Finally, I snapped a shot of a cuneiform inscription between the legs of the lamassu. I had to lean way over the rope-barrier to get this close:



It took some time but I translated the inscription. It says: "If you can read this, you're too close."

It doesn't really say that. I can't read cuneiform. For all I know it's Sargon II's little black book of all his favorite harim babes. Very Happy
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Osiris II
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PostPosted: Wed Aug 17, 2005 11:37 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

I'm envious, kmt_sesh!
The O.I. is a wonderful museum--everything is displayed so nicely! The just had a big refurbushing not too long ago.
On my first trip to Chicago, I was really looking forward to seeing the O.I. With my interest in Egypt, it was kinda like going to Mecca--seeing a museum established by such an out-standing figure as Breasted. I remember how very beautiful the campus where the museum is located was that day. With great anticipation, I walked to the doors--and saw a sign that said "closed for remodling". Talk about disappointment!!
I've been able to go there since that time, and it's really a great place--I love the gift shop and their selectrion of books!! I strongly advise anyone able to do so go there--it's really worth the trip!
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kmt_sesh
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2005 3:07 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

We're definitely of a like mind, Osiris II. I'll always favor the Field, but a trip to the O.I. makes for a very special day. That must have been incredibly disappointing to you to find it closed that time! It's good you've been able to see it since.

You're right about the campus, it's beautiful. Admittedly I sometimes have a tough time finding my way around in that warren of one-way streets and looming buildings, and parking is no simple matter (it took me 20 minutes this morning to find a spot...a block away), but walking up to those doors of the O.I. makes me feel like a little boy about to step into a toy store. I love the little gift shop, too--and they've certainly lightened my wallet when I'm there!

Next January the O.I. is going to be opening a new permanent exhibit on Nubia. We're all very excited about that. It's been a very neglected part of the history of North Africa. It will be in that nice-sized hall directly across from the gift shop (on the other side of which is the far end of the Egypt hall).

So you've got it from both Osiris II and me, folks: if you're ever in Chicago, tour the O.I.! Here's their website:

http://oi.uchicago.edu/OI/MUS/OI_Museum.html
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kmt_sesh
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2005 3:24 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Well, while I was on the subject, I thought I'd post a link to the O.I.'s gift shop, which they call the Suq. I have no idea what that means. This shop is extremely small, but it's amazing the number of truly high-quality books they have. Here's their listing for ancient Egypt texts alone. One I really want is Faulkner's translation of the Coffin Texts; the list shows several different volumes but it's actually sold in one single volume now, and it costs almost $100. Yikes. Could someone e-mail me a hundred bucks? They also carry his translation of the Pyramid Texts, another must-have.

They even have the board game of Senet (fourth down from the top). I've always been tempted to buy it, and I have no idea why we don't stock it in our gift shop at the Field Museum. But even if I did buy it, I'd have no one to play it with. Crying or Very sad
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Daniella
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2005 3:34 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
But even if I did buy it, I'd have no one to play it with.

Awww, poor baby. Play it with your boss from work, you guys are good buddies right?

If I ever make it to Chicago, the O.I and the Field museum will definitely be on my list of things to see.
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kmt_sesh
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2005 4:23 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
Awww, poor baby. Play it with your boss from work, you guys are good buddies right?


Uurrpp...***....ellpp...I think I'm going to be sick. My boss? Good buddies?

puke_r puke_r puke_r puke_r puke_r puke_r puke_r puke_r puke_r puke_r puke_r puke_r puke_r puke_r puke_r puke_r

Quote:
If I ever make it to Chicago, the O.I and the Field museum will definitely be on my list of things to see.


You simply must. And if you're into art, there's the Art Institute, a beautiful museum. You'd probably like the Shed Aquarium (right next to the Field), and of course the Lincoln Park Zoo. If you're into stars there's the Adler Planetarium (also close to the Field). There's no shortage of culture in Chicago.
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Daniella
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2005 4:27 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Oh my goodness, I would LOVE to see all of those things! Esspecially the Zoo...and the Planetarium! I'm excited already.
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kmt_sesh
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2005 4:38 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Why? Are you coming to Chicago sometime in the near future?

You might as well next year for Tut. Unfortunately it won't be coming to Canada, so there's your excuse! Very Happy

The sad truth is, though I go to the Field Museum all the time, I've never been to the Shed Aquarium or the Alder Planetarium. All three institutions are right there together and make up what's called Museum Campus in Chicago. I'm not big into fish so it's no surprise I've never been to the Shed, but astronomy's cool and I used to love to go to planetariums.

Come to think of it, my Field coordinator, Bob, wants to take me for a birthday lunch on Friday to a nice café they have at the Shed. I guess I'll be going there after all.
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Daniella
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2005 4:43 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

I am really serious about going to the Tut exhibit next year, but I don't think it will happen, because 1: I have nobody to go with and 2: nothing ever happens good for me.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2005 4:47 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Quote:
I have nobody to go with


Ahh, you don't have to go with anyone. I prefer seeing museum exhibits by myself. Do my own thing at my own pace and in my own way.

Is it any wonder I'm still single? Shocked

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nothing ever happens good for me


Now, now, that's certainly not true. You're talking with me, aren't you? Very Happy
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2005 4:51 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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Ahh, you don't have to go with anyone. I prefer seeing museum exhibits by myself. Do my own thing at my own pace and in my own way.

I envy you so much! See, I have a very deep and uncontrolable fear of being by myself in public. Embarassed
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Now, now, that's certainly not true. You're talking with me, aren't you?

Very true. Laughing
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kmt_sesh
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2005 5:03 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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I envy you so much! See, I have a very deep and uncontrolable fear of being by myself in public.


I guess I prefer being alone. I'm very solitary. At my age I find it very difficult to make new friends, and those friendships I have I tend to nurture. Maybe I prefer being by myself in public because I disappear in the crowd. That's fine by me. You're so outgoing and confident, you strike me as the kind of person who would be comfortable anywhere.
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Daniella
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2005 5:15 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

Wow, that's the first time any one has said that I was outgoing. Maybe it's because this is the internet and you can't see me or hear me talk, and typing what I think is so...easy. In real life I would keep all of this to myself. I don't talk. I don't think people care to hear what I have to say.
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PostPosted: Thu Aug 18, 2005 10:55 pm    Post subject: Reply with quote

You've posted your picture before so we all know what you look like, but I know what you mean about how easy it is to be open and talkative on the internet. Sometimes it's too easy. Very Happy

I'm very talkative and outgoing at the museum--I wouldn't be much of a docent if I weren't--but otherwise I tend to be pretty tight-lipped. I don't even much like talking with our clients at work. Well, that's probably because I don't much like most of our clients.
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Daniella
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PostPosted: Fri Aug 19, 2005 3:37 am    Post subject: Reply with quote

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You've posted your picture before so we all know what you look like

Oh yeah Embarassed But, it's different because you can't actually see me as I move and talk and stuff, I don't know, I'm weird. But, you probably already knew that.
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I'm very talkative and outgoing at the museum

That's typical of Leo's. Roar!
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