AAA/Frank Swanson
AAA Editor Notes
Oriental Institute, 1155 E. 58th St. on The University of Chicago campus, contains a museum devoted to the archeology and art of the ancient Middle East. The institute houses a large collection of antiquities, mainly from excavations in Egypt, Sudan, Turkey, Iraq, Iran, Persia, Syria and Israel, arranged in a series of themed galleries. The Mesopotamian Gallery features more than 1,000 items including striding lions that once lined the road to Babylon's Ishtar Gate, exhibits describing the origins of writing with an array of rocks and tablets bearing cuneiform inscriptions and a reproduction of the stone slab engraved with the Code of Hammurabi.

The Khorsabad Court displays a 40-ton Assyrian sculpture of a winged bull with a human head, which is flanked by massive stone reliefs. Highlights of the Egyptian Gallery include a 17-foot-tall statue of King Tutankhamen and a display of mummies. Looming large in the Persian Gallery is an immense limestone bull's head from Persepolis.

Special exhibits change two times a year. Self-guiding iPod audio tours are available.

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