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April, 1999

Oriental Institute Museum

Oriental Institute is part of the University of Chicago. The site contains a virtual museum of artifacts and treasures from the ancient Near East, photograph collections, Internet resources, and descriptions of the projects and expeditions sponsored by the Oriental Institute.

Well designed, featuring lots of great images!

The site is huge and can be a little confusing to navigate. The main navigational links offered at the tops of the pages are not very useful in a classroom setting, with the exception of the Egyptian Bust at the top left which will take you back to the Table of Contents. Click on the main heading at the top of the page to go to the previous heading or, better yet, use your browser's back button. Elementary teachers should start your classes off in the virtual museum to avoid distractions

One of the Oriental Institute Web site's best features is the (virtual) MUSEUM, exhibiting major collections of antiquities from Egypt, Mesopotamia, Iran, Syria, Palestine, and Anatolia. The site also boasts awesome PHOTOGRAPHIC ARCHIVES from the Institute's expeditions (accessible from the Museum main page). Teachers at all grade levels can enrich history classes with this site's extensive collection of images of Near East art and architecture. High school and middle school teachers should be sure to check out the RESEARCH & PROJECTS section for a rich collection of materials on individual digs sponsored by the Oriental Institute, a great resource for student research. Another great research resource is ABZU, the Institute's index to Internet resources on the ancient Near East. All teachers should be sure to check out the "recommended reading" link on the Museum main page for a great list of books on the subject. This is a site to bookmark and to share with every social studies teacher you know!