news

How tech has impacted archaeologists’ hunt for long-lost civilizations

2020

From 3D modeling to digital satellite mapping to machine learning, archaeologists are integrating modern technology into their discovery of long-lost civilizations. Gil Stein, professor of near-Eastern archaeology at the University of Chicago, said that archaeology is a field that’s exceptionally quick to adapt to new ways of using technology.

Shattered Buddhist statues restored with help from the OI

2020

UChicago institute helps reassemble ancient, rare Afghan art from first to 6th centuries that was destroyed by the Taliban in 2001. OI researchers, along with Afghan colleagues, are painstakingly cleaning, sorting and reassembling statues from the more than 7,500 fragments left behind, which museum employees swept up and saved in trunks in the basement.

Remembering John Janusek, 1963-2019

2019

With great sadness, we announce the unexpected death of John Janusek, distinguished UCAN alumnus and professor at Vanderbilt University. John passed away on October 22, 2019, and will be missed by a great many colleagues and students.

Long Island News12 for Preservation Long Island's Endangered Historic Places

The Life and Works of Jupiter Hammon (1711-before 1806)

2019

Sarah Kautz reports in the Preservation Long Island Blog on the life of America's first published African-American poet, Jupiter Hammon.

Big Brains Podcast

2019

A podcast in the Big Brains series on "The Politics of Archaeology In Iraq", with Christopher Woods, director of the Oriental Institute. Woods explains how archaeological investment can become a form of diplomacy.

Art installation inside Mansueto Library dome transforms OI’s ancient figures

2019

During a visit to the University of Chicago, visual artist Ann Hamilton became enamored with the Oriental Institute’s collection of stone and ceramic figures—ancient but timeless, inanimate but strangely alive. To celebrate the OI’s 100th anniversary, she has transformed those figures into a public installation inside one of the campus’ most iconic structures.

Burned buildings reveal sacking of ancient Turkish city 3,500 years ago

2019

More than 3,500 years ago, a rising kingdom called the Hittite Empire was expanding, testing the limits of its strength. It would soon destroy Babylon, but first, its army sacked and burned a city nestled in the mountains of modern-day Turkey called Sam’al—located on a major route of trade between Mesopotamia and the Mediterranean Sea. The charred ruins from that fateful day were uncovered for the first time in millennia by during an excavation by the University of Chicago’s Oriental Institute

OI marks 100 years of discovery in ancient Middle East

2019

The Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago was founded in 1919, and over the course of the next 100 years, it has changed how humans understand their own history through groundbreaking work in archaeology, linguistics, and historical and literary analysis—work that continues today in Chicago and across the Middle East.

Sarah Newman - New UCAN Faculty Member

2019

UCAN welcomes Sarah Newman (PhD Brown University) as a new member of the Anthropology faculty, beginning in fall 2019. Sarah is a Mesoamerican archaeologist with a focus on the ancient Maya. Her research examines multiple forms of human-environmental interaction, including monumental anthropogenic landscapes, changes in the cultural and historical constructions of the concept of “waste”, and the nature of human-animal relationships.

New Students

2019

UCAN is pleased to report that both of the archaeology graduate students to whom offers of admission were made by the Anthropology Department have accepted. We look forward to welcoming Dominik Lucas and Resham Tessa Redmond in the fall or 2019.

Ancient Urban Villa with Shrine for Ancestor Worship Discovered in Egypt

2019

Archaeology Hiring in Anthropology

2018

The Department of Anthropology is seeking candidates for a new tenure track Assistant Professor position in Environmental Archaeology. Please see the job ad at https://tinyurl.com/y8gaw4mf. Online applications must be submitted by October 15, 2018.

Margaret Andrews - New UCAN Faculty Member

2018

UCAN welcomes Margaret Andrews (PhD U Pennsylvania) as a new member of the History Department beginning Autumn 2018. She is an archaeologist specializing in the study of ancient cities and urbanization, with a focus on Rome, and is a former Rome Prize Fellow at the American Academy at Rome.

Shannon Dawdy Film

2018

Shannon Dawdy is producing a new experimental documentary film project, My Star, My Dust, that asks: How are funeral practices changing and what does this say about the beliefs and values of the living? "In the U.S. today, death practices are changing rapidly, and creatively. The growing popularity of cremation has led to a proliferation of new things to do with ashes – incorporating them into artificial reefs, making them into synthetic diamonds, mixing them into paintings, or blending them into a vinyl record...." 

New Students

2018

UCAN is happy to announce that, once again, all four of the archaeology students who were offered admission to the Anthropology PhD program have accepted to join us. We look forward to welcoming Alice Diaz ChauvigneNicole GriggSiyun Guo, and Daniel Hansen to campus in Fall 2018.

2018 -- The archaeological excavation of an ancient Egyptian city at Tell Edfu in southern Egypt, led by the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago, has discovered well-preserved settlement remains dating to an important turning point in ancient Egyptian history, when the pharaohs began to renew interest in the provincial regions in the far south of their kingdom.

Robert McCormick Adams, 1926-2018

It is with great sadness that we report that renowned archaeologist Robert McCormick Adams passed away on January 27, 2018. Bob Adams was a former UChicago alumnus, professor of anthropology, director of the Oriental Institute, Dean of Social Sciences, and Provost of the University, as well as Director of the Smithsonian Institution. He was a distinguished and highly influential scholar and an academic leader. Links to an obituary describing his wide ranging accomplishments and a filmed interview are available by clicking on the button and his photo, respectively. A memorial service will be held on May 12 at 11:00 AM in Breasted Hall, Oriental Institute.

Nadine Moeller -- Live Updates from the Field

2017

Get live updates from Nadine Moeller as she undertakes fieldwork at Tell Edfu and Dendara in Egypt, beginning October 2017.

Seth Estrin - New UCAN Faculty Member

2017

UCAN welcomes Seth Estrin (PhD UC Berkeley) as a new faculty member in autumn 2017, as he takes up an appointment in the Art History and Classics Departments.

New Students

2017

UCAN is pleased to announce that all four of the archaeology students to whom admission was offered in the Anthropology PhD Program have accepted to join us, and NELC will have three new archaeology doctoral students as well. We look forward to welcoming Rachel George, William McCollum, Kelsey Rooney, and Philip Watson to Anthropology, and Raghda El-BehaediEmma Kerr, and Charles Wilson to NELC in Fall 2017.

Book chronicles rise of urban planning in ancient Egypt

2016

Investigating the Past in the Present: Archaeology and Community in Cusco, Peru

2016

Karl W. Butzer, 1934-2016

Karl Butzer, who was a member of the UChicago Anthropology faculty from 1966-1984, died on May 4, 2016 at the age of 81. Butzer was an extremely influential archaeologist, geographer, and geologist who was instrumental in developing the fields of geoarchaeology and environmental archaeology while at UChicago. He was a highly decorated scholar, winning prestigious awards from archaeological, geological, and geographical societies, including the Fryxell Medal of the Society of American Archaeology. After his two decades on the faculty of the University of Chicago, he also taught at the University of Texas.

Drones bring new dimension to archaeology: Aerial surveys transform Oriental Institute studies of ancient dwellings, help track looting

2015

Sweet honey in the rocks

2015

Rediscovering Dejima: My journey through early modern Japan’s window to the West

2014

Anthropology graduate student Sarah Kautz reports on her research on the artificial island of Dejima and its role in the colonial history of Japan, in the Social Sciences Blog.

For archaeologists, Middle East conflicts create ‘perfect sandstorm’ of challenges

2014

Saving Relics, Afghans Defy the Taliban

2014 -- Mike Fisher, an archaeologist from the University of Chicago, is working with a team that is cataloging, classifying and restoring the National Museum of Afghanistan’s collection of artifacts...

Chicago high school students find new 'classroom' at O.I. dig in Israel

2013

Leslie Freeman, 1935-2012

Leslie Freeman, Emeritus Professor of Anthropology at UChicago and renowned archaeologist of Paleolithic Spain, died on December 14, 2012. Les received his BA and PhD degrees at the University of Chicago and was a member of the faculty from 1965 until his retirement in 2000. He was a crucial pillar of the archaeology program in anthropology for several decades, eventually helping to shape its expansion and reconfiguration away from paleoanthropology in the 1990s. His innovative research program in Spain was an influential model of international collaboration.

Oriental Institute exhibit shows seeing isn’t always believing

2012

How wine defined European colonialism: Anthropologist Michael Dietler studies interplay of trade, culture, and violence in ancient France

2011

Joint Palestinian-American dig near Jericho yields clues about early Islamic culture

2011

William M. Sumner, 1928-2011

William Sumner, archaeologist of ancient Iran and Director of the Oriental Institute from 1989-1997, died July 7, 2011 at the age of 82. Known especially for his research on the Elamite civilization and the roots of the Persian empire, he undertook major transformations of the Oriental Institute during his term as Director.

Archaeological project seeks clues about dawn of urban civilization in Middle East

2010

UChicago anthropologist Shannon Dawdy receives MacArthur Fellowship

2010

University of Chicago launches first archaeological dig at site of 1893 World's Fair

2008

Urban archaeology project leads students back to 1893

2008