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“Treasures of the Middle East”

Oriental Institute Museum
Ranked #33 of 648 things to do in Chicago
Certificate of Excellence
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Attraction details
Recommended length of visit: 1-2 hours
Owner description: Museum of the history, archaeology, languages, art and cultures of the ancient Near East. The galleries display objects from ancient Egypt, Nubia, Persia, Mesopotamia, Syria, Anatolia, Palestine, and Israel, including mummies, monumental sculpture, some of the earliest examples of writing, and objects of daily life. Check the website for special exhibits, lectures, adult and family activities.
Arlington Heights IL
Level 6 Contributor
196 reviews
144 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 85 helpful votes
“Treasures of the Middle East”
Reviewed January 7, 2014

The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago has a distinguished history dating to 1919. The expeditions to Mesopotamia, Egypt, and civilizations of the Fertile Crescent. Exhibits range from 40-ton sculptures from the Court of Sargon II and a colossal King Tut to delicate jewelry and sculptures. This is one of the finest museums of its type in the world. Situated in the classical campus of the University of Chicago and just a few minutes west of the Museum of Science and Industry, it is well worth a visit from anyone interested in history and who are not accompanied by small children.

Visited October 2013
Thank macman1940
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
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461 reviews from our community

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Downers Grove, Illinois
Level 3 Contributor
20 reviews
4 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 13 helpful votes
“Could spend a lot of time here...”
Reviewed January 7, 2014

This is a great museum option in Chicago. The exhibit itself felt to me like it had been there for a while--not much updated. But for the price (they ask for a donation but will let you in even if you don't have any cash) it's amazing. There are some really unique items in the collection--one little quibble I have is that while the reconstruction work they've done is amazing, I like to see what parts are real and what parts are fabrications (especially for the larger statues). Currently there's construction work going on next door, and the basement (where the bathrooms are) feels a lot like an school building...which it is. I think a lot more could be done to promote this museum, but then there would probably be a required ticket price so, as it is, still amazing! I do recommend reading the posters on the walls in the basement--all about the troubles facing the Baghdad museum and the theft of antiquities.

Visited December 2013
Thank Erin A
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Chicago, Illinois
Level 2 Contributor
8 reviews
5 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 2 helpful votes
Reviewed January 6, 2014

we went here for wicked, it's a beautifull theater, and they have tours during the week, nice architechture

Visited December 2013
Thank priscila687
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Level 6 Contributor
141 reviews
84 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 90 helpful votes
“Very Interesting Museum!”
Reviewed December 7, 2013

This is an amazing museum full of ancient history. This museum is on the campus of University of Chicago, admission is free but donations are welcome and accepted. Photographs are permitted. We went with a group of about 15 people, we had a tour guide which made the visit more interesting. You can do a self guided tour if you would like. There are Mesopotamian, Persian, Egyptian, Nubian, Syro-Anatollian, Megiddo and Assyrian galleries full of artifacts and displays. This museum is definitely worth a visit!

Visited January 2013
Thank illinoistraveler25
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.
Maplewood, NJ
Level 6 Contributor
145 reviews
37 attraction reviews
common_n_attraction_reviews_1bd8 76 helpful votes
“Must See This Museum”
Reviewed December 5, 2013

This is a small museum on the campus of U of Chicago. It is far smaller and easier to navigate than something like the Art Institute, which can just be overwhelming. Something others haven't mentioned is it is not only a wonderful, logically organized collection but the curators notes are simply superb. The Hyde Park area is worth walking through too. All in all, a great find.

Visited November 2013
Thank DianaID19
This review is the subjective opinion of a TripAdvisor member and not of TripAdvisor LLC.

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