I’m the director of a world-renowned museum & research center focused on the ancient Middle East. AMA!
My name is Christopher Woods—I’m a professor at the University of Chicago and the director of the University’s Oriental Institute.
Both a world-renowned museum and a pioneering interdisciplinary research center for the study of the ancient Middle East, the Oriental Institute (OI) at the University of Chicago aims to understand, reveal, and protect the earliest civilizations. This year, the OI will celebrate 100 years of connecting ancient places, people, and issues, and will expand its rich tradition of excavation, scholarship, and cultural heritage and preservation. Oi100.uchicago.edu
Here’s just a few examples of work/happenings at the OI…
- “OI marks 100 years of discovery in ancient Middle East”: https://news.uchicago.edu/story/oi-marks-100-years-discovery-ancient-middle-east
- "For its centennial, Oriental Institute weds ancient artifacts with contemporary art”: https://www.theartnewspaper.com/news/oriental-institute-weds-ancient-artefacts-with-cutting-edge-contemporary-art
- "Ancient Persian artifact nearly 2,500 years old returns to Oriental Institute": https://news.uchicago.edu/story/ancient-persian-artifact-nearly-2500-years-old-returns-oriental-institute
- “Ancient urban villa discovered in Egypt”: https://news.uchicago.edu/story/ancient-urban-villa-shrine-ancestor-worship-discovered-egypt
- “Burned buildings reveal sacking of ancient Turkish city 3500 years ago”: https://news.uchicago.edu/story/burned-buildings-reveal-sacking-ancient-turkish-city-3500-years-ago
As a professor of Sumerian, my work focuses on the origins of writing as well as early Mesopotamia religion, literature, mathematics, and administration.
Ask me anything—I'll be back around 3PM CT!
EDIT: Thanks everyone for the great questions—I had a blast answering them! I have to run for now, but I'll do my best to answer any additional ones that come in. Feel free to swing by the OI Museum if you're ever in Chicago!