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American EgyptologistThe Life of James Henry Breasted and the Creation of His Oriental Institute$
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Jeffrey Abt

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780226001104

Published to Chicago Scholarship Online: September 2013

DOI: 10.7208/chicago/9780226001128.001.0001

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A Historical Laboratory

A Historical Laboratory

(p.345) 9 A Historical Laboratory
American Egyptologist

Jeffrey Abt

University of Chicago Press

On April 28, 1930, a new building for the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago was inaugurated. When James Henry Breasted first requested a new building in 1923, he saw the need to alleviate crowded conditions in the Haskell Oriental Museum, which shared space with the Oriental Institute, the Department of Oriental Languages and Literatures, and Chicago's Divinity School. Completed in 1931, the design of the three-story Oriental Institute building reflects the theme “East Teaching the West,” hailing the ancient Near East as the wellspring of Western civilization, with pride of place going to Egypt and America. The facility opened on December 5, 1931, with Breasted, John H. Finley, and Raymond Fosdick delivering the dedication speeches. Most of the institute's growth came from field projects throughout the Middle East, including Egypt and Palestine as well as expeditions focusing on the Hittites, with funding from the Rockefeller Foundation.

Keywords:   expeditions, oriental institute, university of chicago, James Henry Breasted, ancient near east, egypt, middle east, palestine, hittites, rockefeller foundation

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