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An Institute, a Calling

An Institute, a Calling

(p.249) 7 An Institute, a Calling
American Egyptologist
Jeffrey Abt
University of Chicago Press

In fall 1920, James Henry Breasted resumed regular work at the University of Chicago. Aside from continuing as chair of the Department of Oriental Languages and Literatures, he was now directing the Oriental Institute. Breasted's publications, expeditions, and popular lectures brought him not only a higher salary but also a measure of nationwide fame. Not long after his return from the Middle East, he delivered the university's fall convocation address, using the occasion to reiterate his desire to launch projects that spanned the ancient Near East, and cited recent discoveries in such fields as paleontology and geology, as well as archaeology and ancient languages. Breasted announced his plans in the Oriental Institute's inaugural publication, The Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago: A Beginning and a Program, including the “Assyrian-Babylonian Dictionary” and “Coffin Texts” projects. Another initiative, the Epigraphic Survey, was part of his ultimate goal of compiling material for a comprehensive history of the ancient Near East.

Keywords:   James Henry Breasted, university of chicago, oriental institute, middle east, ancient near east, archaeology, assyrian-babylonian dictionary, coffin texts, epigraphic survey

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