Monday, September 27th, 2010
6:00 PM, The Oriental Institute

RSVP Required

Explore the newest research on one of the greatest inventions of all time - the invention of writing. Artifacts, some of which have never before been exhibited in the United States, reveal the origins of writing in Mesopotamia and Egypt as well as the other two independent writing systems of China and Mesoamerica. Among the objects are examples of the earliest pictographic tablets from Uruk (Iraq), and bone tags with the earliest Egyptian hieroglyphs. The exhibit addresses how the cuneiform writing of Sumer was adapted to write many other languages, the invention of the alphabetic in the Sinai, and the variety of scripts used to write ancient Egyptian. The exhibit also explores how technology is being used to study early writing system, with CT scanning of token balls to non-destructively study the token sealed within, digitally removing clay envelopes from clay tablets to reveal the text inside, and the use of PMT photography to create high definition images.

Program and remarks by curator Christopher Woods, followed by exhibit viewing in the Marshall and Doris Holleb Family Gallery.
Reception to follow in the Edgar and Deborah Jannotta Mesopotamian Gallery.

Exhibit catalog signing

Please RSVP by September 20th to the Meghan Winston, Special Events Coordinator at or 773.834.9775