Explore the OI's Work in the Middle East

Everywhere all at once: Revealing a new past.

Never a small thinker, and determined to prove Western Civilization’s debt to the people of the ancient Middle East, James Henry Breasted launched large scale archaeological projects throughout the Fertile Crescent. It’s work that set a new standard for Big Archaeology—and captured the public imagination. Carrying forward the vision laid out by Breasted in 1919, the Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago has become a global leader for research on the world’s earliest civilizations, conducting archaeological expeditions and fieldwork at sites across the Middle East, as well as cultural, historical, and linguistic research, pioneering the most advanced techniques for both excavation and scholarship.