Ancient Egypt exhibit in Chicago: Between Heaven and Earth

Between Heaven & Earth

Last month, I attended the opening reception for a new exhibit at the Oriental Institute at the University of Chicago. First of all, I love the University of Chicago campus. Especially in fall, when all the leaves climbing up those old buildings are all different colors. Second, the Oriental Institute is a great resource for anyone interested in Ancient Egypt or the Middle East.

But I digress… the exhibit I went to learn about is “Between Heaven & Earth: Birds in Ancient Egypt” and initially, I wondered how many interesting things you could say about birds. But the opening presentation explained how birds were incorporated into everything from artifacts to religion, and it makes sense that a culture so obsessed with death would place a lot of importance in birds. After all, they do literally travel between earth and the heavens.

Ancient Egyptians recognized the cycle of rebirth by watching life hatch from an egg, and then in turn buried their own in “eggs.”

Mummy of an eagle with remains of guilding

The exhibit is open through July 2013 so you have plenty of time to check it out still. Although the museum is relatively small, it has a solid representation of ancient middle eastern cultures. And while the Egyptian section is even smaller, they’ve brought in several really cool items for this exhibit.

And as long as I was driving back on Lake Shore Drive, might as well stop by the Museum Campus and get a quick glance of the gorgeous Chicago skyline.

Chicago skyline


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