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Harvard Semitic Museum

6 Divinity Ave, Cambridge, MA 02138

The Harvard Semitic Museum was founded in 1889. From the beginning, it was the home of the Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, a departmental library, a repository for research collections, a public educational institute, and a center for archaeological exploration.

Among the Museum's early achievements were the first scientific excavations in the Holy Land (at Samaria in 1907-1912) and excavations at Nuzi and Tell el-Khaleifeh in the Sinai, where the earliest alphabet was found.

The Museum's artifacts include pottery, cylinder seals, sculpture, coins, cuneiform tablets, and Egyptian mummy sarcophagi. Many are from museum-sponsored excavations in Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, Cyprus, Israel, and Tunisia. The museum holds plaster casts of the Black Obelisk of Shalmaneser III, the Laws of Hammurabi, and the Stele of Esarhaddon, as well as a full-scale model of an Iron Age Israelite house.

The Museum is dedicated to the use of these collections for the teaching, research, and publication of Near Eastern archaeology, history, and culture.

This description includes material adapted from the Wikipedia article "Semitic Museum", which is released under the Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0. It has been edited for brevity and to conform with the style of this website. The edited description is distributed under the terms of the same Creative Commons Attribution-Share-Alike License 3.0 license.