March 30, 2007

Oriental Institute reappoints director

Gil Stein, professor in the Humanities Collegiate Division and the department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations, was reappointed director of the University’s Oriental Institute. Stein will serve his second term as director, a post he has held since arriving at the University in 2002.

Stein’s first term as director witnessed a 35-percent growth in membership for the Oriental Institute, an increased number of field research projects, and funding for three new foreign-language dictionary projects. Additionally, the lab of the Center for Ancient Middle Eastern Landscape (CAMEL), which uses satellite technology to investigate the development of land features in ancient civilizations, appointed Scott Branting as director, and received technological upgrades under Stein’s tenure. In his first term, Stein secured a three-million-dollar Research Endowment Campaign, which will fund future projects.

“We look forward in Gil’s second term to the Oriental Institute reinforcing its position as a global center for the study of the past, with deeper dialogue between the text and field areas within the Institute, and strengthened connections throughout the University and to Argonne National Laboratory,” University Provost Thomas Rosenbaum said in a press release.

Stein joined the University after leaving Northwestern University’s anthropology department, where he organized several expeditions to Turkey to excavate one of the world’s first known colonial systems at the 5,500-year-old Mesopotamian colony of Hacinebi.