My name is John. I live in Chicago, one of the greatest cities in the world.
I state flat out that I am not a professional historian. I am not an Egyptologist or Assyriologist or anything else of the sort. I categorize myself as an amateur historian. I perform independent research for my own personal benefit and for my commitments to two museums in Chicago.
I volunteer as a docent at the Field Museum of Natural History and at the Oriental Institute on the campus of the University of Chicago. I must stress that this blog has no official affiliation with either of these institutions nor is anything written or posted in this blog necessarily the views or opinions of either of these institutions. This blog is my own enterprise.
It is an honor to be a docent at the Field and the O.I. The Field is one of the largest natural history museums in the world and the O.I. is one of the world’s leading institutions for the study and research of the ancient Near East. As a docent I give tours, facilitate in the Egyptian exhibits, and present lectures when I’m involved with special temporary exhibits. To say that this work is “fun” would be a monumental understatement. I consider it a great privilege to be able to work with my fellow docents and with the professional staffs of these two institutions, and it seems a never-ending delight to be able to meet so many wonderful guests and visitors whenever I am there.
As for my background, I have a couple of college degrees but nothing in a formal sense pertaining to the ancient Near East. I minored in anthropology while pursuing my first degree, but the focus was on the cultural anthropology of Native Americans and the archaeology of their historical sites. My love of the ancient Near East began shortly thereafter and continues to this day. Indeed, to call it a hobby would be misleading. It has become a well-loved addiction. Some of us addicted to the study of ancient Egypt like to joke that we are hooked on Egyptometaphine. It’s a worthwhile drug.
My studies and research of the ancient Near East have gone beyond twenty years now. Over the past ten years or so, a lot of my studies have been on ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, for which I eventually did undergo some formal training. The sum total of what I have learned enables me to be a more useful and informed museum docent.
That’s enough about me. I hope you enjoy this blog.