Organization: Oriental Institute of the University of Chicago
Time: March 29 to December 31, 2011
Location: Chicago, IL, United States
Website: LINK
Cost: free (suggested donation for Adults US$ 7/Children under 12 US$ 4)

Description:
"Visitors will have a chance to get a rare look at beautifully made statues, vessels, figurines, and other artifacts from the dawn of the Egyptian culture at a special exhibition at the Oriental Institute Museum at the University of Chicago.

"Before the Pyramids: The Origins of Egyptian Civilization" will run from March 29 to December 31, 2011, at the museum, 1155 East 58th Street. The museum holds the Chicago area's largest collection of Egyptian art and artifacts as well as galleries devoted to the other cultures of the ancient Middle East.

The new exhibition shows that the most fundamental aspects of ancient Egyptian civilization — architecture, hieroglyphic writing, a belief in the afterlife, and allegiance to a semi-divine king — can be traced to Egypt's Predynastic and Early Dynastic eras more than 1,000 years before the pyramids were built.

"It has been decades since there was an exhibit devoted to earliest Egypt," said Gil Stein, director of the Oriental Institute. "By showing us the origins of the Egyptian state, this gem of an exhibit only enhances our sense of wonder at the later achievements of this civilization when it reached its zenith."

The exhibit presents 140 artifacts that date to roughly 4000-2650 BC. It shows how the culture and events of that time gave birth to one of the greatest ancient civilizations. Most of the objects come from the permanent collection of the Oriental Institute."

Quoted Text from:
Oriental Institute Museum - LINK