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Editors' Picks Volume 58 Number 6, November/December 2005

"The Art of Medicine in Ancient Egypt," at the Metropolitan Museum of Art through January 15, 2006, has 65 objects related to ancient healing from the museum's extensive collection of Egyptian artifacts. Among the offerings are a Roman-era mummy portrait that shows a man who had eye surgery to correct a congenital defect and a shrine to Yuny, a Nineteenth Dynasty priest of Sekmet, the goddess of healing. The only item on loan, from the New York Academy of Medicine, is one of only two complete medical texts from ancient Egypt. Eighteenth Dynasty surgeons would have consulted this papyrus to treat injuries sustained during warfare or construction.

In honor of the tenth anniversary of the normalization of relations with Vietnam, the Freer Gallery in Washington, D.C., is presenting "Vietnamese Ceramics from the Red River Delta" (ongoing). It's a small but select exhibition of artifacts created from the thirteenth to the sixteenth centuries, when the region's ceramics were widely treasured--they have been found as far away as Turkey, Egypt, and Japan. The show ties the objects to recent archaeological discoveries, including Hanoi's Thanh Long citadel.
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The Israel Museum, Jerusalem

The Israel Museum, Jerusalem (New York: Abrams, 2005; $60) marks another anniversary, this one for the museum's four decades of assembling a renowned collection of artifacts, fine art, and Jewish ethnography. The archaeology section is the most comprehensive, but gorgeous photography will compel even the most die-hard archaeology buff to appreciate the Picassos, Palestinian dresses, and Purim scrolls in the collection.
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© 2005 by the Archaeological Institute of America