Harvard’s Semitic Museum is set for big changes ← Related Article Visit The Boston Globe Share on Twitter Share on Facebook Comment on this Scroll to top of page JESSICA RINALDI FOR THE BOSTON GLOBE With a collection that can look anciently opaque from the outside but is in fact full of wonders, the Semitic Museum is on the cusp of great change. JESSICA RINALDI FOR THE BOSTON GLOBE Under its new director, professor Peter der Manuelian, technology — from 3-D printing to the virtual reality headset Oculus Rift — is playing a leading role. JESSICA RINALDI FOR THE BOSTON GLOBE Dedicated to the archeology, history, and culture of the Ancient Near East, the museum holds more than 40,000 items, including sculpture and cylinder seals. JESSICA RINALDI FOR THE BOSTON GLOBE Many of its holdings are from excavations in Israel, Jordan, Iraq, Egypt, Cyprus, and Tunisia, sponsored by the museum. JESSICA RINALDI FOR THE BOSTON GLOBE The basement is for hands-on research and an ongoing project involving the baking and cleaning of thousands of clay tablets. JESSICA RINALDI FOR THE BOSTON GLOBE Manuelian’s hope is that, even as the Semitic continues its activities in overseas digs and research, it will also become a pace-setting museum.