A local archaeology group in Houston is working to bring a traditional mudhif, a reed house structure, to the Rice University campus, 6100 Main St., Houston, next to the Moody Center for the Arts.

The mudhif is coming courtesy of Archaeology Now, the Houston affiliate of Archaeology Institute of America, as part of the Senan Shaibani Marsh Arabs Project, according to an Aug. 16 news release. It is being built in partnership the Arab American Educational Foundation and Iraqi community groups, with support from the Museum of Fine Arts, Houston. The project is slated to open to the public Sept. 9.

The origins of the mudhif date back 5,000 years to Marsh Arab villages, according to the release, where it was used as a public hall, to settle community affairs, to hold religious ceremonies and to exchange information. Structurally, the buildings feature barrel-vaulted ceilings, which are a symbol of pride for the tribes who used them.

Mudhifs are constructed entirely of reeds from the marshlands between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in Iraq, according to the release. The columns and components of the Rice University mudhif were shipped from Iraq to Houston, where they are now being assembled.

During the Sept. 9 grand opening, visitors can learn about the Marsh Arab culture, tour the structure, enjoy light refreshments and speak with the archaeologists who helped construct the mudhif. Open houses will also take place Sept. 17, Oct. 14 and Nov. 12, and a series of cultural events will run throughout the fall.