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Ancient Near Eastern Studies

Programmes of Study

Ancient Near Eastern Studies

The discipline of Ancient Near Eastern Studies is devoted to researching the cultures of the Near East from the fourth to the first millennium BC (especially Iraq, Syria, Turkey, Iran and neighbouring regions).

The history and culture of the ancient Near East – literature, sciences, society, economy and much more – are documented by innumerable text sources and archaeological monuments from various periods and regions.

In the basic programme of study, an overview of ancient Near Eastern history and archaeology is provided. Students learn the languages of the ancient Near East as well as the cuneiform script of Mesopotamia in different forms.  

In Würzburg, the ancient Near East is studied in small groups in immediate proximity to various leading international research projects. The section's specialised library is the laboratory in which both students and expert scholars work alongside each other.

The other historical disciplines – Egyptology, Indo-European linguistics, and many more – each with their own specialised libraries are also located in the south wing of the Residenz in Würzburg. The BA programme combines Ancient Near Eastern Studies with an additional discipline.

Students of the ancient Near East learn how to:
• acquire new and complicated materials systematically
• carry out competent research
• read and analyse texts and images critically
• formulate their own well-written texts
• organise their working time efficiently and meet deadlines

In short, the programme of Ancient Near Eastern Studies not only prepares the students to become experts in the fields of educational and research, but also provides a solid foundation for auxiliary qualifications in other areas as well.

For further information, see also:


Bachelor Programmes
Master Programmes


Ancient Near Eastern Archaeology

The programme in Near Eastern Archaeology provides students with a sound knowledge of the archaeology and history of the Ancient Near East from the Epipaleolithic (c. 18,000 BC) to the end of the Sasanian Empire (7th century AD).

Students will acquire knowledge of material culture, characteristic lifestyles, building and settlement methods, object genres within a broad geographical and chronological framework, as well as a basic understanding of the conceptual and practical requirements for their study and interpretation.

Both aspects serve to approach core cultural anthropological questions concerning the organisation of human communities, the interaction between the realities of life and ideal worlds of the imagination, processes of social and cultural change, concepts of political and religious order, or constructions of space and time.

The programme also focuses on the acquisition of methodological skills in archaeological fieldwork, in the digital development, structuring and analysis of data, and in the communication of knowledge about archaeology and the history of the region to the public.

The BA degree programme enables students to gain further qualifications in the field of Near Eastern Archaeology and Digital Humanities as well as for careers outside of universities.

The BA programmes of the Near Eastern Archaeology in Würzburg can be combined with a second major subject (BA 75) or studied as a minor subject (BA 60). It is possible to begin the programme in either the winter or summer semester.

go to BA degree programmes