Undergraduate studies in the Department of Ancient Studies offers a basic education in six disciplines: Ancient Near Eastern Studies (Assyriology), Ancient Near Eastern Archaeology, Classical Archaeology, European Prehistory, Egyptology, and Religious Studies. The undergraduate program offered here will provide students with an interdisciplinary education. Students will learn basic skills that will be useful not only for a career in research and teaching but professional careers in general.
The field of Ancient Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations is concerned with the languages, cultures, and history of the ancient Near East from the 4th millennium BCE to the Greco-Roman period. Geographically, the Near East roughly equals the territory occupied today by the states of Iraq, Iran, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, and Jordan. The field of Ancient Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations studies the textual sources that were written with a writing system called cuneiform, for which signs were impressed into clay with a reed stylus. The main languages that were written by using cuneiform script are Akkadian and its two main dialects Assyrian and Babylonian, as well as Hittite, and Sumerian. Cuneiform script remained the most important writing system until about the Greco-Roman period. Thus, Ancient Near Eastern Studies is concerned with the languages and written documents of the high civilizations before the advent of Christianity. The two main goals of the education offered here are achieving proficiency in at least two ancient Near Eastern languages and training the ability to interpret primary textual sources within the framework of academic research.
The first language that students are required to learn is Akkadian, for the second language students may choose between Sumerian and Hittite.
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