The Institute for Ancient Near Eastern Archaeology was founded in 1948 with the appointment of Anton Moortgat to Freie Universität in Berlin. It is the oldest institution for this discipline in Germany and since 1980 the only one that has been permanently endowed with two chairs. Lecturers of all academic ranks are entrusted with teaching at the Institute.
Thanks to these facilities, the curricula and goals of study are ambitious. Geographically, the scope of work extends over Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Iraq, the Persian Gulf, Saudi Arabia and Yemen, Iran, Georgia, Armenia, Afghanistan, and Pakistan. Chronologically, it encompasses the span of time from the beginnings of the sedentarization of humans to the Islamic conquests, a total of around 10,000 years. Taken together, this expansive field is known by the term the ancient Near East.
Ancient Near Eastern archaeology at the Freie Universität in Berlin taps the remains of the material culture of the ancient Near East as historical sources and works from them to examine the economic, social, political, religious, cultural, intellectual, and art historical aspects of ancient cultures.
In the course of study and in practical education for archaeological fieldwork, the Ancient Near Eastern Archaeology program imparts an understanding of method and theory, as well as fundamental knowledge of the geography, history, sites and monuments of the ancient Near East. This interdisciplinary work is facilitated through numerous close contacts with other fields of intellectual, social and natural sciences.
Particular importance is placed on collaboration with Ancient Near Eastern Studies, whose emphasis is on the elucidation of the textual remains. The Institutes of Ancient Near Eastern Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Studies are housed in the same building and tied together through a common core curriculum. The shared library is one of the best of its kind in all of Europe.
A further advantage of the Institute is its proximity to related institutions, such as the central office of the German Archaeological Institute and the Museum of the Ancient Near East on the Museum Island in Berlin. Well-known research projects throughout the world are being carried out under the leadership or in collaboration with members of the Institute. Such international cooperation make study at the Institute more desirable for both German and foreign students.
For more information on the Ancient Near Eastern Archaeology degree program and course of studies, please see the current Academic Handbook.