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Berlin as a Location

The Freie Universität Berlin offers an excellent environment for the study of Iranian Studies through the presence of disciplines such as Ancient Near Eastern Studies, Arabic Studies, Islamic Studies, Semitic Studies, Turkic Studies, as well as Ethnology and Religious Studies.

As a location, Berlin also offers the opportunity of cooperation with other institutions. For instance, the Dahlem Humanities Center, a unique institution in Germany, whose "main goal is to identify and to investigate new trends in the humanities and to foster interdisciplinary research, both on a local and an international level". Its mission is to foster networks on both the regional and the international level. As a means to achieve this, it will launch a host of innovative programs and event series in close collaboration with its regional and international partner institutions. In addition, Berlin Graduate School Muslim Cultures and Societies (BGSMCS) is supported by the Freie Universität Berlin as a host university together with the Humboldt-Universität zu Berlin and the Leibniz-Center Moderner Orient. The Graduate School investigates the plurality, changeability, and global connectedness of Muslim cultures and societies. The area of study includes Muslim societies in the Middle East, Africa, and Asia, as well as Muslim communities in Europe and North America. The researchers examine, in a systematic and comparative way, concepts, practices, and institutions variously understood as Islamic. Special attention is given to relations between Muslims and non-Muslims, as well as forms of inter- and intra-cultural communication. Furthermore, the Humboldt University offers a programme in Indo-European Studies that complements some of the topics treated in our MA.

Further locational advantages lie in a number of important, museums, collections, libraries and research institutes. Among other museums and collections, The Museum für Islamische Kunst presents its diverse collection of Islamic and Iranian art at the Pergamonmuseum on the Museumsinsel Berlin, which is one of the world’s leading research institutions dedicated to the material culture of the Middle East and neighbouring regions. The collection’s objects belongs to the various large excavations. The excavation of the famous caliphate capital of Samarra in Iraq (undertake in 1911 and 1913) is considered to be the birth of Islamic archaeology, and was further supplemented by finds from the Sasanian capital Ctesiphon in Iraq, the Abbasid capital of Raqqah in Syria and the Mongolian summer palace Takht-e Soleyman in Iran.

Located in Berlin is also the Turfan Studies Research Group (German: “Turfan-Forschung”) of the Berlin-Brandenburg Academy of Sciences, which studies and prepares the scientific edition and interpretation of works of art and textual remains that were found in the Turfan oasis and neighbouring sites in East Turkestan (Xinjiang) that bear manifold witness to the cultures of the ancient Silk Roads. The collection contains various Middle Iranian materials of Zoroastrian, Christian, Buddhist and Manichaean origins.