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Bachelor’s Programs and State Examination

Ancient Near Eastern Studies

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.) – 2 field degree program - Minor Field

Are you interested in the history of the Near East, the cultures of what was once known as the Ancient Orient? Have you always wanted to learn about the beginnings of issues that are matter of course today, such as the environment and nature, agriculture, writing, bureaucracy and urban life, but also the origins of sovereignty and social injustice? Maybe cuneiform script fascinates you, and you would like to be able to read some of the oldest written laws, epics and letters in the original? Perhaps you are keen to learn about the social interaction of architecture, everyday objects and art objects, as well as paintings and many other artifacts from the past? This is the essence of Ancient Near Eastern Studies at the University of Freiburg.

Reconstruct how people lived together several millennia ago

As a major or minor, the Bachelor in Ancient Near Eastern Studies at the University of Freiburg combines Near Eastern archaeology and ancient oriental philology: here, you will not only study archaeology, or the material remains, but also surviving cuneiform script sources. Research and teaching focus on a critical examination of the history or construction of history of past societies, the development of the cultures, the emergence of script and languages in the Ancient Orient. In geographic terms, we look at the region that forms the heart of today’s Turkey in the north to Yemen in the south, from the Lebanon in the west to Pakistan in the east. In time and content terms, as Near Eastern archaeologists our research begins with the Stone Age and investigates the first signs of settled ways of life more than 14,000 years ago. We are interested in the processes of urbanization and the appearance of the earliest written records of people during the organization of the first cities in the 4th millennium before Christ. We examine how and why great empires such as the Akkads, Assyrians, Babylonians, Hittites and Persians rose and fell, right up to the time of Greek and Roman domination in the centuries before and after Christ and what life in those great empires and under the domination of others means to social coexistence.

Interested in the traces of the past?

For a Bachelor degree in Ancient Near Eastern Studies you should be enthusiastic about the geography of the Near East and Middle East. You should be curious and interested in the lives of people, in different ways of life and organization, above all in past and contemporary societies, and want to learn how we reconstruct them using material relics and written documents that we collect in excavations, and how to present this in specialist literature.

If you are keenly curious about the range of sociocultural, political and economic, and religious manifestations as well as the processes of formation and change, then Freiburg’s Near Eastern Archaeology is the place for you.

You will preferably also undertake practical work and create the basis for the reconstruction of past realities, e.g. using the information obtained from excavations on the basis of material and written relics.

You will need good written and spoken German, strong knowledge of English and basic French.

Ancient Near Eastern Studies in Freiburg

Near Eastern archaeology and ancient oriental philology expand both the teaching on offer and the research profile of the Institute of Archaeology (IAW) at the University of Freiburg to include Near Eastern cultural and social history. Both subjects are also represented on the joint degree program Archaeology as well as on the Ancient Civilization Studies degree program. The IAW has a total of six departments which form a strong network and place their work in a cultural history context.

Ancient Near Eastern Studies in Freiburg is a historic cultural and social science, which not only looks at WHAT and WHEN, but also the HOW and WHY as well as the possibilities and conditions for events, results and developments in sociocultural, political, economic, religious and biogeophysical perspectives. Using findings and results, it attempts to understand and explain human actions of the past.

Combined Studies – Interdisciplinary Learning

Freiburg’s Ancient Near Eastern Studies offers you not only the exceptional opportunity to study archaeology and the ancient philology of the Near East in combination, but also to acquire and reason with profound knowledge of the archaeological material and textual cultures of this area, as well as specific deeds, events and developments in their historic dimension. With our exceptional understanding you will also become familiar with the principles of social science studies and thinking, and be introduced to interdisciplinary learning, teaching and research.

Academic calendar:

Winter Semester

Standard Period of Study:

6 semesters required for the full degree programme

Scope of services:

180 ECTS-Points for the full degree programme

Admission: First semester:

without special prerequisites for admission (free admissions)

Higher semesters:

free admission

Application period: First semester: 1 June – 4 October
Higher semesters: Winter Semester: until 30.09., Summer Semester: until 31.03.
Important information regarding required application materials for higher semesters.
Application: Apply now!
Faculty affiliation: Faculty of Humanities
An overview of all the subjects that can be taken in combination with subject Ancient Near Eastern Studies by students who started their B.A. degree programme in the winter semester 2013/14 or later:

Ancient Civilization Studies | Educational Science and Education Management | German Studies | English and American Studies | Cultural and Social Anthropology | FrancoMedia – French Language, Literature, and Media Culture | German Studies from a German–French Perspective | History | IberoCultura – Spanish Language, Literature, and Culture | Islamic Studies | Jewish Studies | Classical Philology | Cultural Analysis/European Ethnology | Art History | Media and Cultural Studies | Musicology | Early Modern and Modern History | Philosophy | Political Science | Romance languages and literatures | Sinology | Scandinavian Studies | Slavic Studies | Sociology

For information on subject combinations, see also the "Joint Committee of the Faculty of Philology, Philosophy, and Economics and Behavioural Sciences". Subject combinations for students who started their degree programme before the winter semester 2012/13 can also be found there. » more [de]

Please note:
From the summer semester 2020 on there may be deviations from individual regulations of the admission regulations, selection and entrance examination regulations as well as the study and examination regulations from the Corona Statutes [de].

The versions of statutes with relevance to teaching and learning provided on this page by the Department of Legal Affairs (in particular admission and selection regulations as well as subject and examination regulations) are primarily for information purposes. This means that all amendments subsequently agreed upon by the University Senate have been integrated into the respective text of the original statutes; in the case of the examination regulations for bachelor's and master's degree programmes, this generally relates to extracts of the respective examination regulations (framework examination regulations, subject-specific provisions, and appendices).
The greatest care has been taken in writing these versions. Nevertheless, it cannot be entirely ruled out that errors may have occurred. Consequently, it is solely the officially announced statutes and statute amendments that are legally binding, i.e. as published in the Amtlichen Bekanntmachungen der Albert-Ludwigs-Universität Freiburg im Breisgau [de] or, up to the year 2000, in the official gazette of the Baden-Württemberg Ministry of Science, Research and the Arts.

Central Academic Advising Office

The University's Service Centre Studies - Central Student Advisory Service (ZSB) provides information and advice on all questions that may arise prior to, at the beginning of, and during a course of study. If you are seeking subject-specific advice in addition to this, you can also contact the respective subject academic advisor.

Departmental Academic Advising

Birgül Öğüt
Vorderasiatische Archäologie
Raum 3133
Platz der Universität 3
79098 Freiburg
Tel.: +49 761 203-3202

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Examination Office

Werthmannstr.8/Rückgebäude, 79098 Freiburg

Bachelor- und Masterstudiengang, Lehramtsstudiengang gemäß GymPO I
Dr. Tobie Walther
Tel. 203-3221
Raum 02 010/2. OG
Sprechstunde: Dienstag 10.15-12.30 Uhr, Donnerstag 14.00-16.00 Uhr

Magister- und Promotionsstudiengang, Lehramtsstudiengang gemäß WPO
Annette Ehinger
Tel. 203-2011
Raum 03 011/3. OG
Sprechstunde: Dienstag 10.15-12.30 Uhr, Donnerstag 14.00-16.00 Uhr

Achtung: In der vorlesungsfreien Zeit gelten gesonderte Sprechstunden, bitte informieren Sie sich rechtzeitig vor einem Besuch.