The Department of Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Cultures at Tel Aviv University offers a variety
of courses covering the archaeology, cultures, history and languages of the Land of Israel and of the
ancient Near East from the prehistoric to the end of the Classical periods. During their studies in the
Department, students become thoroughly acquainted with the complex and unique world of people and
civilizations that inhabited the area in the past, and are afforded new perspectives on the present-day
The topics of our research and courses span a wide range and include the appearance of the first humans
in the ancient Near East through the emergence of the great civilizations of Egypt, Mesopotamia, Anatolia
and the Aegean; the rise of Ancient Israel; archaeology and the Bible and the cultural history of biblical
times; archaeology through the lens of the microscope; and Greece and Rome in the Mediterranean and
in the Land of Israel.
Students in the Department are presented with two main study routes: The Archaeology of the Land of
Israel and Ancient Near Eastern Cultures. Classes offered in the first route are aimed at providing knowledge
of the archaeology of the Land of Israel and of other parts of the Levant (Transjordan, Syria and Lebanon)
from prehistoric times to the Classical periods. During their studies, students also participate in excavations
where they are trained for archaeological field work, gaining hands-on experience.
Students enrolled in the second study route obtain in-depth acquaintance with the ancient civilizations
of Egypt, Mesopotamia, Anatolia and the Aegean. Courses offered introduce the histories, languages,
religions, societies and material culture of Pharaonic Egypt and the Assyrian, Babylonian and Hittite
empires, as well as pre-Classic Greek societies. By learning ancient languages students are enabled direct
access to ancient texts and are provided with insights to the administrative, political and spiritual worlds
of those who wrote them.
The Department of Archaeology and Ancient Near Eastern Cultures offers a unique combination of
archaeological theory and practice, field work and lab work and analysis of texts and of finds. In addition
to offering regular frontal lessons and seminars, the Department conducts archaeological excavations at
sites from various periods. Students play an active and significant role in these research projects. The
Department also organizes a series of excursions to archaeological sites in Israel (and occasionally abroad).