The ancient Near East is where the first crops were sown, the first cities were built, and the first writing was invented. The origins of Western culture are found in its great civilizations, from the three main monotheistic religions—Christianity, Islam, and Judaism—to things we use every day and take for granted, such as the alphabet and marking time by hours and minutes.
The Johns Hopkins Department of Near Eastern Studies offers a wide range of courses on the cultures and languages of the ancient Near East, including Egypt, Israel, Syria-Palestine, Mesopotamia, and the Arabian peninsula. Archaeology is also an option for students, and the department carries out excavations in Egypt, Syria, Oman, and Ethiopia. Courses cover archaeology, history, religion, art, language, and literature of the ancient civilizations of the Near East.
The department uses modern tools of analysis to study ancient Near Eastern civilizations, utilizing ancient written records and physical evidence as primary data. The study of language and script allows for an ability to access sources in the original, while historical and archaeological study facilitates an understanding of context and relationships with surrounding cultures.
What can you do with your degree?
A degree in Near Eastern studies can be used as the basis for a career in Near Eastern history, languages, art history, or archaeology, teaching or conducting research at a university, college, museum, seminary, or research institute. In addition, the grounding in humanistic, social science, and natural science techniques as well as in the study of different cultures prepares graduates for careers in a wide diversity of fields beyond Near Eastern studies itself.
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