Welcome to the Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations. Our department is concerned with the interdisciplinary study of the civilizations and cultures of the Near and Middle East from Neolithic times until the present, including their archaeology, history, mythology, religion and thought, art and architecture, as well as languages and literatures (Akkadian, Babylonian, Sumerian, Aramaic, Syriac, ancient Egyptian, Hebrew, Arabic, Persian and Turkish). Our programs provide undergraduate and graduate students with a unique opportunity to study non-Western complex societies and civilizations.
The Near East is generally understood to refer to the region at the eastern end of the Mediterranean and beyond, from ancient times up to the advent of Islam in the seventh century CE. The Middle East begins with the advent of Islam and refers to a much broader geographical area, whose predominant Islamic culture in medieval and modern times has stretched from North Africa and Spain in the west to Central Asia, India, and Southeast Asia in the east.