Ancient Egyptian and Near Eastern Civilizations

University of California, Berkeley

About the Program


The Ancient Egyptian and Near Eastern Civilizations minor introduces students to the cultures, histories, languages, and archaeology of ancient Egypt and the ancient Middle East. Students will explore the principal civilizations of the ancient worlds studying the human experience as it unfolds in documents, monuments, and architectural marvels and to further investigate these ancient artifacts in modern times through the use of cutting edge technology. The minor requires students to take five upper-division courses, one course may overlap with the student's major course.  

Declaring the Minor

Students may declare the minor as soon as they begin their course study. Please find the minor declaration form in the Near Eastern Studies Department. Students must declare the minor no later than the semester before their Expected Graduation Term (EGT). Please see the L&S minor guidelines for more information. 

Other Majors and Minors offered by the Department of Near Eastern Studies

Ancient Egyptian Near Eastern Art and Archaeology (Major)
Near Eastern Civilizations (Major)  
Near Eastern Languages and Literatures (Major)
Arabic (Minor)
Hebrew (Minor)
Persian (Minor)
Turkish (Minor)

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Minor Requirements

The minor in Ancient Egyptian and Near Eastern Civilizations requires one lower division course and five upper-division courses. 

General Guidelines

  1. All minors must be declared no later than one semester before a student's Expected Graduation Term (EGT). If the semester before EGT is fall or spring, the deadline is the last day of RRR week. If the semester before EGT is summer, the deadline is the final Friday of Summer Sessions. To declare a minor, contact the department advisor for information on requirements, and the declaration process.
  2. All courses taken to satisfy the minor requirement must be taken for a letter grade and be at least 3 units.

  3. A minimum grade point average (GPA) of 2.0 must be maintained in order to declare and complete the minor. 

  4. No more than one upper division course may be used to simultaneously fulfill requirements for a student's major and minor program.
  5. With the prior consent of the faculty adviser, students may take courses across various disciplines to satisfy the minor requirements. 


Lower Division
Required: One of the following lower division courses4
Introduction to Near Eastern Art and Archaeology [4]
Introduction to Ancient Egypt [4]
Recommended Lower Division Courses15-20
Ancient Babylonian Legends and Myths [4]
Hebrew Bible in Translation [3]
Upper Division
Select five courses listed in the following majors:
Women and Gender in Ancient Egypt [4]
Religion of Ancient Egypt [3]
Babylonian Religion [3]
Ancient Mesopotamian Documents and Literature [3]
Ancient Astronomy [4]
Mesopotamian History [3]
Digital Humanities and Egyptology [4]
Survey of Ancient Egyptian History [4]
Gilgamesh: King, Hero, and God [4]
Digital Ancient Near East [3]
Early Egypt: From Village to Pyramid [4]
Ancient Egypt: Power, Glory and Empire in the Second Millennium [4]
Disciplining Near Eastern Archaeology: Explorers, Archaeologists, and Tourists in the Contemporary Middle East [3]
Iranian Archaeology [4]
The Art of Ancient Mesopotamia: 3500-1000 BCE [4]
The Art of Ancient Mesopotamia: 1000-330 BCE [4]
Mesopotamian Archaeology [4]
Levantine Archaeology [4]
Silk Road Art and Archaeology [3]
Arts of Iran and Central Asia [4]
Literature and History in the Hebrew Bible [4]
Sociolinguistics of the Greater Middle East [4]
Topics in Persian Art and Culture [4]
Magic, Religion, and Science: The Ancient and Medieval Worlds [4]
Special Topics in Fields of Near Eastern Studies: Ancient Near Eastern Studies [4]
Special Topics in Fields of Near Eastern Studies: Egyptian Studies [4]
Special Topics in Fields of Near Eastern Studies: Jewish Studies [4]
Elementary Akkadian [4]
Elementary Akkadian [4]
Selected Readings in Akkadian [4]
Selected Readings in Akkadian [4]
Elementary Sumerian [4]
Elementary Sumerian [4]
Selected Readings in Sumerian [3]
Selected Readings in Sumerian [3]
Introduction to Egyptian Hieroglyphs [5]
Introduction to Egyptian Hieroglyphs [5]
Elementary Biblical Hebrew [3]
Elementary Biblical Hebrew [3]
Biblical Hebrew Texts [3]
Biblical Hebrew Texts [3]
Aramaic [3]
Aramaic [3]
Total Units19-24


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Near Eastern Studies

Faculty and Instructors


Azza Ahmad, Assistant Adjunct Professor. Arabic Languages, CMES.

Wali Ahmadi, Associate Professor. Persian languages, Persian literature.
Research Profile

Asad Ahmed, Associate Professor. Islam (social and intellectual history).
Research Profile

Adam Benkato, Professor. Iranian Studies, Senior Research Scholar at CMES.

Daniel Boyarin, Professor. Talmud, rhetoric, Christianity, genealogy of, invention of Judaism.
Research Profile

Simon Brelaud, Assistant Adjunct Professor. Assyrian Studies, Syriac Language.

Ahmad Diab, Assistant Professor. Modern Arabic Literature.
Research Profile

Ronald Hendel, Professor. Textual criticism, Hebrew bible, ancient Near Eastern religion and mythology, Northwest Semitic linguistics.
Research Profile

Chana Kronfeld, Professor. Comparative literature, modernism, Hebrew, Yiddish, modern poetry, minor literatures, politics of literary history, feminist stylistics, intertextuality, translation studies.
Research Profile

Margaret Larkin, Professor. Near Eastern studies.
Research Profile

Rita Lucarelli, Associate Professor. Near Eastern Studies, Egyptology.
Research Profile

Maria Mavroudi, Professor. Byzantine studies.
Research Profile

Nasser Meerkhan, Assistant Professor. Near Eastern Studies, and Spanish and Portuguese.

Benjamin Porter, Associate Professor. Archaeology, Near Eastern archaeology, Middle East, Arid Environments, anthropology, Heritage, tourism, and Museum Studies.
Research Profile

Carol A. Redmount, Associate Professor. Egyptology.
Research Profile

Francesca Rochberg, Professor. History of science, ancient near east, cuneiform studies.
Research Profile

Niek Veldhuis, Professor. Digital humanities, intellectual history, Sumerian, cuneiform.
Research Profile


Rutie Adler, Lecturer.

Hatem A. Bazian, Lecturer. Near Eastern studies.
Research Profile

Elsa Elmahdy, Lecturer.

Gholam-Reza Ghahramani, Lecturer.

John L. Hayes, Lecturer.

Sanjyot Mehendale, Lecturer. Near Eastern studies, Central Asia, Central Asian studies, archaeology and art history.
Research Profile

Haitham S. Mohamed, Lecturer.

Laurie Pearce, Lecturer.

Barbara Richter, Lecturer.

Jason Christopher Vivrette, Lecturer.

Emeritus Faculty

Ayla Algar, Lecturer Emeritus. Turkish language and literature, language pedagogy.

Hamid Algar, Professor Emeritus.

Robert B. Alter, Professor Emeritus. Comparative literature, Near Eastern studies, 19th-century European and American novel, modernism, literary aspects of the bible, modern and biblical Hebrew literature.
Research Profile

Guitty Azarpay, Professor Emeritus. Art and archaeology of the ancient Near East and Central Asia.
Research Profile

Ariel A. Bloch, Professor Emeritus.

Chava Boyarin, Professor Emeritus.

Wolfgang J. Heimpel, Professor Emeritus. Near Eastern studies.
Research Profile

Anne D. Kilmer, Professor Emeritus.

David Larkin, Lecturer Emeritus. Egyptology.

James T. Monroe, Professor Emeritus.

Jaleh Pirnazar, Lecturer Emeritus. Modern Iranian history Persian language and literature, Iranian Cinema.

Martin Schwartz, Professor Emeritus. Near Eastern studies.
Research Profile

Muhammad Siddiq, Professor Emeritus. Near Eastern studies.
Research Profile

David B. Stronach, Professor Emeritus.

Contact Information

Department of Near Eastern Studies

250 Barrows Hall

Phone: 510-642-3757

Fax: 510-643-8430

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Department Chair and Professor of Ancient Near Eastern History

Francesca Rochberg, PhD

262 Barrows Hall

Phone: 510-642-3757

Undergraduate Faculty Advisor for Ancient Near Eastern Studies & Assistant Professor of Near Eastern Archaeology

Rita Lucarelli, PhD

266 Barrows Hall

Phone: 510-642-3757

Undergraduate Student Advisor

Rania Shah, MA

250 Barrows Hall

Phone: 510-642-3758

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