Ancient History and Mediterranean Archaeology

University of California, Berkeley


UC Berkeley offers an interdisciplinary program of graduate study in Ancient History and Ancient Near Eastern and Mediterranean Archaeology (AHMA). The program is conducted by an interdisciplinary group that includes more than 20 faculty members affiliated with 7 different Berkeley departments and the Graduate Theological Union. A chair, a graduate adviser, and student affairs officers administer the program.

The AHMA program offers MA and PhD degrees in areas that combine work in archaeology and history and related disciplines of ancient studies. Most of its graduates have successfully secured teaching positions in Departments of Classics, Art History, History, Anthropology or Near Eastern Studies in colleges and universities in the United States or abroad including Bar-Ilan, Haifa, Volos, Oxford, Toronto, Columbia, Madison, Austin, and Penn.


The Art History/Classics Library  consists of a suite of seminar rooms and a graduate reserve collection on the third floor of the main library maintained by the Art History/Classics Service. This collection contains most of the basic source material, texts, and periodicals for classical history, art, and archaeology. The Art History/Classics Library provides AHMA students with a private location for extended study.

The Baer-Keller Library of Egyptology is a noncirculating collection of approximately 9,000 volumes maintained by the Near Eastern Studies Department (NES) primarily for the use of UC Berkeley students and faculty pursuing serious study of Ancient Egyptian culture, Coptology, and Papyrology. Egyptology students and professionals from other institutions are also welcome. Interested individuals should apply to the Near Eastern Studies Department.

The Near Eastern Studies libraries are essential parts of the Department of Near Eastern Studies. The libraries can be indispensable for research to both graduate and undergraduate students in the department.The libraries house most of the reference materials on various disciplines within NES as well as some rare books (donated by scholars — past and present — affiliated with NES). The libraries usually carry books put on reserve by NES faculty each semester and can also be used as an excellent reading room for students and faculty. Library books are related to the following disciplines: Islamic Studies (Arabic, Turkish, and Persian, including the Mahjoub Persian Library) and Hebrew and Semitic Studies.The Hebrew/Semitics Library and the Islamic Studies Library both contain basic reference materials, including dictionaries and encyclopedias, and some of the most important texts in their fields. Access is generally limited to graduate students in the Department and in the AHMA program. Both libraries are noncirculating.

The Robbins Collection holds more than 250,000 titles in several related fields: religious law encompassing the canon law of the Roman and Greek churches and the law of the Protestant churches, Jewish and Islamic law, and secular law, including classical Roman law, ius commune, civil law, and English common law. Also among these titles are extensive collections in comparative law, jurisprudence, and legal history. Included are 225 manuscripts, the majority of which are medieval, 183 incunables, and another 2,000 titles printed before 1600. In addition, the Robbins Collection holds several thousand mircofilms of manuscripts, including all the medieval canon and Roman law manuscripts in the Vatican Library.

The Tebtunis Papyri consist of the papyrus documents that were found in the winter of 1899/1900 at the site of ancient Tebtunis, Egypt. The expedition to Tebtunis, led by the British archaeologists Bernard Grenfell and Arthur Hunt, was financed for the University of California by Mrs. Phoebe Apperson Hearst. The Tebtunis Papyri are the largest collection of papyrus documents from a single site in the United States. Although the collection has never been counted and inventoried completely, the number of fragments contained in it exceeds 21,000.

At present, the Aleshire Center for the Study of Greek Epigraphy Library consists of ca. 1,300 books, 5,000 offprints, 1,000 photos, and 1,400 squeezes which are housed on the Berkeley Campus in 6221-6223 Dwinelle Hall and available for use by faculty, students, and visitors.


The mission of the Archaeological Research Facility  (ARF) is to support archaeological field and laboratory research undertaken by UC Berkeley archaeologists and related specialists. Currently, 36 UC Berkeley faculty members from 10 departments and Organized Research Units are active participants in the ARF. The ARF operates some laboratory facilities and offers equipment and funding support to campus archaeologists (including graduate students). The ARF also publishes a newsletter and a publication series, oversees over $1 million in endowments, sponsors a lecture series that attracts scholars of international repute, and operates an undergraduate teaching laboratory in cooperation with the Department of Anthropology as well as an educational outreach program.

The Phoebe Hearst Museum of Anthropology has extensive holdings of ancient artifacts, including Classical material, cuneiform tablets, and an ancient Egyptian collection of more than 17,000 objects.

The Nemea Center for Classical Archaeology is a research unit within the Department of Classics that promotes teaching, research, and public service centered on the University of California's excavations in Nemea, Greece and its surrounding region. The Center is composed of the Nemea Excavation Archives, housed in 7125 Dwinelle Hall, and the Nemea Center facilities at the archaeological site of Nemea (Bowker House residence and the Thomas J. Long Study Room). The central activity of the Nemea Center is the excavation, study, conservation, and public presentation of the panhellenic Sanctuary of Zeus and its environs. The Center also promotes research in the region of the eastern Peloponnese including conducting ongoing excavation and museum study at Mycenae.

Colloquia, Seminars, and Lectures

The AHMA Noon Colloquium is a series of informal papers presented at noon in 7205 Dwinelle Hall.

The Pritchett Lecture, generously funded by an anonymous donor in honor of W. Kendrick Pritchett, the founding father of AHMA, is an annual event that brings to campus a distinguished scholar for an evening lecture and, frequently, an afternoon seminar.

The Sara B. Aleshire Center for the Study of Greek Epigraphy organizes and hosts annual (formerly biannual) lectures and seminars in Greek epigraphy.

The Nemea Center regularly invites distinguished archaeologists to give lectures to, lead seminars for, and work with AHMA students.

Each year, the Center for the Tebtunis Papyri invites a distinguished scholar to present a public lecture, lead a seminar, and work with graduate students.

The Berkeley Ancient Italy Roundtable (BAIR) is a biennial (formerly annual) event that brings together students of the archaeology, history, and art history of ancient Italy (broadly defined both geographically and chronologically) based in the Bay Area and further afield in the western United States. Our aim is to promote interaction among this group of scholars with a view to advancing the development of a more cohesive professional community.

Graduate Program

Ancient History and Mediterranean Archaeology: PhD

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Ancient History and Mediterranean Archaeology

Contact Information

Graduate Group in Ancient History and Mediterranean Archaeology

7233 Dwinelle Hall

Phone: 510-642-4218

Fax: 510-643-2959

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Emily Mackil (History)

Head Graduate Advisor

Benjamin Porter

Student Services Officer

Grant Tompkins

3414 Dwinelle Hall

Phone: 510-642-4497

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