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Ancient Oriental Studies (B.A.) (2 Subjects)

Hundreds of thousands of clay tablets originated in ancient Mesopotamia between the Tigris and the Euphrates between 3000 BC and the birth of Christ. The reflections concerning mankind, its life and its world mirrored therein have radiated outwards to cultures such as those of Greece and Israel and even continue to challenge current thinking. Ancient Oriental Studies investigates these advanced civilisations and in particular those of the Sumerians, Babylonians and Assyrians. This degree programme offered at Göttingen University focuses on philological and cultural anthropological aspects, mainly covering the areas of language, history, literature and religion.


Degree programme title: Ancient Oriental Studies (B.A.) (2 Subjects)
Final degree: Bachelor of Arts
Standard period of study: 6 semesters
Starting semester: Winter semester
Language of the programme: German

Admission to the winter semester 2017/18:

  • 1st subject semester: open admission (enrolment without previous application)
  • 2nd to 6th subject semester: open admission (enrolment without previous application)
  • International applicants (non-EU): open admission (application to International Student Office)



The degree programme
Ancient Oriental Studies is a young science which, in exploring this early advanced civilisation, is currently making fundamental new discoveries in many areas, with its materials constantly growing through excavations and museum work. The course of studies in Göttingen concentrates in particular on Sumer, Babylonia and Assyria; it provides the basic philological knowledge required to work with the texts and covers topics of cultural science such as literature, religion and history, with the main focus on Sumerian and Babylonian mythology. Anyone who is interested and has the necessary talents can already contribute to research at an early stage or make ancient oriental themes fruitful for our time by journalistic or artistic means.

Structure of the degree programme
The course introduces students to the Sumerian and Babylonian-Assyrian languages and cuneiform script, and provides knowledge in cultural science in the areas of literature, religion, history and mythology research. These areas will be studied simultaneously and complement each other in an ideal way.

Language skills to be acquired during the course of studies
This course introduces students to the Sumerian and Babylonian-Assyrian languages and their texts. The acquisition of language skills involves from the very beginning an introduction to highly interesting texts which provide insights into the historical context, poetry and philosophy of a more-than-2000-year-old culture.

Possible subject combinations
The subject Ancient Oriental Studies belongs to the Faculty of Humanities. The great diversity of subjects of this faculty provides numerous options for combination of subjects. But combinations with subjects from other faculties are also conceivable. The most important criterion for an individual combination of subjects is personal interest. A combination with related subjects in terms of content, geographical closeness and/or methodology, such as Egyptology, Classical Philology or Theology makes just as much sense as a combination with more methodology-oriented subjects such as Religious Studies, General Linguistics, Linguistics and Literary Studies (German Philology), Cultural Anthropology, or a combination with subjects exploring the medieval and modern Orient such as Arabic Studies or Iranian Studies. Finally, a combination with arts-oriented subjects may also open up interesting perspectives.

Occupational fields
Journalism, publishing, libraries, tourism, museums, foundations, IT, knowledge management, sciences and various forms of art.