Assyriology studies all languages that were written in cuneiform as well as the cultures and history of the people who used them in a period from approx. 3200 BC to 150 AD. It is a young, dynamic, and research-intensive discipline, as our knowledge of the ancient Near East expands rapidly every year through new discoveries and findings. We would like our students to participate in this exciting process: through research-related teaching in small groups, you will be introduced to current research topics at an early stage, involved in projects, and encouraged to develop independent questions. In the course of your studies, you will therefore not only acquire skills in the language, script, and history of the ancient Near East. You will also learn versatile transferable skills, such as the systematic acquisition of new and complex subject areas, the scientific method of handling open problems, uncertainties, fragments, and gaps, competent research, time management, critical reading and analysis of texts, as well as writing your own texts. The study of Assyriology therefore not only prepares you for a career in the education and science sector, but also provides a very good basis for all activities in which the use of language stands in the foreground and independent thinking is required.
Assyriology researches the languages and cultures of the Sumerians, Eblaites, Akkadians, Babylonians, Assyrians, Ugarites, the peoples of ancient Anatolia, and other ancient Near Eastern peoples. Given the abundance of teaching and research subjects, the focus of research and teaching is different from one place of study to another. In Tübingen this focus lies on Sumerology and Akkadian studies (Sargonic-Akkadian, Babylonian, Assyrian) supplemented by Ugaritic, Aramaic, and Old Anatolian studies, the latter according to the course offerings.
It is possible the start the B.A. in the winter and summer semesters.
- 1st year of study: general introduction, Akkadian and Sumerian language courses.
- 2nd year of study: first reading of source material on selected topics.
- 3rd year of study: in depth reading and interpretation of Akkadian and Sumerian sources, B.A. thesis and oral examination.
If Assyriology is studied as a minor, only one of the two cuneiform languages is required, with either Akkadian or Sumerian as the main focus.
Working with specialist scientific literature requires a good working knowledge of English and French. Experience with Latin is desirable, but not a requirement. Relevant linguistic knowledge (such as ancient Greek or Arabic) can be acquired during the B.A. course, for example, within the key skill requirement.
All subjects offered at the University of Tübingen that have a corresponding curriculum of 60 credit points are currently permitted as minors.
Please be sure to contact the respective academic advisor for the subjects to clarify whether the conditions are compatible.
The following subjects are particularly suited as minors to a major in Assyriology:
- Near Eastern Archaeology and Archaeology of Palestine
- Classical Archaeology
- Languages, histories, and cultures of the Near East
- Jewish studies
- Greek studies
The current exam regulations and the exam regulations for the B.A. course "Cultures of the Ancient Near East", which was closed in 2012/13 (winter semester), can be found on the website of the examination office of the Faculty of Humanities.
General part (German only) (status: 12/2019) of the B.A. course for IANES subjects (Egyptology, Assyriology, Near Eastern Archaeology and Archaeology of Palestine)
Assyriology, special part
An M.A. course in Assyriology (2 years) may follow after earning a B.A. in Assyriology or a comparable B.A. with a focus on Assyriology, which was awarded at an institution other than the University of Tübingen (minimum grade 2,3). The M.A. course will deepen the knowledge acquired up to this point and expand it to include Western Semitic languages and cultures (Hebrew and optionally Ugaritic, Phoenician-Punic, or Aramaic).
It is possible to start the M.A. course in the winter and summer semesters.