Assyriology (Languages, History, and Culture of the Ancient Near East)

58.03.01In english and russian

Level of education Bachelor

Type of instruction Full-time

Duration 4 years

Main courses
  • History of Asian and African Countries (Ancient Far East)
  • History of Asian and African Countries (Ancient Middle East)
  • German for Asian and African Studies
  • Akkadian
  • Introduction to Asian and African Studies
  • Introduction to Assyriology
  • English / German / French
  • History of Asian and African Countries
  • Ethnography and Culture of Ancient Mesopotamia
  • History of Ancient Mesopotamia
  • Asian and African Religions
  • Arabic
  • Sumerian and Akkadian Literature
  • Sumerian
  • Ancient Greek
  • Classical Hebrew
  • Fundamentals of Egyptian
  • History of Ancient Mesopotamia: Historiography and Sources
Our advantages

The programme trains specialists with the requisite professional skills, including cultural and linguistic ones corresponding to their major. Graduates are ready to conduct research, teaching, and organisational and managerial activities in the field of Asian and African studies.

Museums around the world (the British Museum, the Louvre, Istanbul Museum, Baghdad Museum, Berlin Museum, the State Hermitage Museum, the Pushkin State Museum of Fine Arts to name just a few, as well as private collections) hold at least half a million cuneiform tablets.   Only about 10% of them have been decrypted, read and published. The shoreless sea of antiquities awaits its qualified researcher and publisher.

The training of such experts that are much-in-demand all over the world is the main mission of the programme in Assyriology. It has been carried out at St Petersburg University continuously since the 1890s at a level recognised by the international professional community.

Also, among the advantages of studying in the bachelor's programme ‘Assyriology (Languages, History, and Culture of the Ancient Near East)’ are:

  • experienced faculty with many years of experience in research and teaching activities in the field of languages, literature, social and economic history, political history, archaeology, culture and religion of ancient Mesopotamia (Sumer, Akkad, Babylonia, Assyria) and the ancient Eastern Mediterranean (Ugarit, Phoenicia, the Kingdom of Israel, and the Kingdom of Judah) 
  • teaching according to our own uniquely designed methods and study manuals, including the use of digital technologies for working with written and visual monuments of the Ancient East and the use of professional Internet resources in Assyriology (for example, CDLI - Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative)
  • extensive language training (Akkadian, Sumerian, Hebrew, Ancient Greek, Arabic, Aramaic)
  • development of language competencies, stimulated by a bilingual learning environment (the programme is taught in Russian and English)
  • additional European language (German, French)
  • practical training and internships are carried out in the leading research institutes of St Petersburg (the Institute of Oriental Manuscripts) and archaeological expeditions. Students present their scientific reports in allRussian and international conferences and seminars on the Ancient World and the Ancient Near East
  • there is an opportunity to communicate with prospective employers in the framework of regular career days, seminars and workshops with company representatives
  • there is an opportunity to continue their education in master’s and doctoral programmes in the Ancient East at universities in Europe and America, which also provides for archaeological practice in expeditions on the territory of the states of the Near and Middle East
Career opportunities

Organisations where our graduates work

  • The National Library of Russia
  • The Library of the Russian Academy of Sciences
  • The Institute of Oriental Manuscripts of the Russian Academy of Sciences
  • The State Hermitage Museum
  • The State Museum of the History of Religion