The MA Programmes in Near Eastern & Egyptian Archaeology

The Near East (modern Iraq, Iran, Israel, Jordan, Lebanon, Palestine, Syria and Turkey) and Egypt constitute a region of enormous culture-historical significance, and a cradle of civilization from Prehistory up to the Early Medieval period. Various key developments, such as the origins of farming and sedentary life, and the emergence of complex urbanised societies and writing, occurred first in this region and spread subsequently.

Archaeology of the Mediterranean and Near East

Master programme Egyptian archaeology  

Tell Sabi Abyad

Tell Sabi Abyad

In the two Master programmes in Near Eastern and Egyptian archaeology the student will be taught how to investigate such key developments using primary archaeological data. Understanding how data are obtained, being able to contextualise these in specific local culture-historical contexts, and translating the data to observations relevant for the study of processes such as neolithisation and urbanisation is central to the two MA programmes in Leiden. Thus, in the MA programme we explicitly link our research with the teaching curriculum.  

The Near Eastern and Egyptian archaeology section has considerable expertise on Neolithic Syria and Anatolia, reconstructing ecological and agricultural practices, architectural analysis and the study of society, survey methodologies, and the investigation of complex societies of the Bronze Age and Iron Age Near East, Prehistoric Egypt, the Hellenistic and Roman period in Egypt, and the analysis of intercultural contexts. The MA programmes in Near Eastern and Egyptian archaeology are part of a broader archaeology programme in which the focus is on archaeological methods, theory and heritage management. 

Leiden University provides rich resources for students of the Ancient Near East. Amongst these are the Netherlands Institute for the Near East, hosting one of the best libraries in the world for the field, as well as renowned Egyptology and Assyriology sections. The National Museum of Antiquities is important both for its Near Eastern and Egyptian collections and its research in the region. Finally, there is much expertise in Leiden on the modern Near East and its history. Near Eastern and Egyptian archaeology therefore is embedded in a strong research environment.  


Career possibilities

Excavation work

Excavation work

The MA programmes in Near Eastern and Egyptian archaeology will provide students with a sound understanding of the research and debates that take place in the Near Eastern and Egyptian archaeology and with first hand experience of participation in research. The MA provides the possibility to pursue a PhD in Near Eastern or Egyptian archaeology, to work in the field of archaeology or beyond.  


Last Modified: 15-10-2013