Welcome to the Department of Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures

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Berkeley's Department of Middle Eastern Languages and Cultures (MELC), founded in 1894, is one of the oldest and most distinguished such departments in the country. MELC offers general instruction and specialized training, from antiquity to modernity, in the disciplines of Archaeology, Art History, Assyriology, Egyptology, Iranian Studies, Jewish Studies, Islamic Studies, and teaches a number of ancient and modern languages, including Arabic, Hebrew, Persian, Turkish, Ancient Egyptian, Akkadian, Sumerian, Old and Middle Iranian, Aramaic, and more.


Neo-Assyrian Cuneiform Tablet (Hearst, Berkeley)


19th-20th Dynasty Egyptian Coffin (Hearst, Berkeley)


5th c. Sasanian stamp seal (Hearst, Berkeley)

Hebrew Manuscript

Hebrew manuscript of Piyyutim (Magnes, Berkeley)

Hearst Papyrus

The Hearst Papyrus (Bancroft, Berkeley)

middle persian document

7th cent. Middle Persian document (Bancroft, Berkeley)

MELC Department Events