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Cultural Heritage in the Near and Middle East, and in Africa

Sapienza University of Rome
2 years
Master's degree
Scholarships available
On campus
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Program description

Cultural Heritage in the Near and Middle East, and in Africa

The Master's degree course 'Cultural Heritage in the Near and Middle East, and in Africa' offers a unique training opportunity for those wishing to specialise in both the study of history and the conservation of cultural heritage of western Asia and northern and eastern Africa. Our teaching methods are designed to give a solid theoretical and methodological grounding as well as practical experience and combine classes and seminars with thematic workshops and specialised hands-on practical training.

Taught modules are all characterised by strong interdisciplinarity and encompass the fields of archaeology, epigraphy, history, history of art, philology, and literary studies, paired with cultural anthropology and history of religions. Hands-on activities, implemented both in Italy and in the many countries where Sapienza’s prestigious archaeological missions are active, will provide students with skills in numerous areas of expertise (e.g. stratigraphic excavation, survey, conservation, the study of material culture, interpretation of historical sources, museum planning and developing, valorisation projects).

Graduates from the MA will develop specific knowledge and professional skills that are required for a successful career in national and international organisations that promote heritage enhancement projects in the area and will grant excellent foundation for those wishing to continue to further degree programmes.

Admission requirements

Bachelor's Degree (three-year or equivalent) with a background in archaeology, or, alternatively, in epigraphy, history of art, philology and cultural anthropology, Museology, Cultural Heritage Law. Applicants should have a basic knowledge of archaeological sciences, history, languages, and ancient literatures of the Mediterranean and Western Asia territories, including Egypt and North and East Africa.

Graduates/Candidates must have acquired at least:

  • 84 CFU (or equivalent credit hours) in Archaeology, History, Philology;
  • 6 CFU (or equivalent credit hours) in one or more of the following disciplines: Biology, Chemistry, Physics, Geography, Architecture, Engineering, Computer Science, Law.

CFU is the Italian equivalent of ECTS (European Credit Transfer System ): 1 CFU = 30 hours of study. 1 CFU roughly corresponds to 7 teaching hours, therefore a standard semester course of 42 teaching hours corresponds to 6 CFU.

For International candidates holding degrees achieved in EU or non-EU countries, the correspondence between academic qualifications and the relative disciplines will be reconstructed by the Admission Committee when evaluating the university curriculum. Admission is dependent upon possession of curricular requirements.

Minimum GPA: 65/100

Minimum English Language Requirements: Upper Intermediate (CEFR Level B2) The following test scores are accepted:

  • IELTS Academic 6.0 or higher
  • TOEFL IbT 80 or higher
  • Cambridge B2 First or higher
  • TOEIC Listening&Reading 720 or higher

Please note: the above requirements may be waived for students holding a degree from an accredited institution where English is the primary language of instruction. The Admission Committee will assess language proficiency of candidates not holding a suitable English language certificate through an interview.

For more information about admission requirements, please visit the university website.

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Program content

First year

  • History of the Ancient Near East
  • History of Ancient Iran
  • Near Eastern Art and Archaeology
  • Phoenician Punic Archaeology
  • Archaeology of Ancient Iran
  • Training Internship 1A
  • Training Internship 1B
  • Training Internship 1C
  • Training Internship 1D
  • Training Internship 1E
  • Training Internship 1F
  • Training Internship 2A
  • Training Internship 2B
  • Training Internship 2C

Second year

  • Elective course
  • Final dissertation

Scholarships & funding

Several scholarship options are available. Please check the university website for more information.

Tuition fees

For more information about tuition fee, Please check the university website.


Graduates in "Cultural Heritage in the Near and Middle East, and in Africa" will be able to formulate critical evaluation judgments, through access to sources and the retrieval of the reference bibliography, on intercultural aspects, in a diachronic and ad wide geographical range, of the civilization of the Mediterranean and the Near and Middle East, with a strong propensity for the historical and contextual perspective of individual phenomena. In particular, graduates will be able to build a network of cultural relations according to the methods of network analysis, in a vision that uses sources in a critical and complementary way for the reconstruction of the complexity of ancient world societies and their cultural manifestations.

Autonomy of judgment is achieved through critical and multidisciplinary study, discussion during lectures, participation in field activities, the preparation of papers and / or term papers, the drafting of the thesis.

These skills will be assessed in itinere with the establishment of interdisciplinary seminars and the passing of intermediate tests that include the presentation of term papers and classroom discussion of selected topics or selected texts. Particular attention will be given to the ability of the individual student both to elaborate autonomous thoughts and to collaborate as a team on historical problems and on the question of intervention in the field with proposals and solutions (risk management).

Graduates in "Cultural Heritage in the Near and Middle East, and in Africa" must be able to demonstrate that they have learned and therefore apply the interdisciplinary training process, with the ability to connect and refer in a dialogical perspective between the disciplines, on the one hand, and among the various historical problems, on the other. In particular, graduates must be able to work within a network of relationships, including personal ones, with the ability to create transnational working and research groups on common issues and problems, offering integrated solutions that adapt to specific individuals. contexts.

Career opportunities

The preparation acquired by the graduate allows:

  • to collaborate and integrate with public and private bodies and institutions responsible for the protection and management of the archaeological heritage in the individual countries of the Near and Middle East, and in Africa, as well as to collaborate and integrate in international bodies and institutions;
  • to take over the management of museums and archaeological parks in the aforementioned countries;
  • to be responsible for the management of projects aimed at the knowledge, conservation and use of the archaeological heritage of the region under study at public and private bodies and institutions and at private companies specialized in the design and management of national and international cooperation programs for the promotion of archaeological heritage and the enhancement of cultural resources also for tourism purposes;
  • to conduct research on the ground (excavations, surface prospecting), on behalf of the bodies responsible for protection, both as individuals and in the context of activities carried out by professional associations;
  • to carry out activities in the field of communication, both in the press and through multimedia tools, relating to the cultural heritage of the Near and Middle East, and of Africa.
  • to carry out tourist guide functions in an international context;
  • to possess the requisites to access, by means of a relative competition or selection if required, the specific Doctorates, Specialization Schools and Level II Masters.

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Sapienza University of Rome

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Sapienza University of Rome

Piazzale Aldo Moro, 5
00185 Rome

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