The Department of Near Eastern Languages and Civilizations (NELC) engages in the interdisciplinary humanistic study and teaching of the cultures of the Near East (often called the Middle East) as they express themselves in languages and texts, including both written and oral sources, as well as art, architecture, archaeology and material culture.

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Sphinx at Penn Museum

New Home for the Sphinx

Work continues on the Egyptian Gallery, but the Sphinx is in his permanent home.  The new Sphinx Gallery, created by removing and covering the 1915 stairs to the Harrison Auditorium, will also house objects from each curatorial section, regularly rotated displays of a single highlighted object in an elegant small circular space, and a comfortable visitor seating and orientation area, as well as a new passenger elevator.

Relocated Sphinx


Tea Time!

Turkish tea in Turkish class
May 4, 2021 at

Dr. Feride Hatiboglu treated her Turkish language students to some refreshing Turkish culture thanks to the support of the Wolf Humanities Center.  The students have adapted well to the on-line format, but breaks are…

New Series: Bite-Sized Talks

Our first event: The Arabesque Table
Dr. Reem Kassis
Apr 7, 2021 at - | A Zoom Event

Join us for the launch of a new lecture series, "Bite-Sized Talks," devoted to the subject of food in the Middle East throughout history.  Our first even features Reem Kassis discussing her new book, The Arabesque…

New Books in Assyriology

A Discussion with the Authors
Moderated by Jen Singletary, Eisenbrauns Acquisitions Editor
Mar 5, 2021 at | A virtual event

Join Professor Emeritus of Assyriology, Grant Frame, and NELC friend and scholar, Jamie Novotny, along with other authors, as they discuss their new books in the field.

Attendance is free but registration is…