Penn logo

Top Banner

Near Eastern Languages & Civilizations (NELC)


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. These cultures encompass the geographic region that stretches from North Africa through the eastern Mediterranean, Arabia and Iran.


NELC's programs focus on the civilizations of Mesopotamia/Iraq, Egypt, Israel/Palestine, Syria, Arabia, Anatolia/Turkey and Persia/Iran. We teach Sumerian, Akkadian, Hittite, Egyptian, Hebrew, Aramaic, Arabic, Persian and Turkish, and other languages of the region, from ancient through modern.




NELC People

  • Standing Faculty
  • Lecturers
  • Emeritus Faculty
  • Administration & Staff
  • Alumni

    See News & Events for...


      The Ninth Annual Kolb Junior Fellows Spring Colloquium to be held on May 1
      PhD Student Adnan Zulfiqar on the BBC

      PENN Law and NELC MA Student, Kathleen Norland, honored with the ACE Rule of Law & Human Rights Fellowship