The Institute of Ancient Studies explores human evolution and early cultures, concentrating its studies on Middle Europe, the Mediterranean area, North-East Africa and the South-West Asia from the Palaeolithic Age (approximately 2,6 million years BC) to late antiquity (about 600 AD), as well as the perception of these cultures. It was founded during the restructuring of Faculty 07 ‑ Geschichts- und Kulturwissenschaften in October 2013 and arose out of a merger of the Institute of Egyptology and Ancient Near Eastern Studies, the Institute of Classical Archaeology, the Department of Classical Philology, the Institute of Prehistoric and Protohistoric Archaeology and the “Paradigma Alte Welt”.
The following archaeological and philological disciplines are united in the institute:
- Ancient Near Eastern Philology
- Classical Archaeology
- Classical Philology
- Ancient Near Eastern Archaeology
- Prehistoric and Protohistoric Archaeology.
The archaeological, historical, philological and cultural science approaches of the different subjects complement each other symbiotically. The range of individual, fundamental and interdisciplinary research is all in all extremely broad.
The Institute of Ancient Studies is involved in several regional and international research cooperations. The close connections between members of the Institute arises from the collaboration of methodically diverse disciplines whose research covers the same geographical and chronological fields. In some cases, the archaeological and philological disciplines are methodically related, but consider different cultural regions; on the other hand, methodically different disciplines cooperate in the study of the same cultural regions.
The Institute of Ancient Studies of the Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz is one of the very few Institutes in the German-speaking area which explores and teaches antiquity in a wide thematic and methodological breadth and complexity. It is therefore highly significant in creating the profile of the University of Mainz as a University in its proper literal sense.
The different study programs lead to Bachelor and Master degrees and give the opportunity of undertaking a PhD. In Classics, also state examinations for teaching Greek or Latin are offered.
Among the Institute’s special features are the substantial collections in the field of Classical Archaeology (originals and replicas), as well as the study collections of Egyptology, Ancient Near Eastern Philology and Prehistoric and Protohistoric Archaeology. The collections are frequently used by the University for research, teaching and public relations.