The Program in Early Cultures provides opportunities for rich collaboration, critical exploration, and lively interdisciplinary scholarship by sponsoring and supporting a wide array of programming. Chronologically, the Program defines “ancient” as roughly “pre-medieval” or simply “early”.  Geographically, the “ancient world” represented at Brown comprises early China and India, West Asia (Mesopotamia, Iran, Anatolia, and Israel), Egypt, the Mediterranean (especially Greece and Italy), the early Islamic and Byzantine worlds as well as the Pre-Columbian Mesoamerican civilizations.

The faculty involved in Early Cultures number more than forty, and the academic units involved include the departments of Anthropology, Classics, Comparative Literature, Egyptology and Assyriology, History, History of Art and Architecture, Philosophy, and Religious Studies, the Program in Judaic Studies, and the Joukowsky Institute for Archaeology and the Ancient World. Graduate students in the relevant units number more than sixty. We have a vibrant, dynamic, and productive community, well supported by Brown’s excellent libraries and collections.

Ancient Collections at Brown

Brown University's many extraordinary collections of ancient objects are housed not only in our museum, libraries, and special collections, but in individual departments and institutes, secure storage, and other locations that are otherwise inaccessible -- or at least invisible -- to the public.