Ancient Languages of Anatolia Summer Program (ALA)

: 29 June – 17 July 2020

Place: Koç University Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations (ANAMED) Beyoğlu, Istanbul

Application Deadline: 9 March 2020

Because of the global pandemic, 2020 Ancient Languages of Anatolia Summer Program revised to a concentrated three-week online program.

The earliest historical documents from Anatolia were recorded on clay in a dialect of Akkadian known as Old Assyrian, by Assyrian merchants trading in Anatolia in the Middle Bronze Age (c. 2000-1750 BCE). The archives of the Hittite Empire preserve documents in Hittite and Akkadian that date to the Late Bronze Age (c.17th-12th centuries BCE). In the subsequent Iron Age, the Assyrian Empire expanded into Anatolia and left records shedding light on Anatolian history.

The program aims to develop the skills necessary to explore these earliest historical records of Anatolia. The aim is to equip the students with: 

  • a basic knowledge of the Hittite, Akkadian and Sumerian languages
  • a basic knowledge of the cuneiform script
  • the ability to follow scholarly editions of cuneiform texts using primary Assyriological and Hittitological resources

The language of the program is English. For more information about the program and how to apply please see down below.

1. Requirements

  • The program will be open to graduate and advanced undergraduate students—the latter will be accepted upon approval by the instructors.
  • No prior knowledge of Hittite, Akkadian, or Sumerian is necessary.
  • Instruction will be conducted in English; therefore, participants are expected to have knowledge of English.

2. Classes & Activities


The program will offer Hittite, Akkadian, and Sumerian language classes at an introductory level. Participants are expected to choose two of the three languages offered (Hittite, Akkadian, Sumerian). Participants may take all three classes upon the approval of the instructors.

Classes will be conducted five days a week (Monday–Friday) and participants are expected to attend all the classes and workshops. Weekends will be reserved for homework and research. (see: Tentative Syllabus & Schedule)

The program will feature three intensive workshops:

  • Introduction to Luwian
    In this three-day intensive workshop, students will learn the basics of Luwian grammar and epigraphy.
  • Cuneiform Epigraphy Workshop
    In this workshop on cuneiform epigraphy, students will learn how to prepare autographs (hand drawings) and digital drawings of cuneiform tablets. The workshop will take place at the Cuneiform Tablet Archives of the Istanbul Archaeology Museums, where students will have the opportunity to work on original clay tablets.
  • Cuneiform Tablet Workshop
    In this workshop students will learn how to make a clay tablet, wooden stylus, and inscribe clay tablets of their production with sentences they have translated into Hittite and Akkadian.


The program will also feature a guest lecturer (TBA). In the past years, program had the privilege to feature Dr. Nancy Amelia Highcock, Dr. Mark Weeden, Prof. Ignacio Márquez Rowe, Prof. Barbara Alexandra Böck, and Assoc. Prof. Eva von Dassow.

3. Materials

All course materials will be provided electronically. 

4. Instructors

Dr. N. İlgi GERÇEK (Bilkent University) – Hittite Instructor & Coordinator

Dr. Gerçek is a faculty member at the Department of Archaeology, Bilkent University. She holds a BA in Archaeology and History of Art from Bilkent University, and obtained her MA and PhD in Hittite and Mesopotamian Studies from the University of Michigan. Her professional affiliations include a postdoctoral research fellowship at the University of Copenhagen, as well as research and teaching positions at ANAMED (Koç University) and the Istanbul University Department of Hittitology. She is interested in the social and political history of Anatolia in the Late Bronze Age and has written on imperialism, frontiers, identity, and mobility in Hittite Anatolia.

Doç. Dr. Selim Ferruh ADALI (Social Sciences University of Ankara) – Akkadian Instructor

Dr. Adalı is faculty member at the Social Sciences University of Ankara, Department of History. He holds a PhD in Ancient History from the University of Sydney (2009), and has taught Akkadian, Sumerian and Hittite at Bilkent University between 2009–2015. He was a Senior Fellow at Koç University’s Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations between 2013-2014.  He conducts research in the role of climatic change in the Late-Assyrian period, Assyrian and Babylonian literature and omen texts, as well as the role of the Scythians and the Cimmerians in the ancient Near East. His PhD dissertation was published in 2011 as part of the series State Archives of Assyria Studies in Helsinki. Among his latest publications is an edition of the Prostration Hemerology, in partnership with Enrique Jiménez and published in Zeitschrift für Assyriologie.

Dr. Jana MATUSZAK (SOAS) – Sumerian Instructor

Dr. Matuszak studied Ancient Near Eastern Languages, Ancient Near Eastern Archaeology and Comparative Religion in Tübingen (Germany), London (UK) and Bern (Switzerland). She obtained her PhD in 2017 from the University of Tübingen for her dissertation entitled ‘“And you, you are a woman?!” Studies in Sumerian literary debates between women with an editio princeps of Two Women B.’ Her dissertation was awarded the Dissertation Prize of the International Association for Assyriology (2018) and the Johannes Zilkens Dissertation Prize in Humanities and Social Sciences of the German Academic Scholarhip Foundation (2019). She is currently Lecturer in Ancient Near Eastern Studies at SOAS University of London, where she teaches Akkadian, Sumerian and Hittite, and continues her research on Sumerian literature.

Doç. Dr. Hasan PEKER (Istanbul University) – Luwian Instructor

Dr. Peker is a faculty member at the Istanbul University, Department of Ancient Languages and Cultures. He holds BA’s in Hittitology and Near Eastern Archaeology, an MA and a PhD (2009) in Hittitology from the Istanbul University. He has taught Hittite and Luwian at Koç University between 2015–2016. He is teaching Hittite, Luwian, Akkadian and Ancient Egyptian at Istanbul and Boğaziçi Universities. He is interested in the political history and chronology of Anatolia and Syria in the Late Bronze and Iron Ages. In his latest publications he has reconstructed the new chronologies of the Late Hittite Kingdom Karkamis and Gurgum (Maraş). He is the Deputy Director of the Turco-Italian Archaeological Expedition at Karkemish.

5. Certificates and transcripts

ANAMED issues certificates to all students who successfully complete the program. If you need an officially issued transcript, please get in touch with in timely manner.

6. Accommodation

Participants are expected to stay in the ANAMED dorms. The classes also take place in the same building.
Lunch is included 5 days a week. Students receive vouchers to be redeemed at a restaurant nearby. 

7. Arrangements 

Airfare and visa arrangements and expenses are each participant’s own responsibility.
Travel insurance and health insurance is mandatory for all students. ANAMED does not take any responsibilities.

8. Fees

Tuition for Summer 2020 is $1500 USD. It includes accommodation at ANAMED, course materials, lunch for four days a week, all expenses of field trips, and full access to the ANAMED Library.

9. Scholarships 

A limited number of scholarships will be given based on need and merit. Please indicate your wish to be considered for a scholarship by adding an additional paragraph to your Statement of Purpose.

The scholarships can be categorized as:

  • Full Scholarships (Total tuition waived. Airfare and personal expenses excluded).
  • Half Scholarships (Half the total tuition waived. Airfare and personal expenses excluded).

The scholarships are provided by Koç University Research Center for Anatolian Civilizations (ANAMED).

10. How to Apply

Before you apply, please do not forget to review “1. Requirements” section and make sure that you are eligible to apply.

To complete your application, please fill in the Application Form and ask from your recommender (preferably from a language instructor) to submit your recommendation letter directly via e-mail to before the deadline. ANAMED does not contact recommenders. It is each applicant’s responsibility to request letters from her/his recommenders.

It is important to note that, owing to the constrains of the online form, the application must be completed and submitted in one session without closing the browser window. For a list of information required in the application form click here.

Application Deadline:9 March 2020
The results will be announced before the first week of May.

Please check Frequently Asked Questions.
Please kindly get in contact with for further inquiry.