Most of us know about the ancient tombs, temples and pyramids of Egypt, and have heard about the great cities of Babylon, Ur and Nineveh in Mesopotamia. But how did recent archaeologists go about re-discovering these amazing cities and monuments? This course provides an overview of some of the most spectacular archaeological finds of the past two centuries in Egypt and the Near East, and the adventurers, explorers, and archaeologists who uncovered them. In the process, students will also learn about the types of archaeological techniques and tools which are used to unlock the secrets of the ancient past, and what archaeological evidence can tell us about the social, political, economic and religious aspects of life in Egypt and Mesopotamia, the ‘cradles of civilization’. There will be an opportunity for students to handle and study real archaeological artifacts from the Near East in the laboratories of the Museum of Anthropology.