Institute for the Study of the Ancient World

Museum in The Upper East Side area

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The creation of the Institute for the Study of the Ancient World at New York University has its roots in the passion that Shelby White and Leon Levy had for the art and history of the ancient world, which led them to envision an Institute that would offer an unshuttered view of antiquity across vast stretches of time and place. The Institute aims to encourage particularly, the study of the economic, religious, political and cultural connections between ancient civilizations.

ISAW is a center for advanced scholarly research and graduate education, intended to cultivate comparative and connective investigations of the ancient world. It will feature doctoral and postdoctoral programs, with the aim of training a new generation of scholars who will enter the global academic community and become intellectual leaders. In an effort to embrace a truly inclusive geographical scope while maintaining continuity and coherence, the Institute will focus on the shared and overlapping periods in the development of cultures and civilizations around the Mediterranean basin, and across central Asia to the Pacific Ocean. The approaches of anthropology, archaeology, geography, geology, history, economics, sociology, art history, and the history of science and technology will be as integral to the enterprise as the study of texts, philosophy, and the analysis of artifacts. The Institute's Director and permanent faculty will determine particular directions of research, but both historical connections and patterns, as well as socially illuminating comparisons, will always be central to its mission.

ISAW is a discrete entity within NYU, like the Courant Institute of Mathematical Sciences and the Institute of Fine Arts. It is independent of any other school or department of NYU, with its own endowment and its own board of trustees.

The Institute will bring together scholars from a wide range of the humanities, social sciences, and sciences in an intimate setting that integrates teaching with research and promotes the free exchange of ideas and concrete collaboration. This community of scholars is to be anchored by a core of permanent tenure and tenure-track faculty, including the Director. Fresh perspectives, broader scope, and flexibility will be provided by a program of visiting research scholars.

The ISAW is to have a public presence to match its vision, in part so as to make more visible the work of its scholarly community. Exhibitions, public lectures, publications, and other programs will reflect the Institute's ideal of study that bridges disciplines and ancient peoples.

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No shopNo parkingNo restaurant/cafeNo Library/BookstoreNot accessible to disabled persons

Opening hours

From 11:00 to 18:00
fridays closing at 20:00
Closed on Mondays




Address: 15 E 84th St., New York, NY 10028
Phone: 212-992-7818

Between Madison and 5th Ave. Subway: 4/5/6 to 86th Street.

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