This book presents a clear, concise history of the extraordinarily multicultural civilizations of the ancient Near East. Beginning with the emergence of writing around 3000 bc, the narrative ranges from the origins of the first cities in Mesopotamia, through the growth of the Babylonian and Hittite kingdoms, to the Assyrian and Persian empires. It ends with the transformation of the ancient Near East by the conquests of Alexander the Great.
Incorporating the most recent discoveries and scholarship, the book provides both an account of political and military events and a survey of the cultures and societies of the ancient Near East.
The straightforward, accessible text is accompanied by plentiful maps and illustrations, and contains a selection of Near Eastern texts in translation. Each chapter includes a key research question or text, such as the use of the Bible as a historical source, the Epic of Gilgamesh, and the Assyrian royal annals.
It is essential reading for anyone interested in this crucial period in world history.