Ancient Mesopotamia: Portrait of a Dead Civilization

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University of Chicago Press, 1977 - History - 445 pages
3 Reviews
"This splendid work of scholarship . . . sums up with economy and power all that the written record so far deciphered has to tell about the ancient and complementary civilizations of Babylon and Assyria."—Edward B. Garside, New York Times Book Review

Ancient Mesopotamia—the area now called Iraq—has received less attention than ancient Egypt and other long-extinct and more spectacular civilizations. But numerous small clay tablets buried in the desert soil for thousands of years make it possible for us to know more about the people of ancient Mesopotamia than any other land in the early Near East.

Professor Oppenheim, who studied these tablets for more than thirty years, used his intimate knowledge of long-dead languages to put together a distinctively personal picture of the Mesopotamians of some three thousand years ago. Following Oppenheim's death, Erica Reiner used the author's outline to complete the revisions he had begun.

"To any serious student of Mesopotamian civilization, this is one of the most valuable books ever written."—Leonard Cottrell, Book Week

"Leo Oppenheim has made a bold, brave, pioneering attempt to present a synthesis of the vast mass of philological and archaeological data that have accumulated over the past hundred years in the field of Assyriological research."—Samuel Noah Kramer, Archaeology

A. Leo Oppenheim, one of the most distinguished Assyriologists of our time, was editor in charge of the Assyrian Dictionary of the Oriental Institute and John A. Wilson Professor of Oriental Studies at the University of Chicago.

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Review: Ancient Mesopotamia: Portrait of a Dead Civilization

User Review  - jwberryhill - Goodreads

Not a good introductory historical text. Lots of rambling speculation that never coheres into defensible conclusions about the subject. Indeed my interest in ancient Mesopotamia waned considerably upon reading this book, assuming this is the most we can conclude from existing evidence. Read full review

Review: Ancient Mesopotamia: Portrait of a Dead Civilization

User Review  - Gavin White - Goodreads

Although full of interesting information I didn't find this an easy read by any standards. There is loads of useful material on many aspects of Mesopotamian culture, the physical geography of the land ... Read full review

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