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Ancient Near East

Ancient Near East - 98 edition

ISBN13: 978-0030352997

Cover of Ancient Near East 98 (ISBN 978-0030352997)
ISBN13: 978-0030352997
ISBN10: 0030352991
Cover type: Paperback
Edition/Copyright: 98
Publisher: Harcourt Brace or Harcourt Press
Published: 1998
International: No

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Ancient Near East - 98 edition

ISBN13: 978-0030352997

William E. Dunstan

ISBN13: 978-0030352997
ISBN10: 0030352991
Cover type: Paperback
Edition/Copyright: 98
Publisher: Harcourt Brace or Harcourt Press

Published: 1998
International: No
Summary

The Ancient Near East is the first volume of Harcourt Brace's new three-volume series on ancient civilizations. Written for the student of history and the general reader, this study of the civilization of the ancient Near East brings together the findings of historians, anthropologists, linguists, geographers, art historians, scientists, and other specialists. It begins with an examination of prehistory, and then focuses on social and cultural themes while broadly outlining Near Eastern political and military developments. The book is intended to be thought-provoking and does not shy away from controversial issues and topics. Volume Two on the Ancient Greeks and Volume Three on the Ancient Romans will follow in 1998.

This study serves as a volume of the Harcourt Brace Ancient Civilizations Series, providing a comprehensive overview of the Near Eastern and Greco-Roman worlds. Advanced societies flourished in the Near East long before the emergence of Greece and Rome. Although gaps and uncertainties remain, archaeological discoveries continue to illuminate the fascinating Near East of preclassical antiquity. The transition from hunting and gathering to farming took place in the region. The inhabitants of the ancient Near East developed the earliest known cities, monumental architecture, metalworking, writing systems, wheeled vehicles, kingdoms, and empires. Civilizations arose almost simultaneously in Mesopotamia and Egypt, with important later achievements taking place in Anatolia, Syria, Palestine, and Persia. The peoples of the ancient Near East developed skills and techniques that nourished the classical Greek culture and strongly color modern ways of life. They produced literature and ideas now embedded in great religions, thus contributing to contemporary beliefs. Four influential religions--Judaism, Zoroastrianism, Christianity, and Islam--emerged in the Near East. The initial two are explored in these pages, while Christianity is examined in "Ancient Rome," the concluding volume of the series. Our debt to the brilliant civilizations of the Near East is undeniable.

Written for the student of history and the general reader, this book brings together the findings of historians, anthropologists, archaeologists, linguists, geographers, art historians, scientists, and other specialists. We begin with an examination of prehistory, the long span before the invention of writing, with evidence based on the material remains left by early inhabitants. Warranting more than cursory analysis, the prehistoric world witnessed many crucial developments in the shaping of humanity. Later chapters focus on social and cultural themes while broadly outlining Near Eastern political and military developments, as documented by textual sources and by artifacts and architecture. The book is intended to be thought-provoking and does not shy away from controversial issues and topics. The aim throughout is to kindle the reader's interest in examining more specialized works, a number of which are listed in the bibliography.

Key Features:

  • The text's discussion of Prehistory as well as its emphasis on social/cultural history are often neglected in standard historical overviews.
  • Nearly 70 illustrations and over 20 maps help bring the history of the ancient Near East to life.
  • Vivid and lively writing style makes this text accessible to both the student of history and the general reader.

Table of Contents

Preface
Contents:


I. Tracing Early Humanity

The Advent of Modern Evolutionary Theory
Techniques for Dating the Past
The Biological and Cultural Evolution of Early Humans
The Paleolithic Age (c. 3,000,000-10,000 BP)
Upper Paleolithic Cultures: A Spectacular Flowering of Artistic and Religious Expression (c. 35,000-10,000 BP)


II. The Transition from Hunter-Gathering to Farming

The Neolithic Age and the Early Farmers in the Asian Near East (c. 10,500-6000 BP, or 8,500-4000 BCE)
The Prelude to the Neolithic Period in Europe: Mesolithic Hunter-Gatherers (c. 8000-4000 BCE)
The Neolithic Age and the Early Farmers in Europe (c. 7000-4000 BCE)
Neolithic Religious, Social, and Economic Developments


III. The Rise of the First Urban Civilization; Sumer in Southern Mesopotamia

Attributes of the Early Mesopotamian and Egyptian Civilizations
The Geographical Setting of Mesopotamia
The Birth and Early Development of Civilization in Summer (c. 5500-2350 BCE)
The Ubaid Period (c. 5500-4000 BCE): A Pattern of Predominating Temples The Ubaid Temples
The Uruk Period (c. 4000-2900 BCE): Development of the World s First Cities The Uruk Temples
The Early Dynastic Period (c. 2900-2350 BCE)


IV. Sumerian Culture through the Early Dynastic Period

Religion and Literature
Architecture, Art, and Musical Instruments
Education
Science and Technology
Social Classes
Legal Documents
Private Housing
The Royal Tombs of Ur of the Early Dynastic Period and the Question of Human Sacrifice
Dress, Diet, and Family Relationships


V. New Powers and Peoples in Southern Mesopotamia; Agade, Ur, Babylon

The Akkadian Empire (c. 2350-2160 BCE)
The Post-Akkadian Period (c. 2160-2100 BCE)
The Third Dynasty of Ur: A Sumerian Revival (c. 2100-2000 BCE) The Reign of Ur-Nammu
The Fall of Ur and the Entrenchment of the Amorites and the Elamites (c. 2000-1800 BCE)
The Old Babylonian Empire (c. 1800-1595 BCE)


VI. Life and Death along the Nile; Egypt through the Old Kingdom

The Inundation
Communications and Natural Resources
The Predynastic Period (c. 5000-3000 BCE)
Language and Writing
The Early Dynastic Period (First and Second Dynasties, c. 3000-2647 BCE)
The Old Kingdom (Third through Eighth Dynasties, c. 2647-2124 BCE)
First Intermediate Period (Ninth through Mid-Eleventh Dynasties, c. 2124-2049 BCE)


VII. Egypt in the Middle and New Kingdoms

The Middle Kingdom (Mid-Eleventh through Thirteenth Dynasties, c. 2040-1648 BCE)
The Second Intermediate Period (Fourteenth through Seventeenth Dynasties, c. 1648-1540 BCE)
The New Kingdom (Eighteenth through Twentieth Dynasties, c. 1540-1069 BCE)
The Late Period (Twenty-first through Thirty-first Dynasties, c. 1069-322 BCE)
The Greco-Roman Period (Macedonian-Ptolemaic Kings and Roman Emperors, 322 BCE-642 CE)


VIII. The Hittites of Anatolia and Their Neighbors

The Migrations of the Indo-European-Speaking Peoples
The Establishment of Hurrian Kingdoms (c. 1800-1550 BCE)
The Hurri-Mitannian Kingdom (fl. c. 1550-1350 BCE)
Early Anatolia
The Hittites
Archaeological Discoveries
Hittite Civilization
The Successors of the Hittites in Anatolia to about 600 BCE: Phrygians, Cimmerians, Neo-Hittites, Urartians


IX. The Phoenicians and Other Early Semitic Speakers of Syria-Palestine

Semitic Languages in Syria-Palestine
Ebla (c. 2900-1800 BCE)
The Amorites (c. 1800-1600 BCE)
The Canaanites (c. 1500-1200 BCE)
The Phoenicians (c. 1400-300 BCE)
The Arameans (c. 1200-720 BCE)
The Philistines (c. 1190-700 BCE)


X. The Hebrews

Origin and History of the Hebrews


XI. The Religion-Centered Hebrew Culture

Hebrew Daily Life and Society
Evolution of the Four Fundamental Convictions of the Yahweh Cult

1. Yahweh Demands the Exclusive Loyalty of the Hebrews
2. The Hebrews are Perpetually Bound to Yahweh in a Covenant Relationship
3. Yahweh Commands the Hebrews to Obey His Law
4. Yahweh is a Spiritual Being
The Development of Doctrines Offering a Future Hope
The Hebrew Bible as Literature
Jewish Parties or Sects in the First Century CE
The Dead Sea Scrolls
The Problem of Theodicy


XII. Great Powers of Western Asia; Assyria, Chaldean Babylonia, Lydia

Kassite Babylonia (c. 1595-1160 BCE)
Assyria (c. 2300-612 BCE)
Assyrian Culture
The Neo-Babylonian Empire (612-539 BCE)
Chaldean Culture
The Saite Revival in Egypt (664-525 BCE)
Lydia (c. 685-540 BCE)

XIII. Persia

The Early Medes and Persians in Iran
The Persian Empire


XIV. Persian Cultural Achievements

Zoroastrianism
Art and Architecture

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