Cover image for The Near East : archaeology in the "Cradle of Civilization".
The Near East : archaeology in the "Cradle of Civilization".
Maisels, Charles Keith.
Personal Author:
Publication Information:
London ; New York : Routledge, 1993.
Physical Description:
x, 241 pages : illustrations, maps ; 25 cm.

Format :


Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Item Holds
CC101.M628 M35 1993 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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The transition from foraging, farming and the neolithic village to the city-state is a complex and fascinating period. Studies on the prehistory of the Near East by nineteenth and twentieth century pioneers in the field transformed archaeology through the creation of the 'Ages System' of Stone, Bronze and Iron. The Near East provides a developmental account of this period contextualised by discussion of the emergence of archaeology as a discipline.
The Near East details the causes and effects - enviromental, organizational, demographic and technological - of the world's first village farming cultures some eight thousand years ago. Charles Maisels explains how cities such as Uruk and Ur, Nippur and Kish formed as a result of geological factors and the role of key organizational features of Sumerian society in introducing the world's first script, system of calculation and literature.

Reviews 1

Choice Review

Maisels offers a very scholarly and excellent study of archaeology in the ancient Near East (omitting Egypt), and has set out to explore several important issues. He begins with an examination of archaeology in the Near East, especially in the 19th and 20th centuries, essentially a historical overview, but ends with a short diatribe for national support of archaeological study. The core of the book considers the complex development of the transition from hunting and gathering, to early agriculture and the rise of the neolithic village, to the next and final step in that change: the growth of the Mesopotamian city-state. Maisels treats the preagricultural conditions in the Levant and then shifts to greater Mesopotamia. He describes the experimentation with agriculture in the hilly flanks and the movement of agricultural peoples into lower Mesopotamia that gave rise to the Sumerian city-states and their governments. Maps, charts, and drawings amply support his argument (often in dense prose), and an excellent bibliography is included. Advanced undergraduate; graduate; faculty. J. M. Balcer; Ohio State University