The ancient civilizations of the Near East - Egypt, Assyria, Babylonia, the Hittites and Canaanites - constituted the first formalized international relations system in world history. Holy wars, peace treaties, border regulations, trade relations and the extradition of refugees were problems for contemporary ambassadors and diplomats as they are today. Mario Liverani reconstructs the procedures of international relations in the period c.1600-1100BC using historical semiotics, communication theory and economic and political anthropology.
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