This book is the first in ten years to present a comprehensive survey of art and architecture in Mesopotamia (modern Iraq, northeast Syria and southeast Turkey), from 8000 bce to the arrival of Islam in 636 bce. The book is richly illustrated with c. 400 full-colour photographs, and maps and time charts that guide readers through the chronology and geography of this part of the ancient Near East. The book addresses such essential art historical themes as the origins of narrative representation, the first emergence of historical public monuments and the earliest aesthetic commentaries. It explains how images and monuments were made and how they were viewed. It also traces the ancient practices of collecting and conservation and rituals of animating statues and of architectural construction. Accessible to students and non-specialists, the book expands the scope of standard surveys to cover art and architecture from the prehistoric to the Roman era, including the legendary cities of Ur, Babylon, Nineveh, Hatra and Seleucia on the Tigris.
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