Mesopotamia produced one of the best-known ancient civilizations, with a literate, urban culture and highly-developed political institutions. Writing primarily for a non-specialist audience but drawing on the most up-to-date historical and archaeological sources, Harriet Crawford reviews the extraordinary social and technological developments in the region over a period of two millennia, from 3800 to 2000 BC. She describes the physical environment and discusses architecture, trade and industry, the development of writing, and changes in social and political structures. The final chapter examines the shift in power during this period from the 'temple' to the 'palace'.
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