This is an in-depth treatment of the antecedents and first flourescence of early state and urban societies in lowland Mesopotamia over nearly three millennia, from approximately 5000 to 2100 BC. The approach is explicitly anthropological, drawing on contemporary theoretical perspectives to enrich our understanding of the ancient Mesopotamian past. It explores the ways people of different genders and classes contributed and responded to political, economic, and ideological changes. The interpretations are based on studies of regional settlement patterns, faunal remains, artifact distributions and activity patterning, iconography, texts and burials.
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