This 4-vol. set examines the cultures of the ancient Near East from the Bronze Age (3200 B.C.E.) to the Hellenistic era (325 B.C.E) and describes the archaeology and the history of each subregion. Languages, religious life, governments, peace and war, commerce and agriculture, and the visual and performing arts are covered. The set explores an area ranging from North Africa to Central Asia, and treats Syro-Palestine, Mesopotamia, Iran/Persia, Anatolia (modern-day Turkey), the Arabian Peninsula, and the island cultures of the Mediterranean.