From the preface: "THE excavations carried out in Babylonia and Assyria during the last few years have added immensely to our knowledge of the early history of those countries, and have revolutionized many of the ideas current with regard to the age and character of Babylonian civilization. In the present volume, which deals with the history of Sumer and Akkad, an attempt is made to present this new material in a connected form, and to furnish the reader with the results obtained by recent discovery and research, so far as they affect the earliest historical periods. An account is here given of the dawn of civilization in Mesopotamia, and of the early city-states which were formed from time to time in the lands of Sumer and Akkad, the two great divisions into which Babylonia was at that period divided. The primitive sculpture and other archaeological remains, discovered upon early Babylonian sites, enable us to form a fairly complete picture of the races which in those remote ages inhabited the country. By their help it is possible to realize how the primitive conditions of life were gradually modified, and how from rude beginnings there was developed the comparatively advanced civilization, which was inherited by the later Babylonians and Assyrians and exerted a remarkable influence upon other races of the ancient world. In the course of this history points are noted at which early contact with other lands took place, and it has been found possible in the historic period to trace the paths by which Sumerian culture was carried beyond the limits of Babylonia. Even in prehistoric times it is probable that the great trade routes of the later epoch were already open to traffic, and cultural connections may well have taken place at a time when political contact cannot be historically proved. This fact must be borne in mind in any treatment of the early relations of Babylonia with Egypt. As a result of recent excavation and research it has been found necessary to modify the view that Egyptian culture in its earlier stages was strongly influenced by that of Babylonia. But certain parallels are too striking to be the result of coincidence, and, although the southern Sumerian sites have yielded traces of no prehistoric culture as early as that of the Neolithic and predynastic Egyptians, yet the Egyptian evidence suggests that some contact may have taken place between the prehistoric peoples of North Africa and Western Asia."