The history, origins and development of the government and state as an institution is an essential question concerning not only the history of Mesopotamia but the development of the human community and society in general. Petr Charvát's work concentrates on the period 3500-2500 B. C. in Susa (southwestern Iran) and south Mesopotamia and is based on the interpretation of symbols on painted pottery and seal impressions. The publication is accompanied by a catalogue of 134 documentary black and white drawings and a list of locations of the findings.
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