In Civilizations of Ancient Iraq , Benjamin and Karen Foster tell the fascinating story of ancient Mesopotamia from the earliest settlements ten thousand years ago to the Arab conquest in the seventh century. Accessible and concise, this is the most up-to-date and authoritative book on the subject. With illustrations of important works of art and architecture in every chapter, the narrative traces the rise and fall of successive civilizations and peoples in Iraq over the course of millennia--from the Sumerians, Babylonians, and Assyrians to the Persians, Seleucids, Parthians, and Sassanians. Ancient Iraq was home to remarkable achievements. One of the birthplaces of civilization, it saw the world's earliest cities and empires, writing and literature, science and mathematics, monumental art, and innumerable other innovations. Civilizations of Ancient Iraq gives special attention to these milestones, as well as to political, social, and economic history. And because archaeology is the source of almost everything we know about ancient Iraq, the book includes an epilogue on the discovery and fate of its antiquities. Compelling and timely, Civilizations of Ancient Iraq is an essential guide to understanding Mesopotamia's central role in the development of human culture.
From the Back Cover Civilizations of Ancient Iraq is an elegantly engaging account of cultural and political history around the Tigris and Euphrates rivers from the first human settlements to the coming of Islam. Equally importantly the authors describe the rediscovery of Mesopotamia beginning in the mid-nineteenth century and highlight the dire state of Iraqi heritage today. They deftly interweave quotations from Babylonian and Sumerian literature with the latest archaeological and historical research to bring their narrative to life. --Eleanor Robson, author of Mathematics in Ancient Iraq: A Social History With its penetrating asides about Iraq's archaeological history and the recent fate of its antiquities, this introduction to the country's ancient history will be a revelation to general readers. Iraqi history has not been covered before with this concision or with this concern for the history of archaeology and how the archaeological record has been affected by the country's current conditions. Civilizations of Ancient Iraq is written with flair. --Daniel C. Snell, author of Life in the Ancient Near East Original and unique, this ambitious grand survey provides a refreshing history of ancient Iraq in its entirety in one brief and accessible volume. Considering the current crisis in Iraq, and especially the catastrophe facing its ancient heritage, general readers should find this book interesting. It should also inspire students and scholars to approach the history of ancient Iraq as a whole rather than a set of fragments. --Marc Van De Mieroop, author of King Hammurabi of Babylon: A Biography