By Daniel C. Snell

A better half to the traditional close to East bargains scholars and common readers a entire assessment of close to jap civilization from the Bronze Age to the conquests of Alexander the nice. Covers the civilizations of the Sumerians, Hittites, Babylonians, Assyrians, Israelites and Persians areas specific emphasis on social and cultural historical past Covers the legacy of the traditional close to East within the medieval and sleek worlds offers an invaluable bibliographical advisor to this box of research

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From the earliest humans through the Pre-Pottery Neolithic, preserved material culture was dominated by stone tools. But from the Pottery Neolithic onward (6500 B C E ), the most common artifact was pottery, and pottery becomes our primary instrument for labeling time and society – a shift from tools associated with acquisition to tools associated with consumption. This surely has an effect on our view of society in the later Neolithic and thereafter, consumption seeming to us more civilized and peaceful than the messy and tiring process of acquisition.

Texts interpreted as ration lists for enslaved or disenfranchised workers may equally be lists of payment for part-time work, in an economy where staple goods acted as money. One recent theory avoids definitions and looks to ‘‘effects’’ of states: ‘‘identification, legibility, and spatialization’’ (Trouillot 2001). Legibility is particularly apt for the early Mesopotamian state, with its new visible language, written and iconographic ruler images, cylinder seals and clay tablets, temple complexes, and the urban sites themselves.

The system remained mostly stable during half a century, although the Medes included Armenia and Cappadocia under their hegemony, and the last king of Babylonia (Nabonidus, 555–539) conquered North Arabia at the very end of the period. The age was significant from a cultural point of view. It is the core of the socalled ‘‘Axial Age,’’ with the rise of the monotheistic religions of Judaism and Zoroastrianism, the activity of the major Israelite prophets in the Babylonian exile, and the blooming of the Greek ‘‘archaic’’ civilization with the Ionian philosophers, poets, and artists, and the formative period of democratic ideologies.

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