The roots of our modern world lie in the civilization of Mesopotamia, which saw the development of the first urban society and the invention of writing. The cuneiform texts reveal the technological and social innovations of Sumer and Babylonia as surprisingly modern, and the influence of this fascinating culture was felt throughout the Near East. Early Mesopotamia gives an entirely new account, integrating the archaeology with historical data which until now have been largely scattered in specialist literature.
Mesopotamia was one of the earliest regions to produce writing, literature and the fine arts, as well as being one of the first areas to construct states. This comprehensive and detailed survey of the region's prehistory and protohistory shows how these fascinating developments were possible. Petr Charvát explores the economic, social and spiritual spheres in Mesopotamia from the Palaeolithic to the time of the early states, c. 100,000 BC to 2334 BC. The narrative is supplemented by numerous descriptions of the principal archaeological sites for each phase, and by conclusions outlining the most important developments and changes.
Examines the history, art, architecture, languages, literatures, society, and religion of Biblical Israel and early Judaism and Christianity
Krone der Schöpfung? Vor 100 000 Jahren war der Homo sapiens noch ein unbedeutendes Tier, das unauffällig in einem abgelegenen Winkel des afrikanischen Kontinents lebte. Unsere Vorfahren teilten sich den Planeten mit mindestens fünf weiteren menschlichen Spezies, und die Rolle, die sie im Ökosystem spielten, war nicht größer als die von Gorillas, Libellen oder Quallen. Vor 70 000 Jahren dann vollzog sich ein mysteriöser und rascher Wandel mit dem Homo sapiens, und es war vor allem die Beschaffenheit seines Gehirns, die ihn zum Herren des Planeten und zum Schrecken des Ökosystems werden ließ. Bis heute hat sich diese Vorherrschaft stetig zugespitzt: Der Mensch hat die Fähigkeit zu schöpferischem und zu zerstörerischem Handeln wie kein anderes Lebewesen. Anschaulich, unterhaltsam und stellenweise hochkomisch zeichnet Yuval Harari die Geschichte des Menschen nach und zeigt alle großen, aber auch alle ambivalenten Momente unserer Menschwerdung.
Feast! Throughout human history, and in all parts of the world, feasts have been at the heart of life. The great museums of the world are full of the remains of countless ghostly feasts Â? dishes that once bore rich meats, pitchers used to pour choice wines, tall jars that held beer sipped through long straws of gold and lapis, immense cauldrons from which hundreds of people could be served. Why were feasts so important, and is there more to feasting than abundance and enjoyment? The Never-Ending Feast is a pioneering work that draws on anthropology, archaeology and history to look at the dynamics of feasting among the great societies of antiquity renowned for their magnificence and might. Reflecting new directions in academic study, the focus shifts beyond the medieval and early modern periods in Western Europe, eastwards to Mesopotamia, Assyria and Achaemenid Persia, early Greece, the Mongol Empire, Shang China and Heian Japan. The past speaks through texts and artefacts. We see how feasts were the primary arena for displays of hierarchy, status and power; a stage upon which loyalties and alliances were negotiated; the occasion for the mobilization and distribution of resources, a means of pleasing the gods, and the place where identities were created, consolidated Â? and destroyed. The Never-Ending Feast transforms our understanding of feasting past and present, revitalising the fields of anthropology, archaeology, history, museum studies, material culture and food studies, for all of which it is essential reading.
Women in the Ancient Near East provides a collection of primary sources that further our understanding of women from Mesopotamian and Near Eastern civilizations, from the earliest historical and literary texts in the third millennium BC to the end of Mesopotamian political autonomy in the sixth century BC. This book is a valuable resource for historians of the Near East and for those studying women in the ancient world. It moves beyond simply identifying women in the Near East to attempting to place them in historical and literary context, following the latest research. A number of literary genres are represented, including myths and epics, proverbs, medical texts, law collections, letters, treaties, as well as building, dedicatory, and funerary inscriptions.
Ein radikales Buch im doppelten Wortsinn, denn Graeber packt das Problem der Schulden an der Wurzel, indem er bis zu ihren Anfängen in der Geschichte zurückgeht. Das führt ihn mitten hinein in die Krisenherde unserer Zeit: Von der Antike bis in die Gegenwart sind revolutionäre Bewegungen immer in Schuldenkrisen entstanden. Graeber sprengt die moralischen Fesseln, die uns auf das Prinzip der Schulden verpflichten. Denn diese Moral ist eine Waffe in der Hand der Mächtigen. Die weltweite Schuldenwirtschaft ist eine Bankrotterklärung der Ökonomie. Der Autor enttarnt Geld- und Kredittheorien als Mythen, die die Ökonomisierung aller sozialen Beziehungen vorantreiben. Im Kern ist dieses Buch ein hohes Lied auf die Freiheit: Das sumerische Wort »amargi«, das Synonym für Schuldenfreiheit, ist Graeber zufolge das erste Wort für Freiheit in menschlicher Sprache überhaupt. David Graeber ist einer der Begründer der Occupy-Bewegung.
The Mediterranean Context of Early Greek History reveals the role of the complex interaction of Mediterranean seafaring and maritime connections in the development of the ancient Greek city-states. Offers fascinating insights into the origins of urbanization in the ancient Mediterranean, including the Greek city-state Based on the most recent research on the ancient Mediterranean Features a novel approach to theories of civilization change - foregoing the traditional isolationists model of development in favor of a maritime based network Argues for cultural interactions set in motion by exchange and trade by sea
This monograph is a comparative, socio-linguistic reassessment of the Deuteronomic idiom, "leshakken shemo sham," and its synonymous biblical reflexes in the Deuteronomistic History, "lashum shemo sham," and "lihyot shemo sham." These particular formulae have long been understood as evidence of the Name Theology - the evolution in Israelite religion toward a more abstracted mode of divine presence in the temple. Utilizing epigraphic material gathered from Mesopotamian and Levantine contexts, this study demonstrates that "leshakken shemo sham" and "lashum shemo sham" are loan-adaptations of Akkadian "shuma shakanu," an idiom common to the royal monumental tradition of Mesopotamia. The resulting retranslation and reinterpretation of the biblical idiom profoundly impacts the classic formulation of the Name Theology.
The West's history is one of extraordinary success; no other region, empire, culture, or civilization has left so powerful a mark upon the world. The Rise of Western Power charts the West's achievements-representative government, the free enterprise system, modern science, and the rule of law-as well as its misdeeds-two frighteningly destructive World Wars, the Holocaust, imperialistic domination, and the Atlantic slave trade. Adopting a global perspective, Jonathan Daly explores the contributions of other cultures and civilizations to the West's emergence. Historical, geographical, and cultural factors all unfold in the narrative. Adopting a thematic structure, the book traces the rise of Western power through a series of revolutions-social, political, technological, military, commercial, and industrial, among others. The result is a clear and engaging introduction to the history of Western civilization.
Bisher diente biblische Archäologie zum Beweis der Heiligen Schrift. Die beiden international renommierten Archäologen drehen den Spieß um und lassen die Ausgrabungen eine eigene Sprache sprechen. Ihr dramatisch neues, archäologisch fundiertes Bild von der Geschichte Israels zwingt zum Umdenken. Der Auszug aus Ägypten, die Einnahme Kanaans, das Großreich unter König David und der Tempelbau in Jerusalem unter König Salomon galten lange auch bei den kritischsten Wissenschaftlern als gesichert. Neueste Ausgrabungen, bisher nur Experten bekannt, zeigen ein ganz anderes Bild: " Den Auszug aus Ägypten gab es ebensowenig wie eine "Landnahme". " Jerusalem unter David und Salomon war ein größeres Dorf sicher ohne zentralen Tempel und großen Palast. " Der Monotheismus hat sich viel später entwickelt als bisher angenommen & Das klar und anschaulich geschriebene Buch ist in zwölf Kapitel gegliedert: Auf die Nacherzählung der biblischen Geschichte folgt jeweils die archäologische Spurensuche. Im nächsten Schritt rekonstruieren die Autoren (Israel Finkelstein ist der Direktor des israelischen Instituts Tel Aviv) den tatsächlichen historischen Ablauf, um abschließend zu fragen, wann und warum die Geschichte aufgeschrieben wurde.
Everyone has heard of the Minotaur in the labyrinth on Crete and many know that the Greek gods would adopt the guise of a bull to seduce mortal women. But what lies behind these legends? The Power of the Bull discusses mankind's enduring obsession with bulls. The bull is an almost universal symbol throughout Indo-European cultures. Bull cults proliferated in the Middle East and in many parts of North Africa, and one cult, Mithraism, was the greatest rival to Christianity in the Roman Empire. The Cults are divergent yet have certain core elements in common. Michael Rice argues that the ancient bulls were the supreme sacrificial animal. An examination of evidence from earliest prehistory onwards reveals the bull to be a symbol of political authority, sexual potency, economic wealth and vast subterranean powers. In some areas representations of the bull have varied little from earliest times, in others it has changed vastly over centuries. This volume provides a well-illustrated and accessible analysis of the exceptionally rich artistic inheritance associated with the bull.
This book describes ten different government archives of cuneiform tablets from Assyria, using them to analyze the social and economic character of the Middle Assyrian state, as well as the roles and practices of writing. The tablets, many of which have not been edited or translated, were excavated at the capital, Assur, and in the provinces, and they give vivid details to illuminate issues such as offerings to the national shrine, the economy and political role of elite households, palace etiquette, and state-run agriculture. This book concentrates particularly on how the Assyrian use of written documentation affected the nature and ethos of government, and compares this to contemporary practices in other palatial administrations at Nuzi, Alalah, Ugarit, and in Greece.
Expanded to include the latest discoveries in prehistoric art as well as the most recent developments in non-Western and modern art, this is an up-to-date and wide ranging history of art.
The removal of the regime of Saddam Hussein and the reconstruction of the Iraqi state were critical components of US foreign policy towards the Middle East in the aftermath of 9/11. It was hoped that Iraq, free from the oppression of Saddam's tyranny, would be transformed into a beacon of democracy in the Middle East. Iraq has indeed been transformed, but into a zone of instability. With Saddam's regime no more, Iraq has turned into a morass of competing ethno-sectarian political and social forces, in stark contrast to the views expressed by Western and Middle Eastern commentators alike before the US-led invasion, who commonly believed in the strength of Iraqi nationalism. Why did this fragmentation occur? Have Sunni–Shii tensions always been present? Are the Kurds seeking secession, or accommodation within the state? What has been the social and political impact of years of dictatorship, war and hardship? And why have US attempts to restructure the Iraqi state resulted in Iraq being on the verge of becoming a failed state, rather than the first democratic domino in the Middle East? In this timely new book, Gareth Stansfield explores these questions and frames them in an analysis which takes into account Iraq's diverse society, and the geopolitical interventions of regional states and great powers. He concludes with an assessment of Iraq since the removal of Saddam.
Globalization and Global History argues that globalization is not an exotic and new phenomenon. Instead it emphasizes that globalization is something that has been with us as long as there have been people who are both interdependent and aware of that fact. Studying globalization from the vantage point of long-term global history permits theoretical and empirical investigation, allowing the authors collected to assess the extent of ongoing transformations and to compare them to earlier iterations. With this historical advantage, the extent of ongoing changes - which previously appeared unprecedented - can be contrasted to similar episodes in the past. The book is divided into three sections. The first focuses on how globalization has been written about from a historical perspective. The second part advances three different takes on how best to view globalization from a very long-term stance. The final section continues this interpretative thread by examining more narrow aspects of globalization processes, ranging from incorporation processes to systemic disruptions.
The first full description and analysis of Middle Hittite substitution ritual, and as such provides the readers with an important contribution to our understanding of Hittite religious practice. With translations and transcriptions of all duplicate texts, an ample glossary of words, full thematic indices, and elucidating commentaries.

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