This chapter provides an overview of prior research on ancient accounting derived from both the accounting and non-accounting disciplines. In so doing, it highlights remarkably rich insights into a variety of ancient accounting practices, the contexts within which they emerged, and the applications to which they have been put. The review of the literature demonstrates that accounting played a key role in facilitating the functioning of ancient states and economies, helping to regulate and coordinate activities conducted at various levels in ancient societies. Further, the review points to the capacity of ancient accounting to intervene in the domain of state activities, religious institutions, private business and the household. Far from being a rudimentary and crude technology, this chapter shows how these ancient accounting practices exhibited a complex and rich variety of valuing and recording techniques.