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.

part I|70 pages

Setting the scene

chapter 1|19 pages

Mesopotamia: the land and the life

chapter 2|29 pages

Cities and dynasties

chapter 3|20 pages

The written record

part II|84 pages

The institutions

chapter 4|15 pages

City and countryside

chapter 5|21 pages

Household and family

chapter 6|28 pages

The temple

chapter 7|18 pages

The palace

part III|68 pages

The economic order

chapter 8|16 pages

Crops and livestock

chapter 9|18 pages

Water and land

chapter 10|15 pages

The domestic economy

chapter 11|17 pages

Foreign trade

part IV|80 pages

The social order

chapter 12|16 pages

Craft and labour

chapter 13|19 pages

War and peace

chapter 14|15 pages

Religion and politics

chapter 15|17 pages

Laws and the law

chapter 16|11 pages

Order and disorder