The course's first civilization reveals a theme that will appear again and again. Grasp the critical role of geography and resources in shaping not only Mesopotamia's method of subsistence, but also its religion, structures, empire, and means of leaving its written record.
Investigate the importance of language, the third pillar of decipherment, by starting with the story of the decipherment of ancient Sumerian, the language of ancient Mesopotamia. Learn how scholars known as philologists or historical linguists use the comparative method of linguistic reconstruction to compare related languages and reconstruct their shared ancestor.
Gain new insights into civilization by looking at one of the first: the Sumerians of Mesopotamia. Here, use techniques from linguistics, genetics, archeology, climatology, and more to see how this society unfolded - and what lessons it has to offer us today.
Explore the fertility theme in the first 3-D sculpture of the course. "Ram Caught in a Thicket" was excavated from the Great Death Pit at Ur. In addition to telling us about royal burials, the sculpture tells us about the society's wealth, its relationship with animals, and the religious role of the rulers and lords.
Turn to the masterpieces of the ancient Sumerians in the city of Ur, the "Cradle of Civilization." No one knows whether the mysterious Royal Standard of Ur is actually a standard, or even royal, but it tells us a great deal about the technology, social structure, and the dazzling riches of this society.
In Mesopotamia, writing was developed 5,000 years ago, alongside the first narrative art, which set the stage for everything that followed in the Western art historical tradition. The registers on the Uruk Vase tell the story of civilization and reveal a hierarchical world as seen by one of the most complex societies of the era.
L'Annee Philologique (Index to Scholarly Research)
L'Annee Philologique provides access to the citations of scholarly works concerning the Ancient Near East.
In this book, Gadotti argues that Gilgamesh, Enkidu, and the Netherworld was the first, not the last of the Sumerian stories about Gilgamesh. She also suggests that a Sumerian Gilgamesh Cycle, currently only attested in old Babylonian manuscripts (ca. 18th century BCE), was in fact developed during the Ur III period (ca. 2100-2000 BCE).
This anthology of Sumerian literature constitutes the most comprehensive collection ever published, and includes examples of most of the different types of composition written in the language, from narrative myths and lyrical hymns to proverbs and love poetry.
Provides editions of all known royal inscriptions of kings who ruled in ancient Mesopotamia down to the advent of King Sargon of Akkad. The volume includes a handful of new inscriptions recently uncovered in Iraq.
The Royal Tombs of Ur, dating from approximately 3000-2700 BCE, are among the most famous and impressive archeological discoveries of the twentieth century. Excavated between 1922 and 1934 under the direction of Leonard Woolley, this site is one of the richest sources of information we have about ancient Sumer--however, many mysteries about the society that produced these tombs remain. Based on primary research with the Ur materials at the University of Pennsylvania Museum of Archeology and Anthropology, and paying particular attention to the iconography found in what Woolley referred to as the "Seal Impression Strata of Ur," this book works to reconstruct the early history of Sumer. What was this society like? What social structures did this society build? What were its institutions of authority?
Education : the first schools -- Schooldays : the first case of "apple-polishing" -- Father and son : the first case of juvenile delinquency -- International affairs : the first "war of nerves" -- Government : the first bicameral congress -- Civil war in Sumer : the first historian -- Social reform : the first case of tax reduction -- Law codes : the first "Moses" -- Justice : the first legal precedent -- Medicine : the first pharmacopoeia -- Agriculture : the first "farmer's almanac" -- Horticulture : the first experiment in shade-tree gardening -- Philosophy : man's first cosmogony and cosmology -- Ethics : the first moral ideals -- Suffering and submission : the first "Job" -- Wisdom : the first proverbs and sayings -- "Aesopica" : the first animal fables -- Logomachy : the first literary debates -- Paradise : the first biblical parallels -- A flood : the first "Noah" -- Hades : the first tale of resurrection -- Slaying of the dragon : the first "St. George" -- Tales of Gilgamesh : the first case of literary borrowing
As the first known system of writing, the cuneiform symbols traced in Sumerian clay more than six millennia ago were once regarded as a simplistic and clumsy attempt to record in linear form the sounds of a spoken language. More recently, scholars have acknowledged that early Sumerian writing -- far from being a primitive and flawed mechanism that would be "improved" by the Phoenicians and Greeks -- in fact represented a complete written language system, not only meeting the daily needs of economic and government administration, but also providing a new means of understanding the world. In The Invention of Cuneiform Jean-Jacques Glassner traces the development of writing from the earliest attempts to the sophisticated system of roughly 640 signs that comprised the Sumerian repertory by about 3200 B.C.
Mesopotamia produced one of the best-known ancient civilizations, with a literate, urban culture and highly-developed political institutions. Writing primarily for a non-specialist audience but drawing on the most up-to-date historical and archaeological sources, Harriet Crawford reviews the extraordinary social and technological developments in the region over a period of two millennia, from 3800 to 2000 BC. She describes the physical environment and discusses architecture, trade and industry, the development of writing, and changes in social and political structures. The final chapter examines the shift in power during this period from the 'temple' to the 'palace'.
The Sumerians, the pragmatic and gifted people who preceded the Semites in the land first known as Sumer and later as Babylonia, created what was probably the first high civilization in the history of man, spanning the fifth to the second millenniums B.C. This book is an unparalleled compendium of what is known about them.
1. The land and its rivers -- The two regions -- The coastline -- The rivers -- Climate and irrigation -- Salinization -- Northern Iraq -- 2. The twilight of Neolithic man -- The Old Stone Age -- Garrod and Solecki -- American excavators in Kurdistan -- The state of Neolithic research -- Jordan and the Levant; Anatolia; Iran -- The Iraq-Jarmo project.
3. The threshold of written history -- The sequence of discoveries -- Al'Ubaid; Warka; Eridu; Khafaje -- The 'Ubaid period -- Architecture; religion; pottery and small objects; the cemetery -- The Uruk period -- Warka; the Anu area; the Eanna precinct; Tell 'Uqair -- Buildings of the Jemdet Nasr Period -- Warka; Khafaje -- The protoliterate period -- The first writing; sculpture; cylinder-seals; pottery -- Sumerian antecedents.