Second Edition. — Equinox Publishing Ltd., 2005. — 268 p. — ISBN 1-904768-77-6.This is an expanded and revised edition of First Civilizations: Ancient Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt, which originally appeared in 1996 (Les Éditions Champ Fleury, Montréal, Canada). First Civilizations is a one-volume, introductory overview of two of the world’s oldest civilizations: ancient Mesopotamia and ancient Egypt. It grew out of three decades of teaching the history and culture of the ancient Near East at college and university level using a variety of books and articles that were, in many instances, unsuited to the needs and scholarly capabilities of undergraduates. First Civilizations was conceived primarily for students who have little or no knowledge of ancient history or archaeology, and will take only one general interest course about the ancient Near East as part of their broader educational experience. Introduction. History and archaeology as tools for understanding the past. Agriculture and the origins of civilization. Mesopotamia. The Early Dynastic period and the formation of the first city-states. The Akkadians and the Ur III Dynasty . Mesopotamia in the second millennium BC: the Babylonians and the Kassites (2000–1600 BC). The Assyrians. The Last Babylonian Dynasty. Religion, science, and medicine. Mythology and religion in Mesopotamia: the story of Gilgamesh and Enkidu. Science and technology: astronomy and medicine in Mesopotamia and Egypt. Egypt. Egypt: the Black Land. The Old Kingdom or the Pyramid Age (2575–2134 BC). Funerary practices, rituals, and mummification. The Hyksos period and the New Kingdom. Akhenaten and the Amarna period. The 19th Dynasty and the Ramesside kings. Egypt in the late second and first millenniums BC. Mesopotamia and Egypt under Persian rule. The Persians. Epilogue: The twilight of the first civilizations.
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