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Mesopotamia: The Invention of The City.

Leick, Gwendolyn (2001) Mesopotamia: The Invention of The City. Allen Lane, The Penguin Press. ISBN 0-140-265-740

Type of Research: Book
Creators: Leick, Gwendolyn

The invention of cities may well be the most enduring legacy of Mesopotamia. There was not just one but dozens of cities, each controlling its own rural and pastoral territory and its own system of irrigation. Historians have tended to highlight the emergence of centralized states which exercised control over often extensive territories, but the most successful socio-political unit to emerge in Mesopotamia remained the city state.

This book tells the stories of ten Mesopotamian cities in a way that will do justice to this urban paradigm. The individual stories are heterogeneous, reflecting the often contradictory thought and conclusions of the archaeologists who interpret the physical evidence of sites, of the epigraphists and Assyriologists who have copied and translated the cuneiform tablets, of the historians, geologists and anthropologists who have considered the findings. Most importantly, each city tells its own story through its discovery and a gradual understanding of its historical development set beside how the Mesopotamians themselves wrote about it, what it was known for and which gods resided in its temples.

The collection of narratives concerning Mesopotamian cities runs in roughly chronological sequence from fifth millennium Eridu to Babylon, which lasted into the first few centuries of the Christian era. Each city has a place in a reality that has been reduced to an archaeological site in Iraq, more or less robbed of its secrets, more or less buried under sand dunes. Each site has variously yielded its riches, but sheer accident has determined what has been found. What has been made of these tangible bits and pieces is subjected to trends in intellectual fashion and the need to revise interpretations in the light of new findings and new ideas.

This book has been translated into five languages: Spanish, Italian, Portuguese, Czech, Hungarian.

Publisher/Broadcaster/Company: Allen Lane, The Penguin Press
Your affiliations with UAL: Other Affiliations > RAE 2008
Colleges > Chelsea College of Arts
Date: 2001
Related Websites: http://www.chelsea.arts.ac.uk/17228.htm
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Date Deposited: 07 Dec 2009 13:44
Last Modified: 21 Sep 2010 12:02
Item ID: 776
URI: https://ualresearchonline.arts.ac.uk/id/eprint/776

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