Mesopotamia and the ancient Near East—the area of modern Iraq and adjacent regions—witnessed the rise of the first cities in the fourth millennium BC and the emergence of the world’s first empires in the first millennium BC. This course traces Mesopotamian history from the beginnings of agriculture through to the earliest cities, following the trajectory of political development from city states, to territorial states, and finally to the great empires of Assyria, Babylonia, and Achaemenid Persia and their aftermath. It studies the peoples and polities of the ancient Near East, including the Sumerians, Assyrians, Babylonians, and Persians. It also examines their cultural contributions, from the development of cuneiform writing to their achievements in law, administration, science, art and architecture, religion, and literature.
The Department of Near and Middle Eastern Civilizations (History)
Heather D. Baker