Today, the politically volatile Middle East sits above two-thirds of the planet's oil reserves and holds our attention as never before. However, the ancient Middle East was just as important to the world of its day, for it was here that permanent settlement first took root, and the first complex societies emerged onto the world stage. These cultures produced the earliest agriculture, metalworking and writing systems, as well as the earliest centralized governments and legal systems, priesthoods and kings, and large-scale organized warfare.
"The Middle East: The Cradle of Civilization Revealed" synthesizes the latest research and information from a range of disciplines to tell the compelling story, from the Neolithic period through the Arab conquest, of how a group of linguistically disparate, nomadic tribes responded to specific social, economic and environmental factors to form the world's first complex societies.
Here is an authoritative, detailed and accessible view of the history and peoples of the ancient Middle East. It is divided into six easily navigable parts arranged chronologically, and then into chapters exploring the history, religion, political and social organization, art, science, and architecture of the peoples of the region. The text is illustrated with detailed maps and photographs, enabling readers to visualize the ancient places and peoples described, making it the perfect home reference and study aid, as well as a good read for the interested layman.