Author Van De Mieroop, Marc
Title The Ancient Mesopotamian City
Lishtar's Review

Professor Van De Mieroop in this book seeks to address ancient Mesopotamian civilization from the perspective of the function of the city, a standpoint that has not received much attention by archaeologists and ANE experts. He therefore discusses urbanization from prehistoric times through Hellenization. The city was the "happening" place, where wealth, the great monumental buildings - temples, palaces - were, and where most manufacturing took place The countryside was necessary,
perhaps, but full of uncertainty, danger and without the amenities of the city.

There is also an extensive discussion of trade and how food was procuded. Mieroop believes that most food, because of the expense, was not brought from long distances, but probably from the immediate area around the city. On the other hand, luxury items--jewels, metals, etc.,--were without question brought from great distances and extensive trade ties existed from the earliest known times.

In his conclusion, Van De Mieroop argues for a continuity of the form and nature of the Mesopotamian city lasting, lasting into the Common Era, through ethnic, language and political changes in population. It is a bit dry at times with long lists of things, but full of information and gives a good, memorable picture of its subject.

Available here: Oxford, London, New York, ISBN 019-815062-8

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