Item description for Mesopotamia: The Invention of the City by Gwendolyn Leick...
Overview Painting a colorful picture of everyday lives, this remarkable book is an engaging account of the rise and fall of one of the greatest ancient civilizations--Mesopotamia--in an area corresponding to present-day Iraq. 16-page insert. Map.
More than seven thousand years ago, the first urban civilization began in Mesopotamia, in an area corresponding to present-day Iraq. This remarkable book is the first to reveal everyday life as it was in ten long-lost Mesopotamian cities. Using archaeological fragments of jewelry, textiles, and writings, anthropologist Gwendolyn Leick paints a colorful picture of the lives of Mesopotamians--from poets and priests to businesswomen and divorcees--and the incredible achievements of their advanced and imaginative society.
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Studio: Penguin (Non-Classics)
Est. Packaging Dimensions: Length: 7.7" Width: 6.36" Height: 0.77" Weight: 0.65 lbs.
Release Date Jun 24, 2003
Publisher Penguin (Non-Classics)
ISBN 0140265740 ISBN13 9780140265743 UPC 051488016007
Availability 1 units. Availability accurate as of Feb 27, 2017 03:34.
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More About Gwendolyn Leick
GWENDOLYN LEICK is an anthropologist and Assyriologist. She is the author of various publications on the Ancient Near East, including A Dictionary of Near Eastern Mythology and Sex & Eroticism in Mesopotamian Literature. She also acts as a cultural tour guide in the Middle East, lecturing on history, archaeology and anthropology.
Reviews - What do customers think about Mesopotamia?
great introduction to cities and ancient Iraq Apr 12, 2007
Leick seems to have inherited from Kramer the ability to be the most engaging writer for the educated lay public in topics concerning Mesopotamia. I personally found this work useful in 3 regards: (1) as a good source of material from which to prepare a keynote lecture at a Harvard Design School conference about the Mesopotamian marshes and at which many urban planners and designers were present; (2) as a source of inscriptions for my recent compilation of such (Wetlands of Mass Destruction: Ancient Presage for Contemporary Ecocide in Southern Iraq); and (3) as an inspiration to use part of a similar frieze from Ninevah on the cover of that book; i.e. Assurbanipal representing Saddam Hussein. And I will continue to dip into Leick's book for information for future writing projects.
The Tale of Ten Cities Sep 26, 2006
Mesopotamia: The Invention of the City by Gwendolyn Leick is a book only a history major could fall in love with. But even non-history majors can enjoy it. The book is ten chapters, each chapter a detailed history of one city, using archaeological information in the form of textiles, writings and ruins. From the first city of Eridu, to the last city of Babylon, we follow the lives of the people, as they go from city-state, to Kingdoms to large Empires, from waiting for the rain to come feed their gardens to redirecting rivers to feed their fields. Artists, soldiers, priests and Kings, we learn how the region developed and follow the history of one of the first civilizations by how the cities developed. Because the history of each city overlaps, weaving a complex history of warfare, trade, worship and power. The only problem some readers might have it how detailed it truly becomes in the last few chapters. Also some of the text accompanying the photos were placed on the wrong part of the page. Or the photos were placed on the wrong part of the page. Either way some photos don't match the text that go with them. The chapters come with a simple timeline, a useful map, a helpful index and a not so helpful glossary (as some words I wanted to look up were not in it). Overall it is still a great find and worth getting for any library on history, urban development or the Middle East.
Good introduction Jan 27, 2004
I enjoyed this book a lot. It's a book that manages to be both scholarly and readable as it introduces the archaeology and history of various cities around Mesopotamia. Archaeology is the main focus, but Leick draws on written texts, notably literary texts, to illuminate the physical evidence. This book also shows how much more investigative work there is to be done in that region of the world. A good read.
Interesting survey Jul 9, 2003
I'm reading Leick's book right now, and enjoying it. She surveys ancient Mesopotamia through the examination of 10 ancient city sites, from Eridu to Babylon. Naturally this narrative device is a springboard for digressions into the culture as best we can know (or guess) at it. Leick does stints as a tour guide, if I recall the author bio correctly, & it shows in her writing, which is accessible if a bit repetitive when she wants to make a point. She also attends to the different archaelogists who've dug up Mesopotamia and their biases, hypotheses, etc.; she takes a similar approach with contemporary scholarly debates, "teaching the conflicts" as it were. This & Roux's "Ancient Iraq" seem to be the two best books for us lay readers in the past 40 years or so.