Ancient Mesopotamia at the Dawn of Civilization

Ancient Mesopotamia at the Dawn of Civilization : The Evolution of an Urban Landscape

4.2 (5 ratings on Goodreads)
By (author) 

Free delivery worldwide

Available. Dispatched from the UK in 2 business days
When will my order arrive?


The alluvial lowlands of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in southern Mesopotamia are widely known as the 'cradle of civilization' owing to the scale of the processes of urbanization that had taken place in the area by the second half of the fourth millennium BC.In "Ancient Mesopotamia at the Dawn of Civilization", Guillermo Algaze draws on the work of modern economic geographers to explore how the unique river-based ecology and geography of the Tigris-Euphrates alluvium impacted the development of urban civilization in southern Mesopotamia. He argues that these natural conditions granted southern polities significant competitive advantages over their landlocked rivals elsewhere in Southwest Asia, most importantly the ability to easily transport commodities.In due course, this resulted in increased trade and economic activity and higher population densities in the south than were possible elsewhere. As southern polities grew in scale and complexity throughout the fourth millennium, revolutionary new forms of labor organization and record keeping were created, and it is these socially created innovations, Algaze argues, that ultimately account for why fully developed city-states emerged earlier in southern Mesopotamia than elsewhere in Southwest Asia or the more

Product details

  • Hardback | 208 pages
  • 154 x 232 x 20mm | 480.81g
  • The University of Chicago Press
  • University of Chicago Press
  • Chicago, IL, United States
  • English
  • 10 halftones, 9 maps, 6 line drawings, 1 figure, 1 table
  • 0226013774
  • 9780226013770
  • 1,384,960

Review quote

"This is an important and valuable distillation of Algaze's most recent thinking on the development of southern Mesopotamian society. While it is indeed a worthy complement to his earlier work, this wholly original book takes his argument much further, making a number of important theoretical points." - T.J. Wilkinson, Durham University"show more

About Guillermo Algaze

Guillermo Algaze is professor of anthropology at the University of California, San Diego, and the author of The Uruk World System: The Dynamics of Expansion of Early Mesopotamian Civilization, now in its second edition from the University of Chicago more
Book ratings on Goodreads
Goodreads is the world's largest site for readers with over 50 million reviews. We're featuring millions of their reader ratings on our book pages to help you find your new favourite book. Close X