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The Art and Architecture of the Ancient Orient (The Yale University Press Pelican History of Art) Paperback – October 30, 1996

ISBN-13: 978-0300064704 ISBN-10: 0300064705 Edition: 5th

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Product Details

  • Paperback: 484 pages
  • Publisher: Yale University Press; 5th edition (October 30, 1996)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0300064705
  • ISBN-13: 978-0300064704
  • Product Dimensions: 8.3 x 5.8 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 1.6 pounds (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #375,478 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful By Suzi Hough VINE VOICE on October 24, 2012
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I ordered this textbook for a Mesopotamian art history course. I probably read 80-90% of this book; I may have read all of the chapters, but I skimmed a lot of the sections on architecture since I knew my professor wouldn't be testing me on them. I'm a student, obviously not an expert in this field, and with very little familiarity with this region of the world prior to taking the class.

There are two strikes against this book:
1. It was written in 1954. Even though it was updated in 1996, that's means there are still over fifteen years' worth of archaeology (and in some cases, of site destruction and looting) that the text can't account for. According to my professor, there simply hasn't been a better book written since Frankfort, so for the study of Mesopotamian art this is the best book to read.

2. This is a dreadfully dry and dense text. I'm not the sort of person to nod off while reading, but this book literally put me to sleep two or three times over the past month.

I think that the book does a decent job of covering the major civilizations of the Mesopotamian region. It's arranged chronologically, but I still found it devilishly difficult to keep the names and dynasties straight in my memory. The book doesn't really go into the history of each region at all - I have no more knowledge of daily life in Mesopotamia then I did before picking this textbook up. It is solely focused on art objects and aesthetic analysis. For an art history class, that's fine...but the lack of context, at times, did contribute to my inability to remember the key differences between Amorites, Aramaeans ,Assyrians, and Akkadians.
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