on March 9, 2007
I have a number of historical atlases.
I prefer larger books and this is a large sized book.
The book tries to cover a lot of time. From -6000 BC to 700 AD.
At present I am only half way through (around 700 BC).
The first part of the book covers the first settlements and the first cities well. You have a layout for each pre-eminent city of a particular time. So we see the first city layouts (from ruins) like Uruk and Lagash. Then later Babylon and Ashur.
We also see the 'big' picture of the way the cities are scattered about in the area. One thing that could be better is the paths of the rivers - Tigris and Euphrates - at the different times. Unfortunately they do not know enough of where the rivers were at each period so most maps show the current paths. They do show the ancient coastline of the gulf.
They also cover the related nations to Mesopotamia. The Hittites in modern Turkey and the Egyptians are shown in the strategic maps. What they do not show is the movements of peoples. Like where the Hittites came from? they suggest a possible origin but they do not even have an arrow on the map to show these possibilities.
There are many photographs of artwork, sculpture, mosaics, some jewelry and many ruins of buildings and ziggurats.
I recently bought four other maps (Penguin): Ancient Rome, Ancient History , Medieval History and Ancient Civilizations. All of these were good but they were only 9" x 13".
This book is (guess) 14" x 20". I like bigger books. The type is larger too which means there is not a whole lot more information but will be easier to read for older people and those with glasses.
I really like this book. Compared with my other 18 or so historical atlases this is one of the top four in colour, size, and content.
I also think this information is more up-to-date than other atlases I have. Ex: Here the Hurrians and Mitanni shown to be the same people.
(Also has semi complete information on the Sumerian King List)
on April 27, 2009
Norman Bancroft Hunt's book "Historical Atlas of Ancient Mesopotamia" was a fun, photograph- and illustration-packed overview of all the civilizations in the area from the ancient Sumerian city-states of 3500 BC to the Sassanians who lasted till 650 AD.
The 190 page book has large glossy pages and is broken into 11 chapters, and each chapter is broken into many 4 to 6 subchapters, each one allowing 2 pages on a subject and loaded with great illustrations and well-written text.
Topics focus a little more on the interesting Sumerian city-states and civilizations that came afterward, but also highlight the Assyrians and Persians.
on October 15, 2012
I really like this atlas for both its information presentation and organization. The pictures are great and they also give a real sense of what is going on in each of the places being described. The diagrams of the digs are elaborately colored. My one gripe here is that there is often no scale included in these layouts.
BUT, the real issue: there are so many typographical errors that it hurts the overall quality of the book. I haven't kept an exact count but its well over 20 so far and I'm only on pg 58 out of 186. Most are simply spelling errors, but some are extra words that show someone was asleep at the editor's desk! Truly, whoever edited this needs to be fired!!!