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Sumer and the Sumerians
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Top Customer Reviews
The book is written almost exclusively from an archaeological perspective. The outstandingly rich literature and art of ancient Sumeria is barely glanced at in passing. The book's prose is dry and academic, and it is illustrated meagrely, with black-and-white line drawings. Unless you are already deeply interested in Sumeria and the Sumerians, this book is unlikely to kindle your enthusiasm.
Although it can't be recommended for the general reader, serious university students will benefit from the book's high standard of scholarship and clear, if uninspiring, exposition. When used as a college text, it will need to be supplemented by visual aids and additional resources on the art, literature, and religion of Sumeria.
The book covers the development of the Sumerian civilization in Mesopotamia during the period c 3800BC to 2000BC, with the following themes described in separate chapters:
(1) Rediscovery of the Ancient Near East: the physical environment
(2) History, chronology, and social organization
(3) Patterns of settlement and agriculture
(4) Town planning and temple architecture
(5) Public building and private housing
(6) Life, death, and the meaning of the universe
(7) Manufacturing industry, and trade
(8) Writing and the arts
(9) Conclusions - the development of Sumerian society
The book includes 8 maps and 80 illustrations most of which I have seen in the other books I have read on the subject, although I do believe them to be representative of the period The reference section lists the works of some 150 authors, which includes some of the works of the early archaeologists, as well as more recent works of the 1970s and 1980s, and there is also a short index.
For me the first three chapters are the most useful part of the book and provide a very good introduction to the subject.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I agree with some of the other reviewers that it's not clear who, if anyone, this book is intended for. Read morePublished on July 28, 2013 by Flash Sheridan
As other reviewers have mentioned this book is for university student archeologists. If you a regular Joe who wants to learn about ancient Sumer and it's literature, look... Read morePublished on November 15, 2009 by Andrew Hardy