This lecture course introduces students to ancient Near Eastern cultures. The survey begins with early farming communities of 8000 B.C., at sites like Fayum, Jericho, Çatal Huyuk, and Jarmo. It then covers the Bronze and Iron Age kingdoms of the Sumerians, Babylonians, Assyrians, Israelites, Egyptians, and Iranians, and the spread of Hellenism. Emphasis will be placed on agriculture, urbanization, state formation, dynastic history, social stratification, literacy, legal and economic issues, and religious developments. Archaeological and textual information will be utilized in conjunction with visual aids.
No previous knowledge or course prerequisites are needed.