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by Elizabeth Lutzeier,Hans J. Nissen
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Humanities
  • Author:
    Elizabeth Lutzeier,Hans J. Nissen
  • ISBN:
    0226586588
  • ISBN13:
    978-0226586588
  • Genre:
  • Publisher:
    University of Chicago Press; 1 edition (May 15, 1990)
  • Pages:
    224 pages
  • Subcategory:
    Humanities
  • Language:
  • FB2 format
    1323 kb
  • ePUB format
    1690 kb
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    1526 kb
  • Rating:
    4.7
  • Votes:
    307
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If you have no background in ancient history or anthropology of the Near East a quick and enjoyable introduction is to read the first 100 pages of Michael Roaf's 'Cultural Atlas of Mesopotamia and the Ancient Near East'.

If you have no background in ancient history or anthropology of the Near East a quick and enjoyable introduction is to read the first 100 pages of Michael Roaf's 'Cultural Atlas of Mesopotamia and the Ancient Near East'.

Hans J. Nissen here provides a much-needed overview of 7000 years of development in the ancient Near East from the . Nissen argues that this approach is too rigid to explain the actual development of that civilization. Nissen here provides a much-needed overview of 7000 years of development in the ancient Near East from the beginning of settled life to the formation of the first regional states. His approach to the study of Mesopotamian civilization differs markedly from conventional orientations, which impose a sharp division between prehistoric and historic, literate, periods.

Elizabeth Lutzeier's scientific contributions. The archaeological overview of the ancient Near East provided by Nissen in this volume covers the years 9000-2000 B. C. By necessity, the book briefly treats the Paleolithic and the Early Neolithic developments in the greater Near East; recent strides made in the fields of Paleolithic and Neolithic archaeology could not be detailed. The heart of the book focuses on two facets of human settlement in southern Mesopotamia between 5000-2000 B. The first relates to the evidence for the earliest settlements in the region.

Nissen, Hans Jörg; Rogers D. Spotswood Collection. - From isolated settlement to town (ca. 6000-3200 . - The period of early high civilization (ca. 3200-2800 . - The period of the rival city-states (ca. 2800-2350 . - The period of the first territorial states (ca. 2350-2000 . Books for People with Print Disabilities. Internet Archive Books. Nissen, Elizabeth Lutzeier (Translator). Hans J. Nissen here provides a much-needed overview of 7000 years of development in the ancient Near East from the beginning of settled life to the formation of the first regional states

Hans J. Kenneth J. Northcott (Translator).

Archaic Bookkeeping: Early Writing and Techniques of Economic Administration in the Ancient Near East by Hans J. Nissen; Peter Damerow; Robert K. Englund; Paul Larsen

Journal of the American Oriental Society 112 (1):55 (1992). Archaic Bookkeeping: Early Writing and Techniques of Economic Administration in the Ancient Near East by Hans J. Englund; Paul Larsen. F. Rochberg - 1995 - Isis: A Journal of the History of Science 86:309-310. Recent Themes in the History of Early Analytic Philosophy.

Author Nissen, Hans . Lutzeier, Elizabeth. eISBN13: 9780226182698. More Books . ABOUT CHEGG. Nissen here provides a much-needed overview of 7000 years of development in the ancient Near East from the beginning of settled life to the formation of the first regional states Full description. Saved in: Bibliographic Details. Main Author: Nissen, Hans J. Other Authors

Hans J. Nissen here provides a much-needed overview of 7000 years of development in the ancient Near East from the beginning of settled life to the formation of the first regional states. His approach to the study of Mesopotamian civilization differs markedly from conventional orientations, which impose a sharp division between prehistoric and historic, literate, periods. Nissen argues that this approach is too rigid to explain the actual development of that civilization. He deemphasizes the invention of writing as a turning point, viewing it as simply one more phase in the evolution of social complexity and as the result of specific social, economic, and political factors. With a unique combination of material culture analysis written data, Nissan traces the emergence of the earliest isolated settlements, the growth of a network of towns, the emergence of city states, and finally the appearance of territorial states. From his synthesis of the prehistoric and literate periods comes a unified picture of the development of Mesopotamian economy, society, and culture. Lavishly illustrated, The Early History of the Ancient Near East, 9000-2000 B.C. is an authoritative work by one of the most insightful observers of the evolution and character of Mesopotamian civilization.

Kelezel
What is the purpose of studying the past, if not to understand how things came to be the way they are. Nissen is describing the development of the first civilization of the world, It is the foundation of the pillars of western civilizations that followed and he makes it understandable how and why it evolved the way it did from the earliest Neolithic villages to the Akkadian Empire.

Yes, it is a difficult read. Read the preface to the English translation at the beginning of the book. It is an abridged translation of the (longer) original German text. I have a B.A. in anthropology and did graduate research and field work in archaeology but still had to read it a few times to really absorb everything Nissen is telling us. But its worth it. I have read and reread the 'Cambridge Ancient History, Volume 1, Part 1 and Volume 1, part 2', which covers the period of Nissen's book in about 1500 pages or so, and never got the understanding of the big picture Nissen provides in 200 pages (and CAH is just as difficult to read, if not worse).

If you have no background in ancient history or anthropology of the Near East a quick and enjoyable introduction is to read the first 100 pages of Michael Roaf's 'Cultural Atlas of Mesopotamia and the Ancient Near East'. I suggest you read that first.

While Nissen concentrates on settlement patterns in his analysis, the implications of relatively rapid population growth due to the benefits of the Neolithic Revolution are unavoidable and seem to have been the prime mover of the political, social, economic and communication systems that evolved during this period and are still with us today.

Other reviewers have complained about all the pottery analysis or the lack of mention of ancient Egypt.

To the first, ceramic pottery and stone are the few things that can survive over several thousands of years of exposure to the elements and are, along with baked clay cuneiform tablets, the primary source of information for ancient archaeologists.

To the second, the Egyptians' stone monuments survive very impressively whereas the ziggurats, made of unfired mud bricks in a land nearly devoid of good stone building material dissolved over time into huge mud mounds or washed away entirely by intermittent flooding. Appearances can deceive us. In fact, flood control was one of the prime movers of political integration.
Egypt was still mostly rural while the near east was building great cities. But, given the time span, they were a close second.

To me, Nissen has provided us the holy grail of cultural evolution. It is monumental, arguably the most enlightening book I've read on the evolution of civilization and its definitive components.
Androrim
I share the frustration of Mr. Crawford, another reviewer, in several respects. On the one hand, the story to be told is important, fascinating, even summoning: how people developed from roving hunter-gatherers to city-dwellers. On the other hand, the text seems needlessly difficult to follow. I have read plenty of texts that were difficult because the subject was difficult; but this book is simply poorly written (or translated). It's beyond "poor"; it's sadistic. What fiend would visit such prose on the public! It desperately needs a firm editor (or co-author) who is willing to revise, clarify, even paraphrase in order to reduce long paragraphs of repetitive half-thoughts to a few crisp, informative sentences.
One also hopes that the state of archeological investigation has made progress during the 20 plus years since this book was published. A generation of scholars has had time to examine the artifacts and their interpretations.
And still, I am willing to jack-hammer my way through. I am in the middle of my second reading. But I would like to find a better book. Is there a more coherent and straightforward telling of the same story out there?
Dondallon
This book, on one of the most seminal eras in human history, is an unforgivably poor read. Not only does it harp on obscure archeological controversies to the detriment of the big picture, but it is so badly written/translated that it is often impossible to understand or even remember what the author is referring to - I had to read innumerable paragraphs over and over to catch the gist.

I did get a good idea of the outlines of what was going on, after much struggle and needless effort with the awful text. The story begins with the neolithic era, when agriculture and animal husbandry are re-creating human possibility. For the first time, humans are becoming sedentary, developing ceramics for cooking and trade, and beginning to specialize in terms of occupation and political hierarchy. Once communities were established, they begin to spread into larger less inhabitable areas, with denser populations and entirely new ambitions of power. This is the time of city states and eventually proto-nation states, where administrative structures and systems had to be created to cope with water management issues, defense, and food stock management. The first writing systems were born, war became a science as did farming, and large-scale architecture was invented. This is extraordinary.

Nonetheless, though this is the time of the rise of Babylon and similar political entities, the reader gets very little flavor for what life was like and what issues people faced. Indeed, from the vaste amount of time covered, it seems astonishing to me: a social hierarchy arose with rigid caste roles that lasted 700 years in Susiana, for example. Unfortunately, we get little more than facts like that. While the author explains why we can't say much more from the archeological record even when written sources exist, it goes on and on and recounts which academic believes what, etc. While scientifically rigorous, it is a boring plod, demanding not because of any difficult reasoning, but merely because it is so poorly presented.

Furthermore, practically nothing is said about languages from the period, little regional overview is offered (i.e. what was given to and taken from ancient Egypt?), and the significance of what was invented in never put into context. These gaps - in a book already 20 years old, so surely out of date already - frustrated me on every page.

Not recommended. I am sure there are better books elsewhere. This is a book for undergraduate students, not the general reader.
Dancing Lion
It is hard to read. And it is not the one I really wanted.