Technology of the Ancient Near East : From the Neolithic to the Early Roman Period book cover
1st Edition

Technology of the Ancient Near East
From the Neolithic to the Early Roman Period

ISBN 9780815393696
Published September 11, 2018 by Routledge
340 Pages 80 B/W Illustrations

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Book Description

Peoples of the distant past lived comfortably in cities that boasted well-conceived urban planning, monumental architecture, running water, artistic expression, knowledge of mathematics and medicine, and more. Without the benefits of modern technology, they enjoyed all the accoutrements of modern civilization.

Technology of the Ancient Near East brings together in a single volume what is known about the technology behind these acheivements, based on the archaeological, textual, historic, and scientific data drawn from a wide range of sources, focusing on subjects such as warfare, construction, metallurgy, ceramics and glass, water management, and time keeping. These technologies are discussed within the cultural, historic, and socio-economic contexts within which they were invented and the book emphasises these as the foundation upon which modern technology is based. In so doing, this study elucidates the ingenuity of ancient minds, offering an invaluable introduction for students of ancient technology and science.

Table of Contents

List of Figures

List of maps



Chronological Charts

Chapter 1 Introduction

Chapter 2 Early Technologies

Chapter 3 Stone

Chapter 4 Wood

Chapter 5 Metals

Chapter 6 Bonding Agents: Glue, Plaster, Mortar, Cement, Bitumen

Chapter 7 Engineering, Machines, Power, and Energy

Chapter 8 Construction

Chapter 9 Warfare

Chapter 10 Textiles

Chapter 11 Ceramic and Glass Technology

Chapter 12 Water Management and Technology

Chapter 13 Medicine

Chapter 14 Daily Life

Chapter 15 Transportation

Chapter 16 Timekeeping

Chapter 17 Food as Technology

Chapter 18 Writing/Arts, Weights/Measures, and Currency

Chapter 19 Summary and Discussion



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Jill L. Baker is an Independent Researcher in Ancient Near Eastern Archaeology and a Faculty Fellow (adjunct) in the Honors College at Florida International University, USA. She is the author of The Funeral Kit: Mortuary Practices in the Archaeological Record and co-author of The Greensboro Blockhouse Project: An Historical and Archaeological Investigation in Greensboro, Vermont.


"In this conversationally engaging volume, Baker has deftly collected the many materials, machines, and technological applications that defined and enriched the lives of those dwelling in the Ancient Near East into the Roman Era. Based firmly on a wide array of literary, artistic, and archaeological sources, Technology of the Ancient Near East provides an essential piece of the puzzle of the society, culture, and history of the region, and it fills a longstanding gap on the bookshelves of all who are interested in the history of technology, ideas, and the human quest to manipulate the natural world." - Georgia Irby, The College of William and Mary, USA


"Baker should be commended not only for bringing attention to technologies from the Near East, but also for highlighting different types of technologies that had an impact on daily life... this textbook is a valuable addition to the fields of ancient technology, Near Eastern studies and archaeology, and I intend to assigns sections of it in my own ancient technology courses." - The Classical Journal


"An aspect of the book that will stimulate students is Baker’s consistent effort to highlight the relevance of studying ancient technologies. She does this by drawing parallels with modern techniques and tools and by tracing the long history of the use of certain materials. She also reflects on how the media and educational programming like the Discovery Channel episodes have framed the modern public’s ideas about ancient technologies. Overall, the book is a useful starting point for students interested in learning about the materials and technologies of the Bronze and Iron ages in the Near East." - Bryn Mawr Classical Review