The only critical guide to the theory and method of Mesopotamian archaeology, this innovative volume evaluates the theories, methods, approaches and history of Mesopotamian archaeology from its origins in the nineteenth century up to the present day.
Ancient Mesopotamia (modern Iraq), was the original site of many of the major developments in human history, such as farming, the rise of urban literate societies and the first great empires of Akkad, Babylonia and Assyria.
Dr. Matthews places the discipline within its historical and social context, and explains how archaeologists conduct their research through excavation, survey and other methods. In four fundamental chapters, he uses illustrated case-studies to show how archaeologists have approached central themes such as:
* the shift from hunting to farming
* complex societies
* empires and imperialism
* everyday life.
This will be both an ideal introductory work and useful as background reading on a wide range of courses.
'Extremely erudite, literate and considered... [R. Matthews is] an essayist of considerable talent... [A] sophisticated, knowledgeable and eminently readable voice... It is a refreshing work and one which all of us concerned with ancient Mesopotamia may consult with profit.' - Ancient West and East