An archaeologist’s look at the ancient Near East

What Makes Civilization? The Ancient Near East and the Future of the WestWhat Makes Civilization? The Ancient Near East and the Future of the West by David Wengrow
My rating: 3 of 5 stars

Wengrow’s focus on the connections between ancient Near Eastern societies was eye-opening. He gave a good overview of the ways that the ancient residents of the lands bordering the eastern Mediterranean (and to some degree beyond) borrowed from each other, traded with each other, and influenced each other. His archaeologist’s focus on material culture gave me a different perspective on the region, and it provided an interesting background from which to view the religious and political developments of these ancient societies instead of interpreting the material culture through the lens of religious and political developments. His observations on contemporary culture were less interesting, in my opinion, but the book is well-written and seemed to be a good introduction to the ancient Near East.

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