Sunday, March 10, 2013

Daily Life ... Mesopotamia by Karen Rhea Nemet-Nejat **

Daily Life in Ancient Mesopotamia (The Greenwood Press Daily Life Through History Series) by Karen Rhea Nemet-Nejat disappointed me, but it might be exactly the book that you're looking for (apologies to Obi-Wan).

First me ... I enjoy history books that present the narrative of ordinary people, private life. Not that interested in royals, battles, or even the famous intellectuals. My favorite book of all time, in this category, is Women's Work: The First 20,000 Years: Women, Cloth, and Society in Early Times.

But enough about me ... The key fact to remember is that the Babylonians and Assyrians wrote on clay tablets. A thousand years from now when the history of your life will be lost in deteriorated and indecipherable digital media, archeologists will still be uncovering new readable tablets from ancient Mesopotamia.

Given such a mass of data, it is hard to know what to present and how to organize it. The author chose a catalog-type format with sections on educations, science, economy, etc. With those sections further broken down in to farming, trade, crafts, etc. And these might be divided again into leather, stone, wood, ivory ... At this points, the sub-sub-sections were included lists like
Ivory was also used to make ... boxes, handles, spoons, and combs.
This book is an excellent one-stop-shop for "source" data on ancient Mesopotamia.

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