By Georges Roux
Newly revised and containing info from fresh excavations and came across artifacts, Ancient Iraq covers the political, cultural, and socio-economic heritage from Mesopotamia days of prehistory to the Christian period.
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Extra info for Ancient Iraq: Third Edition
Gold dagger from the Royal Cemetery of Ur. (Courtesy British Museum) Fragment of the Stele of the Vultures, from Telloh. ), from Nineveh. (Courtesy Iraq Museum) Statue of Gudea, ensi of Lagash, from Telloh. (Courtesy Louvre Museum) The ‘Stele of victory’ of Narâm-Sin. Central stairs of the ziqqurat of Ur. (Courtesy Robert Harding Associates, London) Statue of Ebih-Il, from Mari. (Courtesy Louvre Museum) Votive dog, from Telloh. (Courtesy Louvre Museum) Head of a god, from Jabbul, Syria. (Courtesy Louvre Museum) Sculptured upper part of the ‘Code of Hammurabi’, king of Babylon.
As for the Tigris, all that can be said about its ancient course in southern Mesopotamia is that it probably was the same as the course of the Shatt el-Gharraf, one of its present branches: straight from Kut el-Imara to the neighbourhood of Nasriyah. It seems to have played a relatively minor role in that region, either because its bed was dug too deep into the alluvium for simple canal irrigation or because it was surrounded – as indeed it is now – by extensive marshes. The climate of central and southern Iraq is of the ‘dry, subtropical’ variety, with temperatures reaching 120° F.
All considered, the northern steppe and the foothills of Kurdistan would seem to offer a more favourable environment than the great alluvial plain, and it is not by chance that these regions were the seats of the Neolithic and Early Chalcolithic cultures of Mesopotamia. Yet it is in the extreme south of that country, on the fringe of the swamps, that the Mesopotamian civilization took shape. Whatever man achieved in ancient Iraq, he did it at the price of a constant struggle against nature and against other men, and this struggle forms the very thread of history in that part of the world.
Ancient Iraq: Third Edition by Georges Roux