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The new edition of the popular survey of Near Eastern civilization from the Bronze Age to the era of Alexander the Great A Companion to the Ancient Near East explores the history of the region from 4400 BCE to the Macedonian conquest of the Persian Empire in 330 BCE. Original and revised essays from a team of distinguished scholars from across disciplines address subjects including the politics, economics, architecture, and heritage of ancient Mesopotamia and Egypt. Part of the Blackwell Companions to the Ancient World series, this acclaimed single-volume reference combines lively writing with engaging and relatable topics to immerse readers in this fascinating period of Near East history. The new second edition has been thoroughly revised and updated to include new developments in relevant fields, particularly archaeology, and expand on themes of interest to contemporary students. Clear, accessible chapters offer fresh discussions on the history of the family and gender roles, the literature, languages, and religions of the region, pastoralism, medicine and philosophy, and borders, states, and warfare. New essays highlight recent discoveries in cuneiform texts, investigate how modern Egyptians came to understand their ancient history, and examine the place of archaeology among the historical disciplines. This volume: Provides substantial new and revised content covering topics such as social conflict, kingship, cosmology, work, trade, and law Covers the civilizations of the Sumerians, Hittites, Babylonians, Assyrians, Egyptians, Israelites, and Persians, emphasizing social and cultural history Examines the legacy of the Ancient Near East in the medieval and modern worlds Offers a uniquely broad geographical, chronological, and topical range Includes a comprehensive bibliographical guide to Ancient Near East studies as well as new and updated references and reading suggestions Suitable for use as both a primary reference or as a supplement to a chronologically arranged textbook, A Companion to the Ancient Near East, 2nd Edition is a valuable resource for advanced undergraduates, beginning graduate students, instructors in the field, and scholars from other disciplines.