Mesopotamia and the Rise of Civilization
History, Documents, and Key Questions
by Jane R. McIntosh
August 2017, 255pp, 6 1/8 x 9 1/4
1 volume, ABC-CLIO

Hardcover: 978-1-4408-3546-9
$74, £57, 65€, A102
Please contact your preferred distributor for pricing.
eBook Available: 978-1-4408-3547-6
Please contact your preferred eBook vendor for pricing.

Our modern time structure has roots in the Babylonian base-60 counting system—just one contribution to modern culture from Mesopotamia.

A broad introduction to a major turning point in human development, this book guides the reader through the emergence of civilization in Mesopotamia, when city life began and writing was invented.

Covering Mesopotamia from around 3000 BCE to the fall of Babylon in 539 BCE, Mesopotamia and the Rise of Civilization: History, Documents, and Key Questions combines narrative history material and reference entries that enable students to learn about the rise of civilization in Mesopotamia and its enormous influence on western civilization with primary source documents that promote critical thinking skills.

The book provides essential background via a historical overview of early development of society in Mesopotamia. This introduction is followed by reference entries on key topics; 4,000-year-old primary sources that explore Mesopotamian civilization through voices of the time and bring to light the events of a schoolboy’s day, the boasts of kings, and personal letters about family concerns, for example; and a section of argumentative essays that presents thought-provoking perspectives on key issues. While the intended readership is high school students, the book’s authoritative coverage of intriguing subject matter will also appeal to the wider public, especially in these times of heightened focus on the Middle East.


  • Includes reference entries that explore important aspects of Mesopotamian civilization, such as key historical developments, technological and intellectual innovations, and aspects of social, economic, political, and domestic life
  • Enables readers to gain insight into the thinking and life experience of ancient Mesopotamians through primary sources
  • Provokes discussion through the debate of three major questions about the rise of civilization
  • Combines several different approaches to the subject to promote critical thinking skillls and support Common Core State Standards
  • Supports NCHS World History standards for Era 2, Standards 1A and 1B, and Common Core critical thinking skills for English Language Arts/World History and Social Studies
Jane R. McIntosh, PhD, is a professional archaeological writer. She taught archaeology at the University of Cambridge, England, where she was a senior research associate in the faculty of Asian and Middle Eastern studies. Her published works include ABC-CLIO's Ancient Mesopotamia: New Perspectives and The Ancient Indus Valley: New Perspectives and also the award-winning The Practical Archaeologist: How We Know What We Know About the Past. McIntosh holds a doctorate in Indian archaeology from Cambridge University and has excavated in Europe, India, and Iraq.


"Books in this series intend to help students understand the causes and effects associated with historical events and this one achieves its goal. Additional resources, a bibliography, and an index are included. Recommended."—ARBA, January 24, 2018

"An excellent introduction to the study of early civilization for beginning scholars. Summing Up: Recommended. High school through lower-level undergraduates; general readers."—Choice, February 1, 2018

"The 20 primary source documents included have an introductory paragraph followed by source information. These documents are usually studied at the college level and will give students a good preparation for advanced study. . . . Books in this series intend to help students understand the causes and effects associated with historical events and this one achieves its goal. Recommended."—School Library Connection, March 1, 2018
By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.
Accept All Cookies | Decline.