Ancient Mesopotamia and Iran are usually treated separately or as part of a much broader 'Ancient Near East'. However, the developments that lie at the root of our own world - farming, cities, writing, organised religion, warfare - were forged in the tensions and relations between the inhabitants of lowland Mesopotamia (ancient Iraq) and the highlands of Iran. Mountains and Lowlands explores this relationship providing a detailed but accessible account covering the period 6000 BC-AD 650, from the development of the first agricultural communities to the coming of Islam. The story is told through the superlative Ancient Near Eastern collections in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, supplemented by images of photographs of archaeological sites and of iconic pieces in other collections including the Louvre, Paris. The discussion is further supported by six maps commissioned especially for this publication.
Dr Paul Collins is the Jaleh Hearn Curator for the Ancient Near East in the Antiquities Department of the Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford. He is also a Fellow of Jesus College and Wolfson College, Oxford as well as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Antiquaries, London, and a Member of the Council of the British Institute for the Study of Iraq.
1. Introduction; 2. From Village to City: 6000-3000 BC; 3. From City to Kingdom: 3000-1500 BC; 4. From Kingdom to Empire: 1500-500 BC; 5. From India to Egypt: 500 BC-AD 650.