Ancient Near Eastern History and Culture

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Pearson/Longman, 2009 - History - 405 pages
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This introduction to the Ancient Near East includes coverage of Egypt and a balance of political, social, and cultural coverage.

Organized by the periods, kingdoms, and empires generally used in Near Eastern political history, the text interlaces social and cultural history with the political narrative. This combination allows students to get a rounded introduction to the subject of Ancient Near Eastern history. An emphasis on problems and areas of uncertainty helps students understand how evidence is used to create interpretations and allows them to realize that several different interpretations of the same evidence are possible.This introduction to the Ancient Near East includes coverage of Egypt and a balance of political, social, and cultural coverage.

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One of the most balanced overviews of Near Eastern history and pre-history. Admits Neolithic cultures were more egalitarian and takes a stab at examining the evidence for matriarchal cultures, admitting that conditions for women became worse during and after the Bronze Age. Still adheres to the belief that Jesus was a real historical figure, even when discussing dating, though, so not totally unbiased. The most disappointing analysis comes late in the book when Stiebing uses the Bible as a historical source, rather than admitting it is just a literary one. The book would have been completely balanced had he been more objective and used actual archaeology, rather than literature for his evidence. This bias is one factor why this textbook was only available on loan from a Christinan seminary. 

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About the author (2009)

William H. Stiebing Jr. is Porfessor Emeritus of Ancient History at the University of New Orleans.

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