"This catalogue of more than 100 objects from the Musée du Louvre's collection of Ancient Near Eastern antiquities presents essays on Mesopotamia's discovery and excavations, economy, religion, cities, cuneiform writing, rulers and history, as well as its enduring presence in the contemporary imagination"-- Provided by publisher. "Mesopotamia, in modern-day Iraq, was home to the remarkable ancient civilizations of Sumer, Akkad, Babylonia, and Assyria. From the rise of the first cities around 3500 BCE, through the mighty empires of Nineveh and Babylon, to the demise of its native culture around 100 CE, Mesopotamia produced some of the most powerful and captivating art of antiquity and led the world in astronomy, mathematics, and other sciences--a legacy that lives on today. Mesopotamia: Civilization Begins presents a rich panorama of ancient Mesopotamia's history, from its earliest prehistoric cultures to its conquest by Alexander the Great in 331 BCE. This catalogue records the beauty and variety of the objects on display, on loan from the Louvre's unparalleled collection of ancient Near Eastern antiquities: cylinder seals, monumental sculptures, cuneiform tablets, jewelry, glazed bricks, paintings, figurines, and more. Essays by international experts explore a range of topics, from the earliest French excavations to Mesopotamia's economy, religion, cities, cuneiform writing, rulers, and history--as well as its enduring presence in the contemporary imagination." -- Publisher's website
Introduction : Does History Begin in Mesopotamia? / Ariane Thomas The Mesopotamian Collection of the Musée du Louvre / Ariane Thomas The Rediscovery of Ancient Mesopotamia / Nicole Chevalier Ancient Mesopotamia in Modern Culture / Michael Seymour Mesopotamia in Modern Imagery A Pioneering Economy / Cécile Michel A Religious World / Benjamin R. Foster First Cities : From Uruk to Babylon / Pascal Butterlin Clay Architecture in Mesopotamia / Pedro Azara First Writing : Cuneiform and the Scribal Tradition / Béatrice André-Salvini First Kingdoms : When Kingship Descended from Heaven... / Dominique Charpin War and Peace : From the Birth of the State to Great Empires / Zainab Bahrani Ancient Mesopotamia Viewed from the Outside / Francis Joannès Epilogue : Imaginary Journey from Mesopotamia to Iraq / Ariane Thomas From Mesopotamia to Iraq, from 1850 to the Twentieth Century Catalogue of the exhibition. First Cities : Catalogue nos. 1-39 First Writing : Catalogue nos. 40-91 First Kingdoms : Catalogue nos. 92-133 Appendix 1 : Mesopotamian Archaeology at the Museum : A Few Virtual Possibilities Appendix 2 : Restoring and Reassembling Objects for the Exhibition.
Catalog of an exhibition held at the J. Paul Getty Museum at the Getty Villa, Malibu, from March 18-July 27, 2020. Translated and adapted from L'histoire commence en Mésopotamie, which was published in French, on the occasion of an exhibition held at the Musée du Louvre-Lens, November 6, 2016-January 23, 2017. Includes bibliographical references and index.