Odyssey Online: Near East

These Websites and Books about the Ancient Near East will help your learn more about these early civilizations.

Web sites about Near East

Ancient Art: Mesopotamia The Detroit Institute of Arts
This site gives a brief introduction to the history and culture of ancient Mesopotamia. It is illustrated by objects in the museum's collection. Click on each object for further description and discussion.

Ancient Art: Persepolis/Ancient Iran The Detroit Institute of Arts
This site gives a brief introduction to the history and culture of ancient Persia. It is illustrated by objects in the museum's collection. Click on each object for further description and discussion.

Collapse: Why Do Civilizations Fall? Annenburg/CPB Exhibits
This site explores the collapse of four ancient civilizations, including Mesopotamia. It investigates whether there are common reasons for such collapses.

Flints and Stones: Real Life in Prehistory The Museum of Antiquities (U.K.)
This site explores the culture of prehistoric hunter-gatherer peoples living in Britain and northwest Europe. There are lots of activities to explore, including an illustrated timeline of prehistory and a quiz about what prehistoric people ate.

The Seven Wonders of the Ancient World
This site gives a brief introduction to the seven wonders of the ancient world, including the Hanging Gardens of Babylon.

Virtual Dig Out Royal Ontario Museum
This site was created by students at Westview Centennial Secondary School in Toronto, Canada. The site includes an online excavation of Near Eastern objects from the collection of the Royal Ontario Museum.

Books about Near East

Ali, Maureen. The Middle East. Silver Burdett Press, 1988.
This book introduces readers to the history and lifestyles of the people in the Middle East.

Glubok, Shirley, ed. Digging in Assyria. Macmillan, 1970.
This book is a fascinating adaptation of archaeologist Austen Henry Layard's Nineveh and Its Remains.

Gundlach, Susan. "Gilgamesh: The Quest for Immortality." Calliope Magazine: World History for Young People. Cobblestone Publishing, Jan./Feb. 1991.
This article concisely recounts the myth of Gilgamesh. The other articles in this Calliope magazine examine epic heroes in other cultures.

Hunter, Erica C.D. First Civilizations: Cultural Atlas for Young People. Facts on File, 1994.
This book explores the ancient Near East through maps, illustrations, and information that describes the development from hunting and gathering to urbanization. You'll also be able to read about the invention of writing and the rise of empires like Assyria and Persia.

"Mesopotamia." Calliope Magazine: World History for Young People. Cobblestone Publishing, Sept./Oct. 1993.
This entire issue focuses on the cultures that prospered in the ancient Near East: the Sumerians, Akkadians, Assyrians, and Babylonians. Articles also introduce some of the archaeologists who worked there.

Odjik, Pamela. Ancient World Series: The Sumerians. Silver Burdett Press, 1990.
This book discusses the civilization of the Sumerians, including hunting, medicine, clothing, religion, laws, legends, and recreation. Color photos, maps, and drawings enrich the text.

Roaf, Michael. Cultural Atlas of Mesopotamia and the Ancient Near East. Facts on File, 1990.
This book traces the history and development of the ancient Near East from neolithic times to the defeat of the Persians by Alexander the Great in the fourth century B.C. Special feature articles focus on everyday life. Maps and sidebars on archaeological finds and site discoveries complement and enhance the main text.

Treasure Chest: The Holy Land. Running Press, 1997.
This treasure-filled kit is packed with activities and games exploring the lands of the Bible. It includes a model Temple of Jerusalem, rubber stamps of the ancient Hebrew alphabet, replica "knuckle bones" game played by the Roman and more!

Tubb, Jonathan N. Bible Lands: Eyewitness Books. Knopf, 1991.
This book is filled with photos and maps depicting the peoples and civilizations of the Holy Land, including Canaan, Israel, Persia, and the cities of the Phoenicians. You'll see lots of great objects from the British Museum collection.

Wilder, Cynthia. "Sumerian: The World's Oldest Writing." Faces: The Magazine about People. December 1988. 10-14.
This article covers the development of cuneiform writing and describes how scribes were trained. This issue of Faces magazine looks at writing in other ancient cultures too.

Zeman, Ludmila. Gilgamesh the King. Tundra, 1992.
This book is a beautifully-illustrated retelling of the Epic of Gilgamesh, half-god and half-man, whose adventures in Mesopotamia are some of the first stories ever recorded. Some clay tablets mentioning Gilgamesh are over 5000 years old!


© Michael C. Carlos Museum of Emory University,
Memorial Art Gallery of the University of Rochester and Dallas Museum of Art
For more information please contact odyssey@emory.edu.
Last Update: