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A Companion to the Ancient Near East (Blackwell Companions by Daniel C. Snell

By Daniel C. Snell

A spouse to the traditional close to East bargains scholars and common readers a complete assessment of close to jap civilization from the Bronze Age to the conquests of Alexander the good. Covers the civilizations of the Sumerians, Hittites, Babylonians, Assyrians, Israelites and Persians locations specific emphasis on social and cultural background Covers the legacy of the traditional close to East within the medieval and sleek worlds presents an invaluable bibliographical advisor to this box of analysis

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Archaeologically derived evidence for domestic plants is now supplemented with genetic research. Distribution maps of wild progenitors of domestic species have been updated with this genetic profiling. These studies are complicated by modern agricultural practices and the possibility of relatively recent genetic change within the wild populations (Harlan and Zohary 1966; Heun et al. 1997), but homogeneities found have led to the conclusion that there was a core zone within which grain and legume domestication took place.

Food is arguably basic to human concepts of the self and is involved in everything from taboos to feasting, so the species shift, as well as the very fact of domestication, means a major change in self-perception and self-expression. Another issue is that complementary farming-herding practices became common over a wide area during a relatively short time span. Why did this happen? 24 Augusta McMahon Agriculture and Herding: Choice or Necessity? Entwined with arguments over locations are debates over reasons for domestication.

Both to give and to receive gifts increased prestige in the eyes of the kings and of the public. The ideology of gifts based on disinterest and on more valuable return gifts was formally expressed, but actually contradicted by miserable bargains and obvious greed. Gifts were just the tip of the iceberg when compared to normal trade exchange. It has been calculated that the biggest amount of copper sent as a gift from the king of Cyprus to the pharaoh was just 5 percent of the copper found in a single cargo shipwrecked off the coast of Turkey.

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