Mesopotamia and the Assyrians

So my mother wants nothing for Xmas but a good book on Mesopotamia and/or the Assyrians. While i wouldn’t expect the local bookstore to have scads of these lying about, i was hoping for at least a smattering. Alas, it appears that ancient history begins and ends with either the Egyptians or the Romans. As such, i’m going to have to forage the online sites. As i can’t paw through these learned tomes to try to separate the wheat from the chaff (a most enjoyable pastime), i ask for any references from those who may know a thing or two about the subject.

You have my sincere thanks…

Does she want fiction or non-fiction?

Yossarian in Catch-22 was Assyrian, it was mentioned once or twice, but the story never did much with that.

Barnes & Noble always has books on Mesopotamia in their history section. Just check under “Ancient History” and you’ll see Egypt, Greece, Mespotamia, and others. Heck, go to their website and type “Mesopotamia” into the search engine and you get tons of good hits.


Maybe you can find something on this site.

The archaeology department at the University of Pennsylvania is one of the most noted in the field of Near Eastern archaeology; the museum there also has a world-renowned collection in Sumerian art. (Have you heard of the “treasures of Ur”? it was a joint excavation between the British Museum and UPenn… half the collection is in London, the other half is in Philadelphia.)

The museum publications department there has a wide range of books from catalogues of the collection (which might be nice… history and pretty pictures) and indepth archaeological analysis of various sites. You can find the website here:

I’d call and ask for an opinion, they are normally quite good about things like that. If you want to pick something yourself, Hiebert’s work in Central Asian (is that too far away) is quite good, Oren’s Sea Peoples is fantastic if she’s familiar with the area’s history (I’d actually LOVE this book for myself), Zettler is good, too. In fact, he’s the curator of the Near Eastern collections (or was) and wrote the catalogue for the Treasures of Ur exhibit, so I think that would be a great choice.

(Disclaimer… I’m not actually Ender, but his girlfriend trolling! But, I have a degree in anthro from Penn and used the work in the department, so I thought I’d help you out. These are wonderful books, but will be pricey, unless you go for the Treasures catalogue. And, no: I no longer work there! Bonne chance!)

Hehe, sweet. Can’t imagine such a thing. My mom wants a comfortable pair of shoes. :slight_smile:

The poster posing as Enderw24,
Thank you for the information. I will ring up the U and order and have shipped post-haste the Zettler; while not exactly what she has in mind (more words, less pictures) i believe that she will really enjoy it. If you do happen to know of a book heavy on the history and a bit lighter on the archeology, by all means, don’t hold your tongue!

I did scope out a couple of the local B&N shops here, but found nothing. A quick perusal of their website gives titles too numerous to mention without information sufficient to differentiate the diamond from the paste. As the sum total of my knowledge on the subject can be recorded on the head of a pin with a 2" brush, i feel that i am not adequate to the task. More’s the pity…

Operation Ripper Good luck on the comfortable pair of shoes, methinks my task is far the easier!

Again, thank you for the assistance and the happiest of holidays one and all.

Fiat Lux,

Harry Turtledove wrote a historical novel (with some fantasy elements) set in ancient Mesopotamia, Between The Rivers.

One of my favorite books by him. The fantasy element is that gods walk the earth but their power is slowly weakening due to the rise in technology. He never actually says “Mesopotamia” as a place name but in a conversation I had with him at a Con, he did say that the characters’ names were consistent in that area at that time, the geography less so. Holding a doctorate in Byzantine history, he should know.

Oh. And I just gotta say: Mesopotamia and the Assyrians Band name!