The best Mesopotamia books 📚

Browse the best books on Mesopotamia as recommended by authors, experts, and creators. Along with notes on why they recommend those books.

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Book cover of Dawn of Empire

Dawn of Empire

By Sam Barone

Why this book?

I read it some 15 years ago… yet when I close my eyes I can still see Eskkar and Trella and their small band, smell the heat and dust of Mesopotamia. Surrounded by marauding raiders, they must use their wits and will to survive in order to build the earliest of walled cities. Tense and beautifully immersive, Barone’s ‘Dawn of Empire’ is unique and memorable – perfect escapism!
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Book cover of Age of Kings (Great Ages of Man)

Age of Kings (Great Ages of Man)

By Charles Blitzer

Why this book?

Another series. When I was a kid, Time-Life Magazines ran a kind of book club. My family had several complete sets—The Seafarers, The Old West, the Science Library. We used to joke that Time-Life Books were the source of all knowledge. 21 titles in the Great Ages of Man series cover the entire span of civilization from ancient Mesopotamia to the 20th Century, each an overview of its period. For The Last Viking I used Barbarian Europe and Byzantium, but Age of Kings is my favorite; I’ve always been fascinated by the violent, glorious 17th…
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Book cover of Inanna, Lady of Largest Heart: Poems of the Sumerian High Priestess Enheduanna

Inanna, Lady of Largest Heart: Poems of the Sumerian High Priestess Enheduanna

By Betty De Shong Meador

Why this book?

Scholars have disagreed when written records become literature, yet the earliest literary authors known by name are Ptahhotep (who wrote in Egyptian) and Enheduanna (who wrote in Sumerian), dating to around 2400 BC. Enheduanna is the earliest known Female Poet. She was the High Priestess of the goddess Inanna and the moon god Nanna (Sin). She lived in the Sumerian city-state of Ur in Syria. So this would be my 3rd recommendation for all the researchers of Ancient History.

Enheduanna's contributions to Sumerian literature, include the collection of hymns known as the "Sumerian Temple Hymns", 37 tablets to be exact,…

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Book cover of Come, Tell Me How You Live

Come, Tell Me How You Live

By Agatha Christie Mallowan

Why this book?

The title sums up what archaeologists are trying to do when they excavate a site. In this short book, Agatha Christie provides ‘an inconsequent chronicle’ of five archaeological field seasons in Mesopotamia in the 1930s, in the course of which she gently and wittily reveals a picture of the British working abroad between the Wars – a way of working that now seems as distant as the period she was uncovering.

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Book cover of Under the Hood: Fire Up and Fine-Tune Your Employee Culture

Under the Hood: Fire Up and Fine-Tune Your Employee Culture

By Stan Slap

Why this book?

Stan captures the essence of the mindset needed to Collaborate. To quote Slap: “When an employee culture is repositioned as a newly precious, workable asset, a company will naturally protect it, same as with any asset. An employee culture can’t be protected without protecting their humanity. If we lose humanity in business, we’re all doomed. If we save it we will have saved ourselves. In case you fear this icy hand of altruism will grip your own company by the throat and choke the life out of revenue, not to worry: We’re talking here about making the business case for…

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Book cover of Perilous Glory: The Rise of Western Military Power

Perilous Glory: The Rise of Western Military Power

By John France

Why this book?

John France has a knack for making the history of war interesting and readable, without taking away its gore and horror, without making you think it in any way romantic or desirable. The title already captures it: the book is largely about the rise of Europe (or later: the West) on the back of military prowess, but at what perilous price! The book aptly traces military traditions and continuity of ideas and concepts, but also profound changes, from Antiquity to the present, giving us a grasp of the essence of warfare during different periods. This book can be said to…

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