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    Renfrew, Colin 1996. Kings, tree rings and the Old World. Nature, Vol. 381, Issue. 6585, p. 733.

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Book description

Volumes I and II of The Cambridge Ancient History have had to be entirely rewritten as a result of the very considerable additions to knowledge which have accrued in the past forty-five years. For the same reason it has also been necessary to increase the size of the volumes and to divide each of them into two separately published parts. The individual chapters have already appeared as fascicles, but without maps, indexes and chronological tables which, for practical reasons, have been reserved for these volumes. Some additions and corrections have also been made in order to bring the text, as far as possible, up to date. Together the new volumes provide a history of Egypt and the Ancient Orient (including Greece and the Aegean region) down to 1000 BC in a form suitable for both specialist and student. Volume II, Part I, deals with the history of the region from about 1800 to 1380 BC. This was the era of Hammurabi in Western Asia, the Hyksos and warrior-kings of the Eighteenth Dynasty in Egypt, and the Minoan and early Mycenaean civilizations in Crete and mainland Greece.

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Page 1 of 2


  • CHAPTER I - NORTHERN MESOPOTAMIA AND SYRIA
    pp 1-41
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521082303.002
  • View abstract
    Summary
    This chapter covers the history of Northern Mesopotamia and Syria during the period 1800-1380 BC. When Hammurabi ascended the throne another centralized empire already occupied the whole of northern Mesopotamia: it was the personal creation of Shamshi-Adad I. Iakhdunlim had laid the foundations of Mari's greatness. In a building-record, Iakhdunlim recalls the triumphant campaign he had waged on the Mediterranean coast and in the mountains, from which he had brought back valuable timber. The chapter discusses the two Syrian kingdoms, Qatna and Iamkhad, and at the other extremity of the Fertile Crescent, in the region beyond the Tigris, the kingdom of Eshnunna. The Hurrians had already penetrated into northern Mesopotamia in the Sargonic period. However, under the Third Dynasty of Ur, their main centres of population were still to the east of the Tigris. The situation does not appear to have changed during the period of the Mari documents.
  • CHAPTER II - EGYPT: FROM THE DEATH OF AMMENEMES III TO SEQENENRE II
    pp 42-76
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521082303.003
  • View abstract
    Summary
    This chapter covers the history of Egypt from the death of Ammenemes III to Seqenenre II, and begins with a discussion on the last years of the Twelfth Dynasty. The last ruler of the Twelfth Dynasty, the Female Horus, was probably a daughter of Ammenemes III and a sister or half-sister of Ammenemes IV. It is now generally recognized that the Hyksos domination of Egypt would have resulted from the infiltration into the Delta during the declining years of the Middle Kingdom of groups of several different western Asiatic peoples. Besides assuming the Egyptian throne-name, Seuserenre, and the traditional kingly titles, 'the Good God' and 'the Son of Re', Khyan concocted for himself the Horus name, 'Embracer-of-Regions', suggestive of world-wide domination. The chapter also presents a note on the recovery of the Theban kingdom, from the Seventeenth Dynasty to the death of Seqenenre II. Fifteen Upper Egyptian sites have yielded graves that are shallow, pan-like cavities.
  • CHAPTER III - PALESTINE IN THE MIDDLE BRONZE AGE
    pp 77-116
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521082303.004
  • View abstract
    Summary
    This chapter covers the history of Palestine in the Middle Bronze Age, and begins with a discussion on the characteristics, distribution and origin of the region during the period. A salient point concerning Middle Bronze I is the appearance of a completely new repertory of pottery forms. The pottery of the Early Bronze-Middle Bronze is almost uniformly drab in colour with a rough finish. General spread of the culture took place in Middle Bronze II, when a large number of the places that had been towns in the Early Bronze Age once more attained that status. The chapter describes the evidence derived from the excavation of the most important sites. Though the town Jericho was small and of this only a very small part has survived, an exceptionally large number of tombs has been excavated, and these, combined with evidence from the excavated part of the town.
  • (a) - GREECE AND THE AEGEAN ISLANDS IN THE MIDDLE BRONZE AGE
    pp 117-140
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521082303.005
  • View abstract
    Summary
    This chapter covers the history of Greece and the Aegean islands during the Middle Bronze Age. It begins with a survey of raw materials of the inquiry, and then proceeds to a brief consideration of their historical setting. Remains of Middle Helladic habitations have been found abundantly in central and southern Greece. In the islands, material that can be defined as Middle Cycladic has come from a score of sites. The chapter then discusses the people who settled in these regions, including their race and language. One group of incursions is that of the people who are called as Middle Helladic, the makers of grey Minyan ring-stemmed goblets and kantharoi and of Matt-painted pottery. The existence in later times of distinct Greek dialects has led to speculation that several waves of early Greek-speaking people immigrated successively and branched into different parts of the peninsula.
  • (b) - THE MATURITY OF MINOAN CIVILIZATION
    pp 141-164
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521082303.006
  • View abstract
    Summary
    This chapter covers Minoan civilization and begins with a discussion on the chronology of the Early Palace Period. The Early Palace Period and the Middle Bronze Age both begin with Middle Minoan I. The absolute chronology of the Minoan periods is fixed by relations with Egypt and the Near East. The chapter then describes the palaces of the Minoan civilization. Of the three great palaces at Cnossus, Mallia and Phaestus, those at Cnossus and Phaestus rest on older settlements which reach back to the Neolithic Age. The remains of the Early Palace Period in Crete have historical as well as archaeological implications. Shortly after Minoan civilization reached its height, the leadership began to pass to the Mycenaean mainland. In the light of this development which was to ensue, one may regard the Early Palace Period, mature though it was in relation to the past, as an archaic phase leading to the high level of pre-Greek classicism.
  • (c) - CYPRUS IN THE MIDDLE BRONZE AGE
    pp 165-175
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521082303.007
  • View abstract
    Summary
    This chapter covers the history of Cyprus during the Middle Bronze Age, and begins with a discussion on the Middle Cypriot Period. Middle Cypriot I and Middle Cypriot II periods are known only from the evidence of cemeteries. Next, the chapter discusses the settlements in the Middle Cypriot II period. Middle Cypriot III, in addition to information from tombs, has settlement evidence from Kalopsidha and Nitovikla. The Middle Cypriot period saw the accomplishment of the preliminaries for a major reorientation of the chief centres of population. The chapter then discusses the material culture in the Middle Cypriot period. Treatment of the dead during the Middle Cypriot period continued a general tradition hallowed by generations of Early Bronze Age practice. Cemeteries like those at Vounous, Lapithos, Dhenia and Politiko continued in uninterrupted use from Early Cyprus well into Middle Cyprus. The chapter ends with a note on the Cyprus and her neighbours in the Middle Bronze Age.
  • CHAPTER V - HAMMURABI AND THE END OF HIS DYNASTY
    pp 176-227
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521082303.008
  • View abstract
    Summary
    This chapter talks about Hammurabi and the end of his dynasty, and begins with a note on the events during his reign. The middle years of Hammurabi's reign display the same condition of uneasy truce between Babylon and its other eventual enemies. With Eshnunna there were various exchanges, generally hostile, but sometimes of a kind which caused uneasiness to the envoys of Mari. Next, the chapter deals with the rule of Hammurabi. He was for the greater part of his reign no more than a struggling aspirant, but was an able and assiduous manager of his kingdom, and, above all, a lawgiver. The chapter then discusses the state of the land and people under his rule, and first place may be given to the economic conditions as they are reflected in the laws and in the private documents which survive from this period in such extent and variety.
  • CHAPTER VI - ANATOLIA c. 1750–1600 B.C.
    pp 228-255
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521082303.009
  • View abstract
    Summary
    This chapter covers the history of Anatolia during the period circa 1750-1600 BC, and begins with a discussion on the sources of evidence. The key sites are Kültepe (ancient Kanesh) and Boğazköy (ancient Khattusha), with Alişar (possibly ancient Ankuwa) of secondary importance. Next, the chapter discusses Anatolia's people and the languages they spoke. Archaeological and toponymic evidence have suggested that the first Indo-European elements, the Luwians, may have arrived in Anatolia from the west at the beginning of the Early Bronze Age. Hittite, like Luwian, is a language of Indo-European structure but with a strong admixture of non-Indo-European vocabulary. A change of dynasty at Kushshar explains the flouting of the curse of Anitta by the reoccupation of Khattusha. Throughout the Hittite period local communities preserved their individuality, though in consequence of the unification of the country under the dynasty of Khattusha, the many local kings (Assyrian rubaum) attested during the period of the Assyrian Merchants, had been eliminated.
  • CHAPTER VII - PERSIA c. 1800–1550 B.C.
    pp 256-288
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521082303.010
  • View abstract
    Summary
    This chapter covers the history of Persia during the period circa 1800-1550 BC, and begins with a discussion on the dynasty of the rulers of Elam. The history of Persia at the time when the First Dynasty of Babylon held sway in Mesopotamia seems to narrow itself down to the history of Elam, and indeed almost down to the history of Susiana, the Elamite plain which bordered on Mesopotamia. Next, the chapter traces the picture of the legal system in ancient Elam. Since the sources for the history of Persia in the Old Babylonian period consist above all of legal texts, knowledge of the political development of Elam under the grand regents undoubtedly remains fragmentary. However, these very texts make it possible to give a relatively detailed picture of the Elamite legal system, especially with regard to Civil Law. Knowledge about Elamite penal law is obtained from the sanctions with which those breaking agreements are threatened.
  • CHAPTER VIII - EGYPT: FROM THE EXPULSION OF THE HYKSOS TO AMENOPHIS I
    pp 289-312
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521082303.011
  • View abstract
    Summary
    This chapter covers the history of Egypt from the expulsion of the Hyksos till the reign of Amenophis I, and begins with a discussion on the campaigns of Kamose. The historical documents which recount the campaigns of Kamose, the son and successor of Seqenenre II, against the Hyksos, comprise two stelae set up in the Temple of Karnak. Next, the chapter discusses the expulsion of Hyksos by Amosis. When Amosis eventually resumed the war against the Hyksos, he may already have been the Prince of Thebes for some time. The only contemporary account of the final campaigns against the Hyksos is included in the inscription of Ahmose, a soldier. The chapter also talks about the Nubian chief, also called as the Prince of Khush, and the reoccupation of Nubia. The process of Egyptianization which had started during the period of intensive occupation of Nubia in the Middle Kingdom, was continued, and perhaps deliberately fostered by the Prince of Kush.
  • CHAPTER IX - EGYPT: INTERNAL AFFAIRS FROM TUTHMOSIS I TO THE DEATH OF AMENOPHIS III
    pp 313-416
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521082303.012
  • View abstract
    Summary
    This chapter covers the history of Egypt by focusing on the internal developments starting from the reign of Tuthmosis I till the death of Amenophis III. Egypt during the Eighteenth Dynasty emerged as a predominantly military state under the rule of a king dedicated from early youth to the leadership of his army and navy. During the troubled times of the Second Intermediate Period, Amun of Thebes became the divine champion of Egyptian independence. The chapter then discusses Hatshepsut's expeditions. Hatshepsut trading expedition to Punt and the quarrying and transport of her two pairs of Karnak obelisks stand out among the major achievements of her regime. The enthusiasm displayed by the rulers Egyptians of the New Kingdom for sporting activities such as target shooting, ship handling, and the training and driving of teams of chariot horses, was consistent with the vigorous spirit which brought them success on the field of battle.
  • CHAPTER X - SYRIA c. 1550–1400 B.C.
    pp 417-525
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521082303.013
  • View abstract
    Summary
    This chapter covers the history of Syria during the period circa 1550-1400 BC, and begins with a discussion of the country in the sixteenth century BC. After the dark period, in the sixteenth century, great changes took place: Hurrian names were common in North Syria, and in many cities Hurrians were in control. Next, the chapter deals with the Kassites. The Kassites did not commit their language to writing, and it is known to us only from a few dozen words and a few hundred names. For the last twelve years of Tuthmosis III's reign, no Egyptian army was seen in Syria and the old king, too old for campaigning, remained at home. At the turn of the century, the five great powers of western Asia were in balance. Egypt and Mitanni had an agreed frontier and a close alliance. The chapter also talks about the Egyptians in Retenu.
  • CHAPTER XI - PALESTINE IN THE TIME OF THE EIGHTEENTH DYNASTY
    pp 526-556
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521082303.014
  • View abstract
    Summary
    This chapter covers the history of Palestine in the Eighteenth Dynasty, and begins with a discussion on the historical background. The first event that is likely to have affected Palestine was the expulsion of the Hyksos by Amosis. The dating of the stages of occupation in the Palestinian towns of the Late Bronze Age is almost entirely dependent on pottery. There are no certain criteria for connecting the stratigraphical sequence in most sites with the reconquest of Palestine by the Egyptian rulers of the Eighteenth Dynasty. It is reasonable to suppose that the destruction of Jericho, Tell Beit Mirsim and Shechem is associated with that event. Late Bronze Age settlements also existed in the Jordan Valley at the foot of the eastern hills. A site of especial interest was Deir ʿAllā. The chapter discusses Palestine's history with respect to the evidence available from the sites.
  • CHAPTER XII - THE ZENITH OF MINOAN CIVILIZATION
    pp 557-581
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521082303.015
  • View abstract
    Summary
    This chapter covers the history of Minoan civilization, and begins by discussing the chronology of the Late Palace Period. Knowledge of the period is based almost entirely upon evidence provided by the monuments, and among them the palaces give the most obvious indication of changes in the development of Crete and in her external relations. Of the Minoan state and Minoan monarchy, the only certain fact is that the development of a centralized system with a prince at its head continues. The peculiarity of Minoan pictures lies in the ability to conjure up an appearance of life, a vision, and not in an attempt to recreate existence. This quality marks a fundamental difference between the character of the Minoans and that of the Orient. Among the workshops which functioned inside the palaces the excavations have revealed potteries and the workshops of lapidaries as well as weaving-rooms.
  • CHAPTER XIII - THE LINEAR SCRIPTS AND THE TABLETS AS HISTORICAL DOCUMENTS
    pp 582-626
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521082303.016
  • View abstract
    Summary
    This chapter on historical documents such as linear scripts and tablets, is divided into two parts. The first part deals with Minoan literacy and Mycenean literacy, and the second one part discusses the historical evidence provided by Linear B tablets. The chapter discusses Minoan-Mycenaean literacy with respect to unspoken signs and marks. These include potter's marks, mason's marks, personal signs, pictographic script, and Phaestus disks. Linear B tablets are so far known from four sites including Cnossus, which is the first site to yield them, and which has produced more than 3,000 tablets. The difficulties in the way of interpreting these documents are such that archaeologists have been frightened of making much use of the information they can contribute. The basic historical fact which emerges from the tablets is the presence of the Greek language in Mycenaean Greece; all doubts about the Greekness of the Late Helladic masters of Greece can be set aside.
  • CHAPTER XIV - THE RISE OF MYCENAEAN CIVILIZATION
    pp 627-658
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521082303.017
  • View abstract
    Summary
    This chapter deals with Mycenean civilization, and begins with a discussion on the nature of evidence. Mycenaean archaeology grew from the desire to explore sites, Troy and Mycenae, first associated with a remembered event in history. At Mycenae, in the famous Shaft Graves, one can observe those changes in material civilization which mark off Late Helladic or Mycenaean from Middle Helladic. Several objects among their contents, a crystal bowl in the form of a duck, a box of Egyptian sycamore with appliqué ivory figures of dogs, are imports from Egypt; the influence of Egyptian mummy-casings has been suggested to account for the gold masks. The legendary conquest of Danaus, and the arrival of a new dynasty at Mycenae, which seems necessary to explain the efflorescence of material culture one observes in the Mycenae Shaft Graves, may be regarded as one and the same thing. A historical context for Pelops can be found in Mycenaean times only.
  • CHAPTER XV - ANATOLIA c. 1600–1380 b.c.
    pp 659-685
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521082303.018
  • View abstract
    Summary
    This chapter discusses the history of Anatolia during the period circa 1600-1380 BC, and begins with a discussion on the Old Hittite kingdom from the moment when an usurper first assumed the throne by violent means. The figure of this ancient ruler dominates the period of the Old Kingdom, down to the accession of Telepinush, principally on account of this much fuller documentation. Next, the chapter discusses the Middle Hittite kingdom. The moderate successes achieved by Telepinush, especially the friendly relations which he established with Kizzuwadna, appear to have been shortlived. During the reigns of his successors the power of Mitanni reached its peak under Saustatar, and a Mitannian empire became established over the whole of northern Syria. The layer of Troy VI in the central area of the citadel was almost entirely cut away in Hellenistic or Roman times when a broad open square was laid out about the Temple of Athena.
  • CHAPTER XVI - THE ARCHAEOLOGICAL EVIDENCE OF THE SECOND MILLENNIUM B.C. ON THE PERSIAN PLATEAU
    pp 686-715
  • https://doi.org/10.1017/CHOL9780521082303.019
  • View abstract
    Summary
    This chapter discusses the archaeological evidence of the second millennium BC on the Persian plateau, and begins with a discussion of the evidence relating to the late third and early second millennia BC. In north-eastern Persia, a grey pottery ceramic tradition, formed either from the indigenous painted pottery tradition, or with elements added, perhaps from the west, has been found at the excavated sites of ShāhTepe, Tureng Tepe, and Yarim Tepe. A second ceramic tradition existed in the central western Persian from the middle third until the early first millennium BC. This was the Giyān IV-III tradition. The early stage of this ceramic, represented by the Giyān IV style of painted pottery, has been found in the area from Nihāvand south to Burūjird. During the third millennium, the Gurgan Grey Ware and the earliest Giyān IV-III Culture were separated by the intrusion south-eastward from eastern Anatolia and southern Transcaucasia of the Yanik pottery.

Page 1 of 2


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