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Terry W. Eddinger

In: 21st Century Anthropology: A Reference Handbook

Chapter 43: Ancient Civilizations

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Ancient Civilizations
Ancient civilizations

Many ancient civilizations have added to our current knowledge, technology, and understanding of the world. Some provide the foundations of modern ideology. The ones covered in this chapter commenced the movement from the very ancient agrarian society to modern culture. They are all geographically located in the Mediterranean Basin or the Middle East and include Mesopotamia (Sumer, Babylonia, and Assyria), Egypt, the Hittite Empire, Persia, Greece, and Rome. (See Table 43.1, “Ancient Civilizations Timeline,” at end of chapter.)


Often called the cradle of civilization, Mesopotamia was the site of the world's first cities. This urban development involved not only just a large group of people living in close proximity but also a revolution in social organization, in farming, and in technology. This cultural ...

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