****Please Title Essay, “Near East Essay”*****
**** Textbook: Western Civilations Joshua Cole, Carol Symes 20th Edition

Read chapter one and two in the textbook. Answer the following questions in the required lengths listed below. This essay assignment has several parts. YOU SHOULD ANSWER ALL THE QUESTIONS AS PART OF ONE ESSAY. YOUR ANSWER WON’T NECESSARILY BE LINKED WITH EACH OTHER. Simply answer one question in a several paragraphs and move onto the next question. Also briefly incorporate the two primary sources into your answer if you can. Remember, as a historian you should think like a prosecuting attorney. You want to argue your case to the jury base on evidence. You want to make a compelling argument to convince the reader that your conclusions are well-thought out and fair. Make sure you state a thesis in the first paragraph of the essay.

You must answer this question in 1,200-1,800 words, and citations are not necessary:
How was Ancient Mesopotamia characteristic of civilization in general? Or to put it another way, what are the political and cultural hallmarks of this civilization? Why is it the first society in which detailed historical study is possible? You should make references from the Uruk Period down to the Old Babylonian Period under Hammurabi (4300-1750 BC). There are lots of topics to write about: politics, religion, society, economy, art,etc. Simply stated, this part of the essay is asking you to engage with the history of Mesopotamia and to write a summary of your understanding of it’s civilization/history through an approach that is best for you. Example–mention the earliest cities, cuneiform, the Epic of Gilgamesh, ziggurats, law codes, chronology, etc. Afterwards, briefly discuss the significance of the Assyrian Empire or Persian Empire. If you need an additional topic–let me know how Ancient Israel and the rise of Monotheism fits into the study of the Ancient Near East [this would be optional].
In the final part of your essay, please do the following: Read the excerpts from the Analyzing Primary Sources
A. “The Code of Hammurabi”. What does this law code tell us about the complexities of ancient Mesopotamian society.
B. “The Diplomacy of Mycenaeans and the Hittites”. What does this letter reveal about Late Bronze Age (ca. 1200 BCE) diplomacy.

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