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Mountains and Lowlands:
Ancient Iran and Mesopotamia

Paul Collins

Publisher:Ashmolean Museum
ISBN: 9781910807088
Territory: World excluding Australia
Pages: 200
Illustrations: colour:117
Dimensions:264 mm x 197mm
Paperback with flaps
Price: $22.50
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A unique general survey of the history of ancient Mesopotamia (modern Iraq) and Iran from 6000 BC-AD 650, told through objects. New photography of objects in the Ashmolean Museum's collection is included, along with six specially commissioned maps Ancient Mesopotamia and Iran are usually treated separately or as part of a much broader 'Ancient Near East'. However, the developments that lie at the root of our own world - farming, cities, writing, organised religion, warfare - were forged in the tensions and relations between the inhabitants of lowland Mesopotamia (ancient Iraq) and the highlands of Iran.

Mountains and Lowlands explores this relationship providing a detailed but accessible account covering the period 6000 BC-AD 650, from the development of the first agricultural communities to the coming of Islam. The story is told through the superlative Ancient Near Eastern collections in the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford, supplemented by images of photographs of archaeological sites and of iconic pieces in other collections including the Louvre, Paris. The discussion is further supported by six maps commissioned especially for this publication.



  • 1. Introduction
  • 2. From Village to City: 6000-3000 BC
  • 3. From City to Kingdom: 3000-1500 BC
  • 4. From Kingdom to Empire: 1500-500 BC
  • 5. From India to Egypt: 500 BC-AD 650
  • Dr Paul Collins is the Jaleh Hearn Curator for the Ancient Near East in the Antiquities Department of the Ashmolean Museum, University of Oxford. He is also a Fellow of Jesus College and Wolfson College, Oxford as well as a Fellow of the Royal Society of Antiquaries, London, and a Member of the Council of the British Institute for the Study of Iraq.

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