Misc 5 – An Overview of Bronze Age Mesopotamia

This is a summary of the bronze age in ancient Mesopotamia, covering the years about 3000 BCE to 1200 BCE. This is a review of about 119 episodes of the oldest stories podcast, covering all of season 1 before we move into season 2, which will cover iron age Mesopotamia and their near eastern neighbors.

Those book references for the early bronze age were The Sumerians, by Samuel Noah Kramer, and The Age of Agade, by Benjamin R. Foster. You can find more book suggestions at the book recommendations page.

We sort of skipped over them, but here is the Hittites at their peak around 1300BCE
And here is the near east as a whole around 1325 BCE
This, approximately, is Hammurabi’s empire, different colors reflecting different years of conquest.
The full extent of the Akkadian empire is not always super clear, you should imagine these borders as being super fuzzy, and the location of the city of Akkad itself is just a guess, but this gives an idea for what things looked like circa 2300 BCE. Not sure that the Kassites really belong in those mountains just yet, but like I say, lots of things are really fuzzy this far back.
This isn’t the borders for any particular kingdom, just the area of Sumer itself in the very earliest days.
If I had to go and live in any part of ancient Mesopotamia, I would politely decline, because I don’t like hard work, but if I had to pick a time and place, I would pick one of the bigger cities during the Ur III Period, probably starting around 2070 or so, to make sure I was pretty close to dead by the time the party ends right around 2000 BCE.

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