Encyclopedia of Global Archaeology

2014 Edition
| Editors: Claire Smith

Empire in the Ancient Near East, Archaeology of

  • Craig W. Tyson
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-1-4419-0465-2_2298


The ancient Near East was home to the world’s earliest empires emanating from the great centers of civilization in Egypt, Mesopotamia, and Anatolia. The earliest empires date to the end of the third millennium BCE when Sargon of Akkad and his dynasty (c. 2350–2193 BCE), and later the kings from the Third Dynasty of Ur (2111–2004 BCE), integrated large parts of Mesopotamia and projected their influence even further. The second millennium BCE saw the rise and fall of a number of smaller empires that were often vying for political, military, and economic advantage. The Late Bronze Age (c. 1550–1200 BCE) in particular saw continuous competition for territory and power between the Hittites, Assyrians, Babylonians, Mittani, and Egypt. The collapse of the economic and political system at the end of the Late Bronze Age brought a period of economic and political reshuffling that would eventually give way to the classic “world empires” of the first millennium BCE: the Neo-Assyrian...

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Further Reading

  1. Alcock, S. E., T.N. D’Altroy, K.D. Morrison & C.M. Sinopoli. (ed.) 2001. Empires: perspectives from archaeology and history. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  2. D’Altroy, T. N. 1992. Provincial power in the Inka empire. Washington (DC): Smithsonian Institution Press.Google Scholar
  3. Morris, I. & W. Scheidel. 2010. The dynamics of ancient empires: state power from Assyria to Byzantium. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  4. Smith, M. E. & L. Montiel. 2001. The archaeological study of empires and imperialism in pre-Hispanic central Mexico. Journal of Anthropological Archaeology 20: 245–84.Google Scholar
  5. Van De Mieroop, M. 2007. A history of the ancient Near East ca. 3000–323, 2nd edn. Malden (MA): Blackwell Publishing.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media New York 2014

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.D’Youville CollegeBuffaloUSA