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Radner, Karen; Moeller, Nadine and Potts, D.T. (eds.) (4. August 2020): From the beginnings to Old Kingdom Egypt and the dynasty of Akkad. The Oxford history of the ancient Near East, Vol. 1. New York: Oxford University Press.

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This groundbreaking, five-volume series offers a comprehensive, fully illustrated history of Egypt and Western Asia (the Levant, Anatolia, Mesopotamia, and Iran), from the emergence of complex states to the conquest of Alexander the Great. Written by a highly diverse, international team of leading scholars, whose expertise brings to life the people, places, and times of the remote past, the volumes in this series focus firmly on the political and social histories of the states and communities of the ancient Near East. Individual chapters present the key textual and material sources underpinning the historical reconstruction, paying particular attention to the most recent archaeological finds and their impact on our historical understanding of the periods surveyed. Commencing with the domestication of plants and animals, and the foundation of the first permanent settlements in the region, Volume I contains ten chapters that provide a masterful survey of the earliest dynasties and territorial states in the ancient Near East, concluding with the rise of the Old Kingdom in Egypt and the Dynasty of Akkad in Mesopotamia. Politics, ideology, religion, art, crafts, economy, military developments, and the built environment are all examined. Uniquely, emphasis is placed upon elucidating both the internal dynamics of these states and communities, as well as their external relationships with their neighbors in the wider region. The result is a thoughtful, critical, and robust survey of the populations that laid the foundation for all future developments in the ancient Near East.

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