Review of Earliest Civilizations of the Near East (1965)

James Mellaart (writer).

Read in 2016.

No doubt a fine introduction in its time. Read for entertainment 50 years later it still evokes a sense of awe. The tower of Jericho alone, some 10000 years old (here still dated as 9000, originally less than 4000) and looking practically medieval boggles the mind. So many great structures raised and buried beneath one another—26 plaster floors in sequence!—before the invention of rope or the carpenter’s square: enchantingly organic “straight” lines and weird angles in the floor plans.

non-fiction text