Modern-day archaeological discoveries in the Near East continue to illuminate our understanding of the ancient world, including the many contributions made by the people of Mesopotamia to literature, art, government, and urban life The Handbook to Life in Ancient Mesopotamia describes the culture, history, and people of this land, as well as their struggle for survival and happiness, from about 3500 to 500 BCE. Mesopotamia was the home of a succession of glorious civilizations--Sumeria, Babylonia, and Assyria--which flourished together for more than three millennia. Sumerian mathematicians devised the sixty-minute hour that still rules our lives; Babylonian architects designed the famed Tower of Babel and the Hanging Gardens of Babylon; Assyrian kings and generals, in the name of imperialism, conducted some of the shrewdest military campaigns in recorded history. Readers will identify with the literary works of these civilizations, such as the Code of Hammurabi and the Epic of Gilgamesh, as they are carried across centuries to a period in time intimately entwined with the story of the Bible. Maps and line drawings provide examples of Mesopotamian geography, while other chapters present the Mesopotamian struggle to create civilized life in a fertile land racked by brutal conquest.