The Ancient Near East is the first volume of Harcourt Brace's new three volume series on ancient civilizations. Written for the student of history and the general reader, this study of the civilization of the ancient Near East brings together the findings of historians, anthropologists, linguists, geographers, art historians, scientists, and other specialists. It begins with an examination of prehistory, and then focuses on social and cultural themes while broadly outlining Near Eastern political and military developments. The book is intended to be thought provoking and does not shy away from controversial issues and topics. Volume Two on the Ancient Greeks and Volume Three on the Ancient Romans will follow in 1998.