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By P. R. S. Moorey

This is often the 1st systematic try and survey intimately the archaeological facts for the crafts and craftsmanship of the Sumerians, Babylonians, and Assyrians in old Mesopotamia (c. 8000-300 BC). P.R.S. Moorey reports in brief the textual facts, and is going directly to research intimately quite a lot of crafts and fabrics: stones, either universal and decorative, animal items, ceramics, glazed fabrics and glass, metals, and construction fabrics. With a finished bibliography, this generously illustrated quantity could be a key paintings of reference for archaeologists and people drawn to the early background of crafts and expertise, in addition to for experts within the old close to East.

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It is likely that a far higher proportion of these vessels, by definition the finer examples of the genre, were booty or tribute from foreign sources. As Potts (T. F. 1989: 143) has argued, 'stone vessels were not imported into Mesopotamia to fill a gap In local production; both plain and decorated forms were made in Sumer throughout the third millennium exploiting the local supplies of calcium-based stones. ' As these vessels are largely known only from fragments, their proper study is diffIcult.

It is usually fine-grained and may on occasion be slightly translucent. It is sometimes hard to distinguish from marble into which it is metamorphosed under high temperature and press~lfe. It was almost as readily available to vesselMmakers m Mesopotamia as was gypsum, since it is abundant in the hills THE STONEWORKING CRAFTS: THE COMMON STONES and cliffs of the river valley. 5-4): limestone in which some of the calcium has been replaced by magnesium (usually flesh-pink in colour) is reported within Iraq (Mason 1944: 475).

F. 1989: 124 n. 8), particularly when there is no clear indication of an Egyptian connection in any other evidence and when connections in stone vase manufacture are in general with the east rather than with the west at this time. In order to correct any tendency to see the marked increase in vessels of calcite in Early Dynastic III in Iranian terms alone it must be pointed out that there are shapes at this time specific to Mesopotamia. These include necked bottles, flasks, and globular jars (c!.

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