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By P. R. S. Moorey

This can be the 1st systematic try and survey intimately the archaeological proof for the crafts and craftsmanship of the Sumerians, Babylonians, and Assyrians in historic Mesopotamia (c. 8000-300 BC). P.R.S. Moorey stories in brief the textual proof, and is going directly to study 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 entire bibliography, this generously illustrated quantity might be a key paintings of reference for archaeologists and people attracted to the early background of crafts and know-how, in addition to for experts within the historical close to East.

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Woolley 1934: pis. 248-9: types 79, 85-6, 9nb, 91b) found at such sites as Kish, Mari, Telloh, Susa, and Ur. As this case indicates, in any attempt to identify the location of Sumer's stone resources in the absence of definitive geological indicators general comparisons with the use of stone at Susa are instructive. It is remarkable that here, in much closer proximity to the Zagros Mountains and the Iranian plateau (but rather less accessible for Gulf regions), in the fourth and third millennia, local stonework is predominantly in limestone and gypsum.

These were set into cavities, secured with bitumen either as horizontal or vertical bands, or as rosettes or geometrical shapes (cf. N61deke 1936: pI. 24g; Heinrich 1936: pI. 25). Unusual stones, the grey-green lavas (Orthman et al. 1975: pI. X) or the dark-coloured 'slates', were used for open bowls cut on the exterior with recesses for the reception of coloured inlays. Similar decorative techniques were used in the manufacture of animal statuettes at this time (cf. Behm-B1ancke 1979: no. 5: colour plate).

As has already been suggested, the finest carved stone vessels belong to the final phase of the prehistoric period, Vertesalji and Kolbus (198s: 89) have noted that in the first part of the Early Dynastic period, and perhaps longer, certain pottery types (IN 16,31,33,34,35, and 36) imitate stone vessel shapes. They interpret this as indicative of scarcity of raw materials at this time: 'it may be considered as a general characteristic of Ur and its South Babylonian region at the beginning of the Early Dynastic'.

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