For many historians, military history began in Classical Greece. Chronologically, however, half of recorded military history occurred before the rise Greeks rose to military predominance. In this groundbreaking and fascinating study, William J. Hamblin synthesises current knowledge of early ancient Near Eastern military history in an accessible way, from the Neolitihic era until the Middle Bronze Ages.
Drawing on an extensive range of textual, artistic and archaeological data, Warfare in the Ancient Near East to 1600 BC offers a detailed analysis of the military technology, ideology and practices of Near Eastern warfare focusing on key topics including recruitment and training of the infantry; the logistics and weaponry of warfare, with emphasis on the shift from stone to metal weapons; the role played by magic; narratives of combat and artistic representations of battle; the origins and development of the chariot as a mode of military transportation; fortifications and siegecraft; and developments in naval warfare. Hamblin pays particular attention to the earliest known examples of holy war ideology in Mesopotamia and Egypt and argues that this era laid the foundation for later Near Eastern concepts of holy war, and that such understandings remain of vital significance in the world today.
Beautifully illustrated, including maps of the region, this book is essential for experts and non-specialists alike.