This is the first systematic attempt to survey in detail the archaeological evidence for the crafts and craftsmanship of the Sumerians, Babylonians, and Assyrians in ancient Mesopotamia, covering the period ca. 8000-300 B.C.E. As creators of some of the earliest farming and urban communities known to us, these people were among the first pioneers of many crafts and skills that remain fundamental to modern ways of life. Many of the raw materials for crafts had to be imported from outside the river valley of the Tigris and Euphrates, providing an unusually sensitive indicator of the commercial and cultural contacts of Mesopotamia. In this book, Dr. Moorey reviews briefly the textual evidence, and then goes on to examine in detail the material evidence for a wide range of crafts using stones, both common and ornamental, animal products--from hippopotamus ivory to ostrich egg-shells--ceramics, glazed materials and glass, metals, and building materials. With a comprehensive bibliography, this will be a key work of reference for archaeologists and those interested in the early history of crafts and technology, as well as for specialist historians of the ancient Near East.