Ancient Egypt and the Near East: An Illustrated History by Marshall Cavendish Corporation

By Marshall Cavendish Corporation

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Uruk potters invented the potter’s wheel—a wooden turntable that rotated, making it much easier to fashion clay pots. Later, the wheel was put to use on a cart that could be pulled by a donkey or mule, introducing arguably the world’s first method of wheeled transportation. 57 (c) 2011 Marshall Cavendish. All Rights Reserved. ANCIENT EGYPT AND THE NEAR EAST BCE. At first, his reign was uneventful. Then, a disastrous incursion by the tribes that the wall was meant to keep out resulted in chaos and a breakdown in internal administration.

Texts discovered by archaeologists list many battles between the two kings. Sargon triumphed eventually and conquered the rest of southern Mesopotamia as well, tearing down the walls of the cities he defeated. Sargon then marched to the edge of the Persian Gulf and washed his weapons in the water to show that he was the master of all the land between Kish and the coast. Sargon built a new capital city on the banks of the Euphrates River. He called the city Akkad (or Agade), and although the remains of the city have never been found, it is believed to have been near the present-day city of Baghdad.

His Akkadians and the people of northern Sumer gradually merged to produce a new, highly advanced civilization that left a considerable and lasting mark on Mesopotamian culture. Sargon’s empire Sargon’s newly erected capital had none of the prestige of Sumer’s ancient cities. Nevertheless, thanks to its position on the Euphrates, Akkad soon became a thriving trading center. People flocked to it from all over the empire, bringing goods such as grain and livestock to trade. At the same time, ships from faraway India and Egypt brought exotic goods to sell.

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