An examination of the architecture, sculpture, painting and other arts of the major early
civilizations of the Near East, from the Neolithic to ca. 500 B.C. The artistic production
of these cultures will be considered in its historical and social contexts. Competing theories
on such developments as the origins of agriculture and the introduction of writing will be
discussed and assessed. Special emphasis on the interconnections between these cultures, as
well as their points of divergence.