In this review of DK Eyewitness Mesopotamia I will share my thoughts of this book which is a mainstay in so many homeschool libraries. We have returned to this book time and time again, especially when working on our Ancient Mesopotamia Unit Study. In keeping with most DK Eyewitness books, Mesopotamia is filled with many outstanding, full colour photos. These offer a visual presentation of the history of the land known as the cradle of civilisation.
Basic Details of DK Eyewitness: Mesopotamia
Philip Steele is the author of Mesopotamia, and DK published it in 2007 (ISBN: 9780756629724). It is 294 x 227 mm and 72 pages long and comes with a poster and a CD containing clip art. The book includes a timeline of the history of Mesopotamia, an A-Z of famous people and ancient sites, as well as a glossary of terms.
In similarity with other Eyewitness books, Dk has set out the book in characteristic double spreads. Each covers a particular topic. These topics include basic geographical information, religion, writing and the well-known epic of Gilgamesh…and much, much more. There are 29 chapters/topics which together offer a broad coverage of the regions history.
The Double-Spread Topic Pages
In this review of Dk Eyewitness Mesopotamia I will outline the characteristics of each double spread. As I mentioned, each topic is clearly marked with two pages filled with magnificent photos and enough information to whet your appetite. There may be drawings to illustrate how something was and photos of the ancient sites to show what is available to see now, and snippets of writing to show how we can learn from it. Any artefacts that can be linked to the topic are shown in clear photographic detail and their significance explained.
In fact, I would say that the images are the thing that makes this book stand out among others. Each double spread contains on average about seven high quality images, mainly photographs. It is a bit like having a museum at your finger tips. Also, these photos are primary evidence which makes them very useful for encouraging discussions and critical thought.
In addition to the images, each topic is explained and the key information given. The information given is fascinating and informative. This comprehensive overview of each topic makes this book an excellent teaching resource.
How Much Does the Book Cover?
The book covers around 4000 years of Mesopotamia, bringing together the history of all the civilisations which lived there. From the Sumerians to the Akkadians and the Babylonians to the Assyrians, Steele offers interesting, pertinent facts. In addition, he makes interesting and relevant choices for the accompanying photographs.
Subjects such as gods and goddesses and death and the afterlife are covered sensitively and accordingly for the targeted audience. Links to other cultures and writings such as the Bible and the Armarna letters helps the reader to link together any prior knowledge of other civilisations.
Do I recommend ‘Mesopotamia’?
Yes, I really do! I love the Eyewitness books and often use them as a spring board for our unit studies. This book is perfect to use with ages 6-12 years for learning purposes. That said, both younger and older children are likely to enjoy perusing them because of the excellent images. However, for older teens and adults I suspect this book wouldn’t have enough information for in-depth study.
I give this book ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️