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Chapter Summary

The phenomenon of siege warfare in the ancient Near East and in neighbouring regions is reflected in various fields, described in a variety of different extant sources - in written documents, in the plastic arts and in archaeological findings. Some of these sources reflect a military, economic, legal and, to a certain extent, also social reality; others relate to the spiritual world of the participants, their ideologies and their literary and linguistic heritage. Archaeological remnants, non-literary documents and technical descriptions depicted in artistic sources probably bear witness to actual events. This chapter presents a brief survey of the various types of sources, noting characteristics that directly pertain to the study of siege warfare in the ancient Near East. Unlike the literary sources, which are problematic in terms of objectivity and historical reliability, non-literary documents are of special significance. These sources include letters, siege documents, mathematical texts and others.

Keywords: ancient Near East; archaeological findings; literary sources; non-literary documents; plastic arts; siege warfare; written documents



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