An expedition from the University of Chicago excavated the site of Bismaya (ancient Adab) from December 24, 1903, until late June 1905. The excavations were directed first by Edgar J. Banks and then, briefly, by Victor S. Persons.
The Gorgan Wall stretches for over 200km through northern Iran. Guarded by over 30 forts, it is longer than Hadrians Wall and the Antonine Wall put together and is the most monumental ancient border defence system between Central Europe and China. Yet few have heard of it.
Although the Assyrian kingdom that dominated the Ancient Near East between the ninth and seventh centuries BC had a rich material culture, attested particularly by the distinctive stone wall reliefs and colossal gateway figures, practically nothing is known about Assyrian metalwork.
In the past, textile production was a key part of all ancient societies. The Ancient Near East stands out in this respect with the overwhelming amount of documentation both in terms of raw materials, line of production, and the distribution of finished products.
Lunar calendars suffer from an inherent uncertainty in the length of each month and the number of months in the year. Variable atmospheric conditions, weather and the acuity of the eye of an observer mean that the first sighting of the new moon crescent can never be known in advance.