‘Archaeology and environment’ introduces the civilization of the ancient Near East. The region is known as the ‘cradle of civilization’ as the men and women who lived in the ancient Near East were able for a long time to live peacefully in dense urban environments. They found ways through law and culture to thrive. Most of the achievements of this time were sadly lost after the conquest of Persia only to be reborn more recently through archaeological excavations. This period is fascinating because of the way that its history was lost and reemerged.