Bartimaeus has been around for a long time. When he introduces himself, he boasts about his many contribution to history. Uruk refers to a region, a "city" that is located about 155 miles south of Baghdad, and a period in early Mesopotamian history from c. 4200-3300 B.C. when Mesopotamian city-states emerged. Uruk was at one time probably the largest city in the world and remained an important city from the time of the Akkadians through the Seleucids. Uruk had the earliest known colonial system, which was used to support commercial expansion in the Zagros Mountains, Syria, and south-eastern Anatolia. The legendary king Gilgamesh is said to have built the walls around the city of Uruk.
Although badly ruined, no site in Egypt is more impressive than Karnak. It is the largest temple complex ever built by man, and represents the combined achievement of many generations of ancient builders. The Temple of Karnak actually consists of three main temples, smaller enclosed temples, and several outer temples located about three kilometres north of Luxor. Karnak is the site's modern name; its ancient name was Ipet-isut, meaning "The Most Select (or Sacred) of Places". This vast complex was built and enlarged over a thirteen hundred year period. The three main temples of Mut, Montu and Amun are enclosed by enormous brick walls.