What all of the cultures considered in this chapter have in common is that they were more dynamic and, in the case of the empires, more powerful than earlier Mesopotamian (and even Egyptian) states. In a sense, the empires of the Bronze Age and, especially, the Iron Age represented different experiments in how to build and maintain larger economic systems and political units than had been possible earlier. The other major change is that it now becomes possible to discuss and examine the interactions between the various kingdoms and empires, not just what happened with them internally, since the entire region from Greece to Mesopotamia was now in sustained contact through trade, warfare, and diplomacy.
Likewise, some of the ideas and beliefs that originated in the Bronze and Iron Ages - most obviously Judaism - would go on to play a profound role in shaping the subsequent history of not just Western Civilization, but much of world history. Monotheism and the concept of the essential spiritual equality of human beings began as beliefs among a tiny minority of people in the ancient world, but they would go on to become enormously influential in the long run.
Image Citations (Wikimedia Commons):
Hittite Empire - Crates
Mask of Agamemnon - Jebulon
Bronze Age collapse - Alexikoua
Assyrian Empire - Nigyou
Israel and Judah - FinnWikiNo