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Society became increasingly organized in the Middle East and North Africa in the first millennium B.C.E., but—says University of Oklahoma history professor Daniel Snell—not all that organized. In a lecture based on his new book, “Life in the Ancient Near East: Lives of Ordinary People, 3100-332 B.C.E.,” Snell argues that the newly codified laws were not consistently enforced, and that the roles of slaves and forced laborers were diverse. He’ll discuss the origins of modern nationalism in the ancient kingdoms of Egypt, Israel, and Iran, and contest the widespread assumption that the Egyptian pyramids were built by slave labor. At 8 p.m. at the Hirshhorn Museum & Sculpture Garden’s Ring Auditorium, 7th & Independence Ave. SW. $13. For reservations call (202) 357-3030. (Mark Jenkins)