My main interest has been the Ancient Near East up until Alexander's conquests (but mainly the early history of Mesopotamia, c.3400-1595 BC) since I was in high school, which is sadly a very underrepresented period in history classes. I think all we learned about the ANE was 'writing was invented there by the Sumerians and that the Persians had a big empire for a while but were defeated by Alexander, now on to three months of talking about the Greeks and Romans.' Thankfully I was already really interested in language back then and was intrigued by the invention of writing, so I bought a book about the Sumerians. I became completely fascinated by their history and culture and began looking up all sorts of things about the ANE. Reading about all these different cultures, kings, wars etc. blew my 15 y/o brain, and I've been completely hooked ever since. I'm currently studying Assyriology and focusing on the Third Dynasty of Ur (c. 2112-2004 BC), though mainly the language.