Mesopotamia is a region of southwest Asia in the Tigris and Euphrates river device that benefitted indigenous the area’s climate and also geography to hold the beginnings of human civilization. The is marked by many important creations that adjusted the world, including the concept of time, math, the wheel, sailboats, maps and writing. Mesopotamia is likewise defined by a changing succession of ruling bodies from various areas and also cities the seized manage over a period of thousands of years.

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Where is Mesopotamia?

Mesopotamia is situated in the an ar now recognized as the center East, which contains parts that southwest Asia and lands roughly the eastern Mediterranean Sea. The is part of the abundant Crescent, one area likewise known as “Cradle of Civilization” because that the variety of innovations that developed from the at an early stage societies in this region, i m sorry are among some of the earliest well-known human worlds on earth.

The word “mesopotamia” is formed from the old words “meso,” meaning between or in the center of, and also “potamos,” definition river. Positioned in the fertile valleys between the Tigris and also Euphrates rivers, the an ar is now house to contemporary Iraq, Kuwait, Turkey and also Syria.


Map the Mesopotamia.  Shown space Washukanni, Nineveh, Hatra, Assur, Nuzi, Palmyra, Mari, Sippar, Babylon, Kish, Nippur, Isin, Lagash, Uruk, Charax Spasinu and also Ur, from north to south.

Goran tek-en/Wikimedia Commons/CC BY-SA 4.0

Mesopotamian Civilization

Humans first settled in Mesopotamia in the Paleolithic era. By 14,000 B.C., world in the an ar lived in little settlements v circular houses.

Five thousand years later, these homes formed farming communities following the domestication the animals and the advance of agriculture, many notably watering techniques that took benefit of the proximity of the Tigris and also Euphrates rivers.

Agricultural progression was the work-related of the dominant Ubaid culture, i m sorry had took in the Halaf society before it.

Ancient Mesopotamia

These scattered agrarian neighborhoods started in the northern part of the ancient Mesopotamian an ar and spread out south, proceeding to flourish for number of thousand year until forming what modern-day humans would recognize as cities, which were thought about the work of the Sumer people.

Uruk was the very first of these cities, dating ago to around 3200 B.C. It to be a dirt brick metropolis built on the riches brought from trade and conquest and featured publicly art, giant columns and temples. In ~ its peak, it had actually a populace of part 50,000 citizens.

Sumerians are likewise responsible because that the earliest kind of created language, cuneiform, v which lock kept in-depth clerical records.

READ MORE: 9 ancient Sumerian inventions That adjusted the World

Other ancient people made pottery by hand, but the Sumerians to be the very first to develop the turning wheel, a machine which permitted them to mass-produce it. That permitted them come churn out big numbers of item such as containers because that workers’ rations, type of the old forerunner the Tupperware.

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The Sumerians were using written interaction by 2800 B.C. Lock didn’t collection out come write great literature or document their, however rather to store track the the items that they to be making and also selling.They did that v a system of pictographs, which essentially were illustrations of assorted objects. Eventually, they began to combine pictographs to express ideas and also actions. The pictographs developed into signs that stood because that words and sounds.

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The Sumerians identified how come collect and also channel the overflow that the Tigris and Euphrates rivers—and the wealthy silt the it contained—and then use it to water and fertilize their farm fields. Castle designed complex systems the canals, with dams created of reeds, palm trunks and mud whose gates could be opened up or close up door to control the flow of water.

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The Sumerians didn’t create wheeled vehicles, yet they probably developed the an initial two-wheeled chariot in i m sorry a driver drove a team of animals, writes Richard W. Bulliet in The Wheel: Inventions and Reinventions. Goodman claims that there’s evidence the Sumerians had such carts for transportation in the 3000s B.C., yet they were probably used for ceremonies or by the military, rather than as a way to get approximately the countryside, wherein the stormy terrain would have actually made wheeled travel difficult.

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TheSumerians invented this vital technology in farming. Lock even developed a hands-on that offered farmers in-depth instructions on just how to usage various types of plows. And also they specified the prayer that should be recited to pay homage to Ninkilim, the goddess of ar rodents, in stimulate to protect the serial from being eaten.

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Sumerians to be the very first togather wool to it is in woven into cloth for clothes on an commercial scale.Sumerians were the an initial to overcome kin currently and kind larger working organizations for making textiles—the predecessors of modern-day manufacturing companies.

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To comprise for a shortage of stones and also timber for structure houses and temples, the Sumerians produced molds because that making bricks out of clay. Their structures might not have actually been as sturdy as stone ones, but they were able come build an ext of them, and also create bigger cities.

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The Sumerians were some of the earliest people to use copper to make useful items, varying from spearheads to chisels and also razors, according to the Copper development Association. They additionally made art v copper, including dramatic panels illustrating fantastical pets such as an eagle v a lion’s head.

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Primitive people counted using an easy methods, together as putting notches top top bones, however it was the Sumerians who developed a formal number is numbered system based upon units the 60. At first, they offered reeds to save track of the units, yet eventually, through the development of cuneiform, they offered vertical clues on the clay tablets. Your system aided lay the groundwork because that the math calculations of worlds that followed.

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