Topics: MIDDLE EAST - Mesopotamia


Mesopotamia, "land between the rivers", is a toponym for the area of the Tigris-Euphrates river system, along the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, largely corresponding to Iraq, as well as some parts of northeastern Syria, some parts of southeastern Turkey, and some parts of the Khuzestan Province of southwestern Iran.

Widely considered as the cradle of civilization, Bronze Age Mesopotamia included Sumer, Akkadian, Babylonian and Assyrian empires. In the Iron Age, it was ruled by the Neo-Assyrian Empire and Neo-Babylonian Empire, and later conquered by the Achaemenid Empire. It mostly remained under Persian rule until the 7th century Islamic conquest of the Sassanid Empire.

The history of Mesopotamia begins with the emergence of urban societies in northern Iraq in 5000 BCE, and ends with either the arrival of the Achaemenid Empire in the 6th century BCE, when Mesopotamia began being colonized by foreign powers, or with the arrival of the Islamic Caliphate, when the region came to be known as Iraq.

A cultural continuity and spatial homogeneity for this entire historical geography ("the Great Tradition") is popularly assumed, though the assumption is problematic. Mesopotamia housed some of the world's most ancient states with highly developed social complexity. The region was famous as one of the four riverine civilizations where writing was first invented, along with the Nile valley in Egypt, the Indus Valley in the Indian subcontinent and Yellow River valley in China (Although writing is also known to have arisen independently in Mesoamerica).

Mesopotamia housed historically important cities such as Uruk, Nippur, Nineveh, and Babylon as well as major territorial states such as the city of Ma-asesblu, Akkadian kingdom, Third Dynasty of Ur, and Assyrian empire. Some of the important historical Mesopotamian leaders were Ur-Nammu (king of Ur), Sargon (who established the Akkadian Kingdom), Hammurabi (who established the Old Babylonian state), and Tiglath-Pileser I (who established the Assyrian Empire).

"Ancient Mesopotamia" begins in the late 6th millennium BC, and ends with either the rise of the Achaemenid Persians in the 6th century BCE or the Islamic conquest of Persian Mesopotamia in the 7th century CE.

Source: Wikipedia