19 Facts About Mesopotamia


Mesopotamia is a historical region of Western Asia situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system, in the northern part of the Fertile Crescent.

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Mesopotamia is the site of the earliest developments of the Neolithic Revolution from around 10, 000 BC.

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An even earlier Greek usage of the name Mesopotamia is evident from The Anabasis of Alexander, which was written in the late 2nd century AD but specifically refers to sources from the time of Alexander the Great.

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Later, the term Mesopotamia was more generally applied to all the lands between the Euphrates and the Tigris, thereby incorporating not only parts of Syria but almost all of Iraq and southeastern Turkey.

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Upper Mesopotamia, known as the Jazira, is the area between the Euphrates and the Tigris from their sources down to Baghdad.

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Lower Mesopotamia is the area from Baghdad to the Persian Gulf and includes Kuwait and parts of western Iran.

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Mesopotamia encompasses the land between the Euphrates and Tigris rivers, both of which have their headwaters in the neighboring Armenian highlands.

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Overland routes in Mesopotamia usually follow the Euphrates because the banks of the Tigris are frequently steep and difficult.

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The documented record of actual historical events — and the ancient history of lower Mesopotamia — commenced in the early-third millennium BC with cuneiform records of early dynastic kings.

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Mesopotamia housed historically important cities such as Uruk, Nippur, Nineveh, Assur and Babylon, as well as major territorial states such as the city of Eridu, the Akkadian kingdoms, the Third Dynasty of Ur, and the various Assyrian empires.

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Old Aramaic, which had already become common in Mesopotamia, then became the official provincial administration language of first the Neo-Assyrian Empire, and then the Achaemenid Empire: the official lect is called Imperial Aramaic.

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Mesopotamia supported Aristarchus of Samos' heliocentric theory where the Earth rotated around its own axis which in turn revolved around the Sun.

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Mesopotamia, as shown by successive law codes, those of Urukagina, Lipit Ishtar and Hammurabi, across its history became more and more a patriarchal society, one in which the men were far more powerful than the women.

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Over time the southernmost parts of Sumerian Mesopotamia suffered from increased salinity of the soils, leading to a slow urban decline and a centring of power in Akkad, further north.

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Much of history, Mesopotamia served as a trade nexus - east-west between Central Asia and the Mediterranean world, as well as north–south between the Eastern Europe and Baghdad (Volga trade route).

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Geography of Mesopotamia had a profound impact on the political development of the region.

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Mesopotamia was known as "the lawmaker" and created the Code of Hammurabi, and soon Babylon became one of the main cities in Mesopotamia.

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City-states of Mesopotamia created the first law codes, drawn from legal precedence and decisions made by kings.

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Art of Mesopotamia rivalled that of Ancient Egypt as the most grand, sophisticated and elaborate in western Eurasia from the 4th millennium BC until the Persian Achaemenid Empire conquered the region in the 6th century BC.

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