Mesopotamia, the land of the rivers Euphrates and Tigris, contains the heritage of one of the world's oldest civilizations.
The Land of the Two Rivers had many probable "firsts", such as writing, mathematics, measurements of time, the wheel, and centralized government; the main contenders are Ancient Egypt and Ancient China.
Mesopotamia has been devastated by war more than once in history, and western Iraq and most of Syria is, as of 2016, a dangerous destination, where many archaeological sites have been torn down.
Most ancient civilizations arose at rivers, and were highly dependent on them for farming, water supply, and transportation.
The land between the Mediterranean and the Persian Gulf is known as the Fertile Crescent; due to erosion and overgrazing in modern times, the land is less productive today.
Many empires rose and fell; the best-known ones being Sumeria, Akkad, Babylon, and Assyria.
The land later became a subject under many global empires: the Roman Empire, various incarnations of the Persian Empire, the Mongol Empire, the Caliphate of Baghdad, the Ottoman Empire, and the British Empire.