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Ancient Mesopotamia

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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 a prominent role in the Abrahamite religions — Judaism, Christianity and Islam — and a shared history with the Holy Land.

The region is in the Middle East, in present-day Iraq, with parts of it in Syria, Turkey and Kuwait.

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.


  • Göbeklitepe, near Urfa — the ruins of the oldest temple of the world predate the adoption of sedentary lifestyle by any human group
  • Babylon
  • Ur
  • Nimrud and Nineveh have been damaged in recent fighting
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