Ancient Mesopotamia

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Mesopotamia, the country between the two rivers, was the name given by the Greeks and Romans to the region between the Euphrates and the Tigris. Mesopotamia is the site of the earliest developments of the Neolithic Revolution from around 10,000 BC. It has been identified as having "inspired some of the most important developments in human history, including the invention of the wheel, the planting of the first cereal crops, and the development of cursive script, mathematics, astronomy, and agriculture". It has been known as one of the earliest civilizations to ever exist in the world.

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The Sumerians and Akkadians (including Assyrians and Babylonians) originating from different areas in present-day Iraq, dominated Mesopotamia from the beginning of written history (c. 3100 BC) to the fall of Babylon in 539 BC, when it was conquered by the Achaemenid Empire. It fell to Alexander the Great in 332 BC, and after his death, it became part of the Greek Seleucid Empire.

Around 150 BC, Mesopotamia was under the control of the Parthian Empire. It became a battleground between the Romans and Parthians, with western parts of the region coming under ephemeral Roman control. In 226 AD, the eastern regions of Mesopotamia fell to the Sassanid Persians. The division of the region between Roman (Byzantine from 395 AD) and Sassanid Empires lasted until the 7th century Muslim conquest of Persia of the Sasanian Empire and Muslim conquest of the Levant from Byzantines. A number of primarily neo-Assyrian and Christian native Mesopotamian states existed between the 1st century BC and 3rd century AD, including Adiabene, Osroene, and Hatra.

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Cradle of Civilization

The Fertile Crescent, also known as the Cradle of Civilization is a half-moon shaped cultural area in the region of the Middle East on the continent of Asia. The region normally has an arid or semi-arid climate and is believed to contain some of the most ancient developments of civilization in the Old World.

In geographic terms the area is defined the area centered around the main river systems of the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, known as Mesopotamia as well as parts of the Levant such as the eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea. The area of the Fertile Crescent includes the modern day nations of Lebanon, Syria, Jordan, Palestine, Israel, Iraq, Kuwait, as well as the southeastern portion of Turkey and the western parts of Iran.

Major territorial states were the Akkadian kingdom, the Third Dynasty of Ur, and the Assyrian Empire. Some of the important historical Mesopotamian leaders were Ur-Nammu (king of Ur), Sargon of Akkad (the founder of the Akkadian kingdom), Hammurabi (who established the Old Babylonian state), and Tiglath-Pileser I (who started the Assyrian Empire).

Many advances in technology were made by the ancient Sumerians, such as irrigation, trade by river, and flood control. Sumerians had agriculture and domesticated animals, or livestock, from the earliest records. Babylon is likely the first city built by settled people. Mesopotamia was also the place where the wheel was first used. First it was a potter's wheel that was used to make clay pots, then Sumerians adapted it for transport.

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