Mesopotamia is the ancient Greek name for the land between the rivers Tigris and Euphrates. Agriculture was born on the very fertile soil and other features of the modern world came from there.
Mesopotamia span across most of today’s Iran, northern Syria and south-east Turkey. It saw the beginning of agriculture, literacy, urban communities and complex bureaucracy.
The ‘Fertile Crescent’ is between mountain ranges in the north and north-east in Mesopotamia. It was the birthplace of agriculture between 10,000 and 6,000 BC. Sheep, goats, cattle, pigs domesticated, wheat and barley grown there. It encouraged people to settle down and early villages were discovered in northern Mesopotamia.
The benefits of agriculture was introduced in the south. After an extensive network of canals and ditches the arid region using the annual flooding of rivers. The irrigation was developed between 6,000 and 5,000 BC. The amount of food produced was spectacular and people kept moving in, especially bureaucrats and craftsmen.
It also increased trade. Mesopotamia became the home of three major civilisations: Sumerian and Babylonian in the south and Assyrian in the north. Many famous, ancient cities were built like Babylon, Ur, Ashur, Nineveh and Nimrud.
Archaeologists have discovered monumental palaces, temples, ziggurats (temple towers) and defensive walls. Incredible works of arts include the carved stone slabs which decorated the royal palaces of the Neo-Assyrian kings, showing scenes of foreign conquest, hunting and magnificent banquets.
According to historical findings, Mesopotamia invented the earliest form of writing. The first written tablets dating from just before 3000 BC. It is in pictographs with simple drawings of the object, sheep or jar. It then developed into a more schematically using the wedge-shaped end of a reed stylus, forming cuneiform script. It then developed into signs which read language as well as objects. Now, the first attempt to write was born.
Sumerian was the first written language and so far, the oldest. It was replaced by Akkadian as a spoken language around 2000 BC. Both languages continued to be written for another two thousand years.
Clay tablets are very hardy when baked and therefore thousands of cuneiform tablets were found. They gave us great information of the live in Mesopotamia about accounts, contracts, letters and school exercises, lists of kings and treaties and literary works, Epic of Gilgamesh. It mentioned a flood story like mentioned in the Bible.
The school curriculum included many compositions, and trainees had to copy.
The Law Code of King Hammurabi of Babylon (1792-1750 BC) were inscribed on stone because it was most important to be kept, of course. He proclaimed Justice had been made for the strong not to oppress the weak.
Other greatest achievements were made in the Mesopotamia culture, advances in astronomy and mathematics which is the most surprising and unbelievable fact for that time.
The ancient Greeks, who ruled over the region in the later part of the 1st millennium BC, passed the knowledge on to the West.