Mesopotamia is a word of Greek origin (‘mesos’ – middle, ‘potamos’ – river). Old Persian translates Mesopotamia as a “fertile crescent”, and according to Aramaic, the area is called the ‘House of Two Rivers’. It is the area between the rivers Euphrates and Tigris , which flow through the territory of present-day Iraq. Most likely, this area is the cradle of human civilization.
Civilization in Mesopotamia originated at the same time as Egypt, and both are called the “fertile crescent”, which characterizes the shape of the fertile area in a country where most of the land is too dry for any farming. The crescent moon begins on the eastern shores of the Mediterranean Sea and bends into the Persian Gulf. The most national land is located between the rivers Euphrates and Tigris. It is in this small region that many diverse cultures have emerged . The first came the Sumerians , followed by the Assyrians, the Babylonians, the Akadites, and many others.
Mesopotamia is characterized by constant migration and cultural diffusion. It is the process by which an existing culture adopts the features of another culture. Since Mesopotamia is not bounded by natural boundaries, it was difficult to defend it. It was occupied and recharged by many ancient civilizations. These factors prevented a strong central government. Instead, after the discovery of metals, city-states emerged here . The city-state was an adjacent area surrounding a larger and more complex city. Mesopotamia consisted of several city-states, the most famous of which are Ur, Uruk, Lagash, Nippur, Babylon, Kish, Nineveh and others. Each city-state was a small independent kingdom ruled by either a high priest or a military commander.
Life in Mesopotamia
Prehistoric Mesopotamia is considered the cradle of civilization. Mesopotamia is considered to be the place where the first civilized societies began to form. People all over the world have been laying the foundations for civilization for millennia: agriculture originated around 8000 BC, the domestication of animals and plants changed the lives not only of people in Mesopotamia but also of human history, people have been creating art for thousands of years. The first laws were established in the form of morals and folk customs. The people of Mesopotamia improved, added, formalized these systems and combined them to create a civilization. They have developed many things that we take for granted today, such as the wheel , the first font(wedge), calendar, various drugs, construction, agriculture, complex cities, religion. The most significant change was the shift from a nomadic way of life to permanently inhabited villages.
The people of Mesopotamia believed that the world was controlled by gods and goddesses, demons and monsters. There were hundreds of gods who were responsible for everything in the world, from rivers and trees to baking bread and pottery. Each city was under the protection of a special god or goddess. Large temples – ziggurats – were built for these gods in the city center. The priests took care of the gods by practicing special rituals. The demons were created by the gods, had a human body and an animal head. They could be either good or bad.
The first civilizations originated in Mesopotamia more than 6,000 years ago. The first cities were founded, a writing system was developed, monumental buildings were built. Families lived in multi-generational houses where they worked and lived. They had up to 20-30 members and, as farmers , took care of the land they owned. They discovered burning clay on bricks . Farmers had to cope with the spring floods . In times of drought, people irrigated the land using canals and pumping equipment . Cereals, oilseeds, legumes, vegetables and fruits were grown here. Large herds of cattle were raised and, in addition to agriculture and pastoralism, they provided livelihoods as well as fishing.
Tags: Akadi , Akkad , Euphrates , cradle of civilization , city-states , Mesopotamia , Sumer , Tigris , Ur , Uruk