University of North Texas October This website is a treasure trove of information and imagery beautifully presented and expertly organized. The site presents four sections: All of these areas provide vital materials that will help students and educators alike in studying the lives of everyday people in ancient Iraq. A central theme of the site, presented most prominently in the section devoted to everyday life, is the connection between the innovative inventions of Mesopotamians and their essential role in creating key features of civilization still central to our world today.
South of this lies Babylonianamed after the city of Babylon. However, in the broader sense, the name Mesopotamia has come to be used for the area bounded on the northeast by the Zagros Mountains and on the southwest by the edge of the Arabian Plateau and stretching from the Persian Gulf in the southeast to the spurs of the Anti-Taurus Mountains in the northwest.
As a result of the slow flow of the water, there are heavy deposits of silt, and the riverbeds are raised. Consequently, the rivers often overflow their banks and may even change their course when they are not protected by high dikes.
In recent times they have been regulated above Baghdad by the use of escape channels with overflow reservoirs. The extreme south is a region of extensive marshes and reed swamps, hawr s, which, probably since early times, have served as an area of refuge for oppressed and displaced peoples.
Consequently, agriculture without risk of crop failure, which seems to have begun in the higher rainfall zones and in the hilly borders of Mesopotamia in the 10th millennium bce, began in Mesopotamia itself, the real heart of the civilization, only after artificial irrigation had been invented, bringing water to large stretches of territory through a widely branching network of canals.
Since the ground is extremely fertile and, with irrigation and the necessary drainage, will produce in abundance, southern Mesopotamia became a land of plenty that could support a considerable population.
The cultural superiority of north Mesopotamia, which may have lasted until about bce, was finally overtaken by the south when the people there had responded to the challenge of their situation. The present climatic conditions are fairly similar to those of 8, years ago.
The availability of raw materials is a historical factor of great importance, as is the dependence on those materials that had to be imported. In Mesopotamia, agricultural products and those from stock breeding, fisheries, date palm cultivation, and reed industries—in short, grain, vegetables, meat, leather, wool, horn, fishdates, and reed and plant-fibre products—were available in plenty and could easily be produced in excess of home requirements to be exported.
On the other hand, wood, stone, and metal were rare or even entirely absent. The date palm—virtually the national tree of Iraq—yields a wood suitable only for rough beams and not for finer work.
Metal can only be obtained in the mountains, and the same is true of precious and semiprecious stones. Consequently, southern Mesopotamia in particular was destined to be a land of trade from the start.
The raw material that epitomizes Mesopotamian civilization is clay: Such phrases as cuneiform civilization, cuneiform literature, and cuneiform law can apply only where people had had the idea of using soft clay not only for bricks and jars and for the jar stoppers on which a seal could be impressed as a mark of ownership but also as the vehicle for impressed signs to which established meanings were assigned—an intellectual achievement that amounted to nothing less than the invention of writing.
The character and influence of ancient Mesopotamia Questions as to what ancient Mesopotamian civilization did and did not accomplish, how it influenced its neighbours and successors, and what its legacy has transmitted are posed from the standpoint of modern civilization and are in part coloured by ethical overtones, so that the answers can only be relative.
Ancient Mesopotamia had many languages and cultures; its history is broken up into many periods and eras; it had no real geographic unity, and above all no permanent capital city, so that by its very variety it stands out from other civilizations with greater uniformity, particularly that of Egypt.
The script and the pantheon constitute the unifying factors, but in these also Mesopotamia shows its predilection for multiplicity and variety. Written documents were turned out in quantities, and there are often many copies of a single text.
The pantheon consisted of more than 1, deitieseven though many divine names may apply to different manifestations of a single god. During 3, years of Mesopotamian civilization, each century gave birth to the next.
Thus classical Sumerian civilization influenced that of the Akkadians, and the Ur III empire, which itself represented a Sumero-Akkadian synthesis, exercised its influence on the first quarter of the 2nd millennium bce. With the Hittites, large areas of Anatolia were infused with the culture of Mesopotamia from bce onward.
Contacts, via Mariwith Ebla in Syria, some 30 miles south of Aleppogo back to the 24th century bce, so that links between Syrian and Palestinian scribal schools and Babylonian civilization during the Amarna period 14th century bce may have had much older predecessors. At any rate, the similarity of certain themes in cuneiform literature and the Hebrew Biblesuch as the story of the Flood or the motif of the righteous sufferer, is due to such early contacts and not to direct borrowing.
In many cases, however, the origins and routes of borrowings are obscure, as in the problem of the survival of ancient Mesopotamian legal theory. The achievement of the civilization itself may be expressed in terms of its best points—moral, aestheticscientific, and, not least, literary.
Legal theory flourished and was sophisticated early on, being expressed in several collections of legal decisions, the so-called codesof which the best-known is the Code of Hammurabi. The aesthetics of art are too much governed by subjective values to be assessed in absolute terms, yet certain peaks stand out above the rest, notably the art of Uruk IV, the seal engraving of the Akkad period, and the relief sculpture of Ashurbanipal.
Nonetheless, there is nothing in Mesopotamia to match the sophistication of Egyptian art. Science the Mesopotamians had, of a kind, though not in the sense of Greek science.
From its beginnings in Sumer before the middle of the 3rd millennium bce, Mesopotamian science was characterized by endless, meticulous enumeration and ordering into columns and series, with the ultimate ideal of including all things in the world but without the wish or ability to synthesize and reduce the material to a system.
Not a single general scientific law has been found, and only rarely has the use of analogy been found. Technical accomplishments were perfected in the building of the ziggurats temple towers resembling pyramidswith their huge bulk, and in irrigation, both in practical execution and in theoretical calculations.
At the beginning of the 3rd millennium bce, an artificial stone often regarded as a forerunner of concrete was in use at Uruk miles south-southeast of modern Baghdadbut the secret of its manufacture apparently was lost in subsequent years.
Ziggurat at Ur modern Tall al-Muqayyar, Iraq.The History of Mesopotamia. The history of the region, and the development of the civilizations which flourished there, is most easily understood by dividing it into periods: Pre-Pottery Neolithic Age.
Also known as The Stone Age (c. 10, BCE though evidence suggests human habitation much earlier). There is archaeological confirmation of crude settlements and early signs of warfare between tribes, . Sumer was the southernmost region of ancient Mesopotamia (modern-day Iraq and Kuwait) which is generally considered the cradle of civilization.
The name. One of the most relevant lesson plans for the purpose of the site (that is, linking the history of ancient Mesopotamia to the modern world), is a Symbols From History assignment that prompts students to research the use of ancient symbols in modern Iraq using newspapers articles, library visits, and the Internet.
Such assignments not only. Mesopotamia Mesopotamia means “the land between the rivers,” referring to the region near the Tigris and Euphrates, but over time, it has been accepted as referencing the .
This sample Mesopotamia Research Paper is published for educational and informational purposes only. Free research papers are not written by our writers, they are contributed by users, so we are not responsible for the content of this free sample paper.
If you want to buy a high quality research paper on history topics at affordable price please use custom research paper writing services. The history of Mesopotamia ranges from the earliest human occupation in the Lower Sumaya period up to the Late antiquity.
This history is pieced together from evidence retrieved from archaeological excavations and, after the introduction of writing in the late 4th millennium BC, an increasing amount of historical sources.