Pedia News

Mesopotamia The Creators of Civilisation


Mesopotamia: The Creators Of Civilisation
Discover how society as we know it began in a small region of modern day Iraq. The ancient region of Mesopotamia has fascinated, enthralled and perplexed historians and scientists for thousands of years. Unlike the ancient empire of Greece, or even Egypt, it was not a united nation. Made up of a vast collection of varied cultures, city-states and beliefs, Mesopotamia was a land of  multiple empires and diverse civilisations. It is perhaps thanks to this variety that Mesopotamia gave birth to what we recognise as civilisation today.



The list of Mesopotamian innovations is endless, and it is difficult to contemplate how modern life would be without them. Mesopotamia was home to the first ever cities, writing took form there and the oldest wheeled vehicles in the world were found in
Mesopotamian ruins. Animals were domesticated, humanity came on leaps and bounds in agriculture, innovative new tools were crafted, weapons were swung and wine was drunk. Mesopotamians were the first people to study the night sky, track the Moon and declare that there were 60 minutes in an hour, and 60 seconds in a minute.
Mesopotamia was driven by religion, and it was one of the few things that united the lands that made up the region. From this religion sprang customs, moral codes and social hierarchy. In many ways the Mesopotamians were ahead of their time, as women were regarded as individuals in their own right, free to own land, file for divorce and run businesses.
The Mesopotamian version of the Creation story declared that the world was formed when the gods achieved victory over the forces of chaos, and the same could be said in the creation of Mesopotamia itself. With its kings, taxes and trade, it was a triumph of man’s ability to conquer and thrive, and it set the blueprints for countless cities, countries and empires that followed.


What it was like to live there
The word ‘Mesopotamia’ means ‘between the rivers’, which literally describes the location of the region. Mesopotamia lay between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, which today flow through modern day Turkey, Iraq and Syria. All the regions of Mesopotamia experienced different geography, which led to variation in how people there lived. Lying between two rivers had some risks as the land was subject to frequent and unpredictable flooding, which could play havoc with farmers’ crops. These floods went hand in hand with periods of drought. However, the swelling rivers helped to create very fertile soil that supported plants even with minimal rainfall, and allowed boats to be used as a quick means of transportation. Mesopotamians became skilled farmers and traded their crops for resources they were lacking, such as building materials like wood, metal and stone. The people took advantage of the ready supply of water by building canals to support the trade network and were able to flourish in spite of the lack of natural resources in some areas.