Facts about Mesopotamia: The Cradle Of Civilization

Mesopotamia is the region where our kind has laid the foundation of the modern world. Since they had found this fertile land they were living as hunter-gatherers, migrating after food sources. Mesopotamia on the other hand might be the most suitable territory to settle down, found cities, improve farming technics, domesticated animals as food sources, store food, and trade them and else because the rivers Tigris and Euphrates were feeding those land with water and alluvium.


People might be settling down or discovering farming technics elsewhere around the world before Mesopotamia but today there is not enough info about them, Mesopotamia on this aspect is providing the greatest research resources.


To discover the Mesopotamian civilizations Turkey is one of the best destinations because almost more than half of its land is Mesopotamia and since the 30s the archeological digs go ahead, the ambitious museums serve and have advanced transportation and accommodation services.

Sanliurfa Harran, Turkey

Let’s take a quick glance at the Mesopotamia topic, find out who were they, what did they do, and keep on with bestseller books.


1. Where is Mesopotamia located and what was Mesopotamian civilization’s extent?


Mesopotamia is located between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in Western Asia. Today, it is southeastern Turkey, eastern Syria, and most of Iraq.

 Mesopotamian civilization map

2. Was Mesopotamia a government?

No, it was not. It was not a single empire, kingdom, or a united kingdom. According to the resources first people, hunter-gatherers had been settled, and then 5 major kingdoms had risen in the region.


3. Who are the first civilizations in Mesopotamia?

Sumerians, Akkadians, Assyrians, Babylonians, and Hittites. Lately, the Kassites, the Seleucids, the Kingdom of Edessa, Romans, and else... were invaded, captured, or conquered the region.


4. What about before Mesopotamia?

Humankind was living as a hunter-gatherer nomadic before Mesopotamia. In the Old World’s different territories such as the Indus Valley in the Indian site and the Yellow River Valley in modern China, and in New World Peru, humans kind were living too. However, in those territories, there are not enough numbers of remains to learn more about that period. In contrast to this Mesopotamia has so much to discover.


Plus the climate of the region was almost the same as today, it was sunny (the ice age survivors should be very happy to find it) and the soil was fertile with the alluviums carried by the Euphrates and Tigris. The agricultural revolutions that had been done in Mesopotamia led to human settlement, thence the first steps of building the modern world. It seems that Mesopotamia used to have everything to settle and cultivate. The idea of "city" was born here and the first steps on the way of the modern world have been taken in this fertile land.


5. How did the discovery of Mesopotamian civilization occur?

Mesopotamia was never actually lost but the civilizations who were living there disappear in time. The first resources about Mesopotamia are the ancient authors.


Berosus, a Babylonian who wrote in Greek, the Hebrew Bible; in particular the Babylonian Exile and Herodotus of Halicarnassus mention Mesopotamia 100 years later after the Assyrian empire had been overthrown. Greek historian and philosopher the Athenian Xenophon can be added to the list, he took part in the Battle of Cunaxa and he describes the final struggle between Cyrus II and the Neo-Babylonian empire. Ancient Greek historian and geographer Herodotus probably traveled to Tyre and then to the Euphrates to Babylon, it can be said that he saw Babylon with his own eyes. Next Mesopotamia became a myth, a phenomenon among more contemporary writers until the mid-19th century.


English Assyriologist, and cuneiformist Sir Austen Henry Layard, and French scientist Paul-Émile Botta who was Consul in Mosul, have made the first rediscoverMesopotamia. Since then in different periods scientists from all around the world have been digging the territory.



6. What about Mesopotamian and Egyptian civilizations? Are they the same or not?

There are similarities and differences. Mesopotamia, the Indus Valley Civilization, and ancient Egypt are the oldest civilizations in the world. The fact that Mesopotamian, particularly Sumerian, influences can still be seen in the modern world attests to this.


When it comes to the similarities between Egyptian and Mesopotamian cultures, it can be highlighted first the architectural features. Both civilizations used oven-baked bricks of clay to build houses, and the Mesopotamian ziggurats and the pyramids have common characteristics in a triangle shape.


Both cultures have polytheistic belief systems that the gods and the gods might have common or alike features. Both religious systems used to have 3 major gods; Ea, Anu, and Enlil were Mesopotamians, and Ra, Amun, and Isis were Egyptians. Their distinctive feature was the source of their kings' power. While pharaohs were representative and an intermediary between the deities and the people, religious administrators, owned all of Egypt and enacted laws. Egypt was centralized but Mesopotamians were decentralized, which means that while Egypt was one single government Mesopotamians were city-states. And Hammurabi the sixth king of the First Babylonian dynasty of the Amorite tribe wrote the first laws " The Code of Hammurabi".