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Encyclopedia > Mesopotamian
This is an article about the ancient middle eastern region. For the region in modern times, see Iraq, Syria. See also Mesopotamia, Ohio.
Ancient Mesopotamia
Cities / Empires
Sumer: UrukUrEridu
Kish – LagashNippur
Akkadian Empire: Agade
Assyria: AssurNineveh
Kings of Sumer
Kings of Assyria
Kings of Babylon
Cuneiform script
Enuma Elish

Mesopotamia (Greek: Μεσοποταμία, translated from Old Persian Miyanrudan "the Land between the Rivers" or the Aramaic name Beth-Nahrin "two rivers") is a region of Southwest Asia. Strictly speaking, it is the alluvial plain lying between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, in modern Iraq and Syria. More commonly, the term includes these river plains in totality as well as the surrounding lowland territories bounded by the Arabian Desert to the west and south, the Persian Gulf to the immediate south, the Zagros Mountains and the Caucasus mountains to the north.

Writings from Mesopotamia (Uruk, modern Warka) are the earliest written work in the world, giving Mesopotamia the reputation of being the "Cradle of Civilization".

Mesopotamia was settled by, and conquered by, numerous ancient civilizations, including the Sumerians, Akkadians, Babylonians, Assyrians and the Persian Empire. Peoples who threatened or invaded these lands include the Hittites and the Elamites. During the time of the Persian Empire of Sassanids this area was called Dil-i Iranshahr meaning "Iran's Heart" and the metropol Ctesiphon, the capital of Persia was situated in Mesopotamia.

These civilizations arose from earlier settlements and cultures which were among the first to make use of agriculture.

Early cities in this region include:

Overview map of ancient Mesopotamia

References in popular culture

The pop music band The B-52's had a song called Mesopotamia, which appears to be about wishing to travel to ancient Mesopotamia.

According to Trent Reznor Mesopotamia is a very "in" thing. All the cool people think Mesopotamia is hip, so you should too.

See also

Further reading

  • A DWELLER IN MESOPOTAMIA (http://fax.libs.uga.edu/DS49x2xM465D/), being the adventures of an official artist in the garden of Eden, by Donald Maxwell, 1921
  • MESOPOTAMIAN ARCHAEOLOGY (http://fax.libs.uga.edu/DS69x5xH236M/), by Percy S. P. Handcock, 1912

  Results from FactBites:
Mesopotamian art (0 words)
Mesopotamian art was largely used to glorify powerful dynasties, and often reflected the belief that kingship and the divine were closely interlocked.
Unlike the other southern Mesopotamian peoples, the Assyrians had access to large quantities of stone, and their many carved reliefs have consequently survived well.
The Babylonians practised all the Mesopotamian arts and excelled in brightly coloured glazed tiles, used to create relief sculptures.
Mesopotamian Art and Architecture - MSN Encarta (1729 words)
Mesopotamian Art and Architecture, the art and architecture of the ancient Middle Eastern civilizations that developed in the area between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers from prehistoric times but chiefly spanning the period from about 3500 bc to the 6th century bc.
The lower parts of the Mesopotamian region encompassed a fertile plain, and it was here that the first cities of the ancient world developed, together with royalty and priesthood that each demanded imposing palaces and temples, decorated with wall paintings, inlays, bas-reliefs, and statues.
Just as Mesopotamian political control and artistic influences spread to neighbouring cultures, at times reaching as far as the Syro-Palestinian coast, so techniques and motifs from outlying areas had an impact on Mesopotamian centres.
  More results at FactBites »



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