Today, we’re going to step into the past. We’re going to explore an early human settlement. It was among the first civilizations, along with Ancient Egypt and the Indus Valley civilization, which became the blueprint for many civilizations that were later created all over the world: Mesopotamia.

Mesopotamia is a Greek name that translates to ‘land between the rivers’. It’s the stretch between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers flowing in the Middle East. Today, most of Iraq is Mesopotamia. Other parts are distributed among southeastern Turkey, southwestern Iran, and northeastern Syria.

Here’s a fun fact: Mesopotamia is called the Cradle of Civilization. As aforementioned, it was the start of civilizations on Earth.

Early Mesopotamians started to come together and form their own villages. Once they learned how to irrigate land and grow crops, their villages started growing. Eventually, the first civilization was formed 6,000 years ago!

  1. Sumer: The people of Sumer – known as Sumerians – built irrigation facilities to carry water from the rivers to their crops. A few years later, they built the world’s first writing system called cuneiform. Sumerians also invented the concept of governments to maintain law and order in the region.

  2. Akkad: The next civilization developed to the north of Sumer. It was called Akkad. The Akkadian super Sargon conquered Sumer and neighboring lands. He developed the world’s first empire. Sumerian language was replaced by Akkadian. Akkadian became the main language throughout Mesopotamia’s history.

  3. Babylonia: Babylonia became the most powerful city once a group of people called the Amorites conquered all of Mesopotamia. The most influential Babylonian king was Hammurabi. He made Babylonia the first civilization to write down a set of laws.

  4.  Assyria: Once the Babylonians fell, the Assyrians took over and became another powerful civilization of Mesopotamia. They built their empire in the northern region. A few years later, they expanded their control all the way to Egypt.

  5. Persia: The Persians ended the rule of Assyrians and Babylonians. They occupied a major part of the Middle East.

Then came Alexander the Great, a king of the ancient Greek kingdom called Macedon. Mesopotamia was then ruled by the Greeks, Romans, Arabs, and Turks respectively. Finally, in 1921, Mesopotamia became the country of Iraq.

The simple and important things we know today like writing, sailing, the wheel, agriculture, the concept of 24 hours in a day, civil rights, laws, irrigation system, and so on were taught to us by the Mesopotamians.

It’s no doubt that Mesopotamia is one of the most important civilizations on Earth.