Pub. date: 2006 | Online Pub. Date: September 15, 2007 | DOI: 10.4135/9781412952453 | Print ISBN: 9780761930297 | Online ISBN: 9781412952453| Publisher:SAGE Publications, Inc.About this encyclopedia
Debra M. Lucas
Mesopotamia is the ancient land between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. It covers modern day Iraq and parts of Iran, Turkey, Syria, Lebanon, and Israel. Mesopotamian civilizations were the first in history to exist in well-populated and fixed settlements. As settlements became larger and more organized, they progressed politically and socially into city-states. They developed irrigation methods and invented the wheel and the plow. After they developed the first written language, economic transactions and legal codes were kept. Mesopotamian literature was recorded. Great architectural structures were built. In time, empires, kings, and innovative military establishments emerged. These advancements, along with scientific, mathematical, and communal ceremonies, are the legacies of the great Mesopotamian civilizations. Mesopotamia was the heartland of emerging nations and empires that would control the Near East for centuries. Mesopotamia is a general name for a number of diverse ethnic groups that contributed to the culture of the region. ...