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6 features of Mesopotamian civilization summary

Clothing of Mesopotamian Civilizations (Illustration)

Mesopotamia, now part of Iraq, is actually the combined name for several civilizations that emerged in Mesopotamia.

About the Mesopotamian civilization which is a combination of several civilizations,

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What kind of civilization is it?

Some of you may wonder so.

Also, this civilization is the oldest in the world.

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Aliens created humans...!

There is even the legend that goes beyond human knowledge.

It is said that many ancient civilizations were taught various things by the sun god (who came on a flying ship) during this period.

Here is an easy-to-understand explanation of the mysterious Mesopotamian civilization!

The establishment of Mesopotamian Civilization

The Mesopotamian civilization was established around 3500 BC.

During this period, there was a rich agricultural harvest with the development of canals.

This kind of agricultural culture seems to have been earlier than that of the Egyptian civilization and others.

  • Abundant land
  • Well-maintained irrigation facilities
  • Yield with advanced farming equipment

These characteristics were not very different from those of today.

Because it is said to be the world's oldest civilization, it is also a time of many mysteries.

For example, the Sumerians were the core of the civilization at the beginning.

It is honestly not well understood where this people came from.

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The Sumerians were created by aliens.

It is often said so in urban legends.

The roots of the Sumerians are still shrouded in mystery.

To learn more about the mysterious Sumerians,

Please read this article.

In the ancient Sumerian civilization, the land was the best place to grow crops, so it became the foundation of many powers.

However, behind such the affluent lifestyle, people went overboard with deforestation.

So the same environmental problems that we see today occurred during this period.

And desertification occurred as a result of numerous deforestation.

The History of Mesopotamian Civilization

In the Mesopotamian civilization, which had such problems, many peoples were born and then died out.

Since the civilization lasted for 3,000 years, it is not surprising that various city-states were born during that time.

When did the Mesopotamian civilization begin?

The earliest history of the Mesopotamian civilization is said to have been born around 6000 B.C., which is called the prehistoric period.

Between that beginning history and the Sumerian civilization, at least three cultures flourished.

The mysterious "Sumerian" period

The Sumerians and Akkadians gave birth to numerous city-states in southern Babylonia.

Such city-states included the following:

  • Kish
  • Nippur
  • Adab
  • Shuruppak
  • Umma
  • Uruk
  • Ul

The Sumerians and Akkadians then plotted to dominate all of Mesopotamia, including Babylonia.

This era was a time of repeated rises and declines of those in power.

By the way, if you would like to know more about the Sumerians' religion,

What is Sumerian mythology?

Please also read this article.

The "Akkadian" Period of King Sargon

After the decline of the Sumerian city-states, King Sargon founded the Akkadian Empire, the first unified dynasty.

Legend has it that the Babylonian city of Babylon was built by Sargon.

The great thing about this King Sargon is that he ruled over an area beyond the rule of his own city-state.

He then created the Akkadian Empire, a centralized state.

However, such the Akkadian empire was destroyed by the fifth monarch.

At the time of this last king, it seems to have caused quite a bit of confusion and division.

The Short "Ur 3rd Dynasty" Period

After the decline of the Akkadian Empire, the Ur Third Dynasty was established by Ur Nammu to rule Mesopotamia.

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King of Sumer and Akkad

So called, he was the first king.

He was also the first to put the Code of Ur-Nammu into writing.

By this time, the concept of justice seems to have taken shape, and it became a moral model for later Babylonian kings to follow.

However, the time of Ur-Nammu lasted only about 100 years.

There were many dynasties in this period that lasted for 1000 years.

When you think about it,

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The period of the Ur Dynasty was short-lived.

It is not surprising so.

There are apparently two reasons for this.

  • The increase in the power of the Amurites who migrated to Mesopotamia from the west.
  • A rebellion broke out in the east and was crushed, but its power was greatly diminished as a result of other cities becoming virtually self-supporting.

From this point on, there was constant strife, and at last Ur's dynasty was destroyed.

Hammurabi's "Old Babylonian" Period

The Babylonian period can be divided into two chronological divisions, "Old Babylonia" and "Neo Babylonia".

The representative king of the Old Babylonian period was King Hammurabi.

He was also the king who had the famous "eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth" Code of Hammurabi created.

To learn more about the contents of such the Hammurabi Code,

Please read this article.

And if you want to know more about the early Babylonian history,

Please read this article.

Suddenly destroyed "Hittite" period

The Old Babylonian Empire was destroyed by the Hittite Empire in what is now Turkey.

The Hittite weas suddenly destroyed....

The following are some theories as to the cause of its demise.

  • They were destroyed by the people of the sea.
  • Severe civil strife in the country caused food shortages and other problems, leading to its destruction.

There is an article that goes into more detail about the history of the Hittites,

Please also read this article.

"Assyrian" era destroyed at Nineveh

With the decline of the Hittites, the Assyrian Empire expanded its power.

The Assyrian Empire then became a great empire that ruled the entire Orient (what we now call the Middle East and Egypt).

However, after that, due to the counterattack of Neo-Babylonia and Media, the capital Nineveh fell and the Assyrian Empire was destroyed.

To learn more about the history of the Assyrian Empire,

Please read this article.

The "Four Empires" Period

After the fall of the Assyrian Empire, they entered the era of the 4 Empires.

The four empires refer to the following:

  • Media on the Iranian Plateau
  • Neo-Babylonia in Mesopotamia
  • Lydia in Asia Minor
  • The 26th Dynasty of Egypt

To learn more about the history of one of the four empires, Neo-Babylonia,

Please read this article.

The most famous event that took place during this period was the Babylonian Captivity, in which the Jews were forcibly relocated to Babylon.

To learn more about the Babylonian Captivity,

Please read this article.

The Achaemenid Empire Period

Cyrus the Great of Achaemenid Empire destroyed Neo-Babylonia and established a large empire whose territory included the entire Orient, including Mesopotamia.

Achaemenid rule lasted for about 200 years, but eventually Achaemenid Empire was destroyed by Alexander the Great of Macedonia.

To learn more about the history of Achaemenid Empire,

Please read this article.

Why Mesopotamian Civilization Died?

The ancient Mesopotamian civilization that lasted so long came to an end with the Eastern Expedition of Alexander the Great in the 4th century BC.

To learn more about this Eastern Expedition,

What was the "Eastern Expedition"?

Please also read this article.

After the Eastern Expedition of Alexander the Great, Mesopotamian civilization became part of the "Hellenistic" world, which combined the cultures of the ancient Orient (Middle East) and Greece.

Religious Characteristics of Mesopotamian Civilization

Mesopotamian civilization has what is called a "ziggurat," like the pyramids of Egypt.

The purpose for which these were built is still a mystery.

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Perhaps it played a role like a "temple" for God?

This is the most likely possibilities.

A huge city-state was born around Ziggurat.

One of the characteristics of Mesopotamian civilization is that it is closely related to the Old Testament.

  • Judaism
  • Christianity
  • Islam

The first prophet Abraham, who appears in common in Judaism, Christianity, and Islam, is said to have come from Ur, a city in Mesopotamia.

To learn more about Abraham,

What kind of person was Abraham?

Please also read this article.

Besides the connection between Abraham and the Mesopotamian civilization,

  • Garden of Eden = a city in Mesopotamia
  • Tower of Babel = Ziggurat
  • Noah's Flood = sudden flood

Because of these parallels between the Mesopotamian civilization and the Old Testament in a number of ways,

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Isn't the story of the Old Testament an anecdote mainly about Mesopotamia?

This seems to be the theory.

If you want to know more about such Mesopotamian myths,

I briefly explain the outline and history of the "Mesopotamian Myth"!

Please also read this article.

Invented by the Mesopotamian Civilization

The Mesopotamian civilization used a "lunar-solar" calendar.

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What is a lunar-solar calendar?

If you are wondering so,

What is a lunar-solar calendar?

Please refer to this article.

Astrology also developed along with the lunisolar calendar.

If you want to know more about astrology,

What is Astrology?

Please read this article.

Incidentally, the "Sexagesimal," a method of calculation, was also born in the Mesopotamian civilization and is used today as a unit of time.

If you would like to know more about sexagesimal system,

What is the Sexagesimal?

Please also read this article.

Cuneiform script of the Mesopotamian civilization

Cuneiform script was used for writing.

This is what the script looks like.

Cuneiform script of the Mesopotamian civilization

(Source: https://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File:Cuneiform_script.jpg )

This language spread throughout Western Asia, and clay tablets were used as the recording medium.

The Code of Hammurabi, famous for that "eye for an eye, tooth for a tooth" revenge method, was also written in cuneiform, it seems.

Schools were established in each city to train scribes to handle documents, but literacy was something special in this period.

Ordinary citizens and even royalty and nobility could hardly read or write.

On the rare occasion that a literate king emerged, records seem to indicate that he was held in high esteem.

Mesopotamian Civilization's Trading Economy

Resources in Mesopotamia were basically scarce.

Therefore, trade with neighboring regions was very important to secure resources.

The trade range was very wide, and it is thought that there was trade with the Egyptian civilization and the Indus civilization.

From this time, sales were conducted in the famous bazaars (markets) in the Middle East region.

Because the Babylonian and ancient Greek market systems were different,

Mesopotamian (Babylonian) king image

The Greeks' market is complicated!

Cyrus the Great, the first king of Achaemenid Empire, did not understand and condemned the Greeks' market system.

If you want to know more about Cyrus the Great,

Please read this article.