Ancient Civilizations


Ancient Mesopotamian Civilization

Posted by cosmic  •  Filed under ancient civilizations, cultures

The Mesopotamians

The Mesopotamian Civilization is thought to be the first civilization in our world's history. Mesopotamia began in what is today known as Iraq. The origins of Mesopotamia are found all around the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers at the Fertile Crescent.

Mesopotamians began as hunters and gatherers who eventually learned to use the land, animals, and plants. They began to cultivate wheat and barley. Plant domestication seems to have occurred independently in various regions of Mesopotamia posing favourable to certain environmental conditions. This includes a diversity of habitats in a relatively small area, mild climate, abundant water, and wildlife. It is believed that in a certain rich flood plain in the centre of Great Mesopotamia was the origin of wheat, barley, and oats.

A civilization within Mesopotamia was the Sumerians. These people were the first people to live in villages. Their geographical location was between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. Sumer is the birthplace of the first civilization. This civilization encompassed city dwelling where people enjoyed stable agriculture, domesticated animals, a hierarchical system of social classes with priest-kings, slaves, scribes, advisers, doctors, merchants, fishermen, blacksmiths and masons.

The Sumerian economy was mainly based on agriculture. A significant invention that remarkably influenced the world was the wheel. The first wheel was made out of complete solid wood. The Sumerians had no money system, except for the exchange of precious and semi-precious metals. Sumerians wrote on clay tablets with the writing system called cuneiform.

Sumerians were a polytheistic civilization. The number of gods they worshipped was innumerable. Anu was the father of all gods and the lord of the heavens. In addition to gods of rivers, mountains, sun, moon, winds, storms, and planets, there were also individual personal gods. Sumerians built these extremely high religious structures known as Ziggurats and were homes for the gods. Some Sumerian women were married to the gods of the Ziggurats and therefore would remain celibate, others were prostitutes, and their children were legally adopted.

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