Saturday, January 29, 2011

Essay on Mesopotamia

Essay on Ancient Mesopotamia

The region known as Mesopotamia is known to all as the birth place of civilization. Mesopotamia has an overwhelmingly rich history. It is contributed to by many religions and ethnic groups. Because of the strong religious influence in the area, there are many myths and legends about monuments and locations.

Mesopotamia was established in an area known as the Fertile Crescent. At this point in history, people settled wherever there was an exceeding amount of natural resources. The crescent was an ideal area. Mesopotamia was the name given to the land between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Mesopotamia means ‘between the rivers’ (Dowling). With the rivers on either side, the land remained full of nutrients and perfect for farming.



The first known inhabitants of Mesopotamia were the Sumerians. These people formed methods for irrigating the land. Irrigation caused crops to flourish and created a surplus of food. After surplus was established the people began to form other types of trades. At this point the first civilization was formed. A civilization is defined as a city-based society held together by economic enterprises (Sumerian).

At the heart of each city-state was the ziggurat. This was a shrine to a god. Life revolved around this holy temple. Those with high community status and various merchant or trade workers lived on the ziggurat grounds. There was also a place to keep sacrificial animals on the grounds (Sumerian).

The writing system of the Sumerians is the oldest known system. It was called cuneiform. This comes from the Latin word cuneus, which mean wedge. The scribes would write using wedge like symbols on moist clay tablets. When these tablets were baked, the information would be permanent (Sumerian).

The next people to inhabit the Mesopotamian region were the Assyrians. Assyrian culture was based on war and military power. During the entire span of the empire, the current monarch was always trying to overcome and occupy a neighboring empire. Of which Babylon was always a preferred prize. All conquered people were forced to migrated and in turn they were guaranteed protection. This melting pot was inflicted on purpose causing the combining of many cultures and languages (Hooker).

The Assyrian state was based on war and conquest. Upper classes were mainly military officers and commanders that grew wealthy from their military victories. The Assyrian army was the largest known to this area. The constant victories were aided by Assyrian inventions such as iron swords, lances, metal armor, and battering rams (Hooker).

The constant focus of war in the Assyrian culture led to growth in mathematics and sciences. Their advancements medicine even affected as far away cultures as Greece.

Among their many mathematical inventions was idea of a three-hundred and sixty degree circle and the inventions of latitude and longitude (Hooker). The third of the ancient empires of Mesopotamia was the Babylonians.

Warning!!! All free online essays, sample essays and essay examples on Mesopotamia topics are plagiarized and cannot be completely used in your school, college or university education.

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