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Mesopotamia Urbanization Essay

1384 words - 6 pages

In ancient times, Mesopotamia was known as the “Land between rivers”. The two main
rivers that ran parallel to each other in Mesopotamia were called the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers.
The Tigris River was the more unpredictable river to the East of the Euphrates River and the
second largest river in the region. The Euphrates River is the larger of the two rivers and is
located to the West of the Tigris river. Both rivers flowed from Eastern Turkey all the way to
the Persian Gulf (Tigris-Euphrates river system) .The two rivers provided everything the earliest
civilizations needed in order to survive. The Sumerians, who were considered the greatest of the
earliest civilizations, depended on the two rivers for food supply, water and a vehicle for their
trade. The two rivers had a major impact on the earliest civilizations advancement in
technology and agriculture. Also, the Tigris and Euphrates rivers contributed to the development
of the earliest civilizations beliefs systems and values.

Mesopotamia was located in the middle of the desert and is known today as Southern
Iraq. The Sumerians were the first civilization that developed in that particular area in the
Middle East. Other civilizations soon joined the region including, the Hurrians, Hebrews and
Akkadians. Mesopotamia was an extremely dry region and had minimal rain fall per year. If it
were not for the two rivers occupying the region, Mesopotamia would not have been considered
a perfect location to start the earliest civilizations. However, due to both rivers habit of flooding
and overflowing it made the soil in Mesopotamia extremely fertile. It was a perfect location to
establish and provide for their new society. The region was so ideal for agriculture that it led to
the name of the “Fertile crescent”.

Mesopotamia was irrigated by the two rivers and this made for ideal conditions for
agriculture to succeed. After the heavy rainfall in the winter and the melting snow from spring an
extremely fertile silt would cover the land between the two rivers (Guisepi). The Sumerians
were solely responsible for the world’s earliest irrigation system. Due to the habitual flooding of
the two rivers, the people of the civilizations had to find other ways to control the rivers from
unpredictable floods and overflowing. Therefore, on the banks of the Euphrates and Tigris
Rivers, the Sumerians dug canals and ditches to preserve water, limit the flooding and water their
crops. The canals and ditches allowed the Sumerians to supply water to their crops during the
droughts. Farming was the way of life in Mesopotamia and a necessity for the well-being of the
earliest civilizations. Agriculture was extremely important to nourish their growing
societies and to survive. The earliest civilizations were always thinking of ways to make their
land run more efficiently and “farming was further simplified by the introduction of the plow”
(The History...

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