The Historical Geography of Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia is a historical region in southwest Asia where the world's earliest civilization developed. The name comes from a Greek word meaning "between rivers," referring to the land between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, north or northwest of the bottleneck at Baghdad. It is known as Al-Jazirah, or "The Island," to the Arabs (3). South of this lies Babylonia. However, in the broader sense, the name Mesopotamia has come to be used for the area bounded on the northeast by the Zagros Mountains, and on the southwest by the edge of the Arabian Plateau, and stretching from the Persian Gulf in the southeast to the Anti-Taurus Mountains in the northwest (5). Only from the latitude of Baghdad do the Euphrates and Tigris truly become twin rivers, the "rafidan" of the Arabs, which have constantly changed their courses throughout the ages. This region was the center of a culture whose influence extended throughout the Middle East and even the rest of the known world. This paper will focus on the importance of geography in raising this small region to such a level of high importance in the history of the world.
Explanation of the Applicable National Standards for Geography
The National Standards for Geography are being employed into school education programs throughout the United States. The source for the standards is Geography for Life in which they are published. The book suggests the essential knowledge, shills and perspectives that students should master by grades 4,8,and 12. One of these such standards is "knows and understands the physical and human characteristics of places." This is very important to the extent that people cannot fully understand a place unless they first understand the environment and native people of a place. I plan to incorporate this knowledge into my paper for the reader. Another of these national standards is "knows and understands that physical processes shape patterns on the earth?s surface." This is also very important in the sense that this really is the core of geographic knowledge. I will try to incorporate this in by describing the effects of the twin rivers on this region. Another standard that I will use is "knows and understands the characteristics, distribution, and migrations of human populations." This basically means that we should know how people end up where they are in the world. I plan on incorporating this point into my paper as well. And a final standard that I will use will be "knows and understands the changes in meaning, distribution, and importance of resources." Natural resources are extremely important in any civilization. I plan to show how vital it was in the shaping of Mesopotamian history.
Mesopotamia?s Favorable Geographic Circumstances
Archaeological excavations in Mesopotamia, conducted since about 1840, have revealed evidence of settlement back to about 10,000 BC. Favorable geographic circumstances allowed the peoples of...