Around the world, there may been many early civilizations which include the Mesoamerican, Mesopotamia, Indus River Valley and China. Mesopotamia was the term used to name the large land portions covered in Iraq. The meaning of the term Mesopotamia is ‘between two rivers’ In the case of Mesopotamia in Iraq, the two rivers are Euphrates and Tigris. In Greek the word means ‘a land between two rivers’.
Development Of Mesopotamian Civilization
Civilization which existed between these two rivers in the Middle East was given the name Mesopotamia. Modern Turkey is the source of these rivers which cross Syria and unite and end in Iraq. The Middle East region is generally sandy and dry. The Mesopotamia region was however fertile land due to regular flooding of the areas by the rivers like Euphrates and Tigris. It was possible to grow crops and hence Mesopotamian farming settlements were seen in the region between these rivers by the 7th Century BC. Instead of relying on the waters of the two rivers, the people began developing irrigation agriculture. Hence the two Mesopotamian towns Uruk and Eridu also developed. Methods of irrigation started improving to grow enough crops for the Mesopotamian people.
Belief In God
For this community, water was most important and hence they respected the rivers that provided it and had great belief in the God of Water. Mesopotamian people started accepting the idea that people were created to cultivate land and use water of the rivers to grow crops and trees and accordingly fruit could be offered to the Gods as sacrifice. The nobles and kings represented God and received the sacrifice on God’s behalf. People provided a house and clothing for their Gods, and hence built temples, palaces for kings and representatives. Enki or House of Water was one of the Gods worshipped in Eridu city by the Mesopotamian people since the god was linked with keeping the soil fertile and creating it. Patterns of the stars in the sky at night were used for planning crop plantation.
Invasions In The Mesopotamian Region
In the Mesopotamian area there were two main civilizations, mainly the Akkadians in the north and the south were the Sumerians. Besides this there were the Babylonians and Chaldeans. A stronger civilization had been developed by the Sumerians in the region around 3500 BC to 2350 BC when the Akkadians defeated them. One of the largest capitals in the world was in Uruk. A single administration was adopted after different city states were brought together after the Akkadian conquest. The official language, Akkadian was introduced after which the Sumerian language replaced it as the region’s dominant language. The Sumerian civilization was not destroyed by the conquest of the Akkadians. Instead they absorbed the civilization of the Sumerians and termed it as Sumer-Akkad.
After the Akkadian rule of a century and a half, Ur city started asserting itself. Under the king Ur-Nammu, a new Sumerian Kingdom was established after the Akkad Kingdom was overthrown by the Akkadians. Many buildings were constructed and Sumerian language was also revived. Ziggurats or pyramid shaped constructions were built for use as temples or shrine for the gods.
Then the Babylonians invaded the Sumerians, destroyed their buildings and rebuilt some of them for reflecting their own influence. Later, Alexander the Great conquered Mesopotamia, traded in silk and enriched the land. The Muslim Ottoman Empire replaced the Roman rule and now it was difficult for Mesopotamia to defend itself from foreign invasions. To protect itself, the Mesopotamian civilization had no natural border due to which it carried various influences from the east and west.
Central And South American Mesoamerican Empires
A few advanced civilizations in the ancient times have been seen in Central, South and North America besides the Caribbean Islands. In many ways, these advanced civilizations developed more as compared to modern civilizations and lasted for thousands of years. However the civil wars weakened them. Then to conquer the ‘New World’, the Portuguese and Spaniards arrived in America. In a few years time, the few American Mesoamerican empires that remained were then brought to the ground.