Before talking about Mesopotamian civilization facts, let’s see its origins.
The word Mesopotamia originates from meso, implying middle, old Greek root phrases; and river meaning potamos.
It thus translates to ‘(land) in the middle of rivers’
Mesopotamia relates widely to the territories between the Euphrates and Tigris rivers.
The region comprises most of the Iraq of modern times; Kuwait
It was a homeland of many of the oldest significant civilizations in the world, including Sumerians, Akkadians, Assyrians, and Babylonians but we can also regard it as one of the first civilization in the world.
Top 10 mysteries about Mesopotamian civilization
By 3000 BC, the Sumerian people had controlled Mesopotamia and played an important part in Mesopotamia history.
There were several decentralized city-states in Sumer, including Eridu, Nippur, Lagash, Uruk, Kish, and Ur.
Sumer’s most prominent city was Uruk, about 30 km eastward of Iraq’s modern Samawah town.
It served a major position in urbanization and state formation in Mesopotamia during the so-called Uruk period & was among the first city in the region.
The development of Uruk rendered it the biggest settlement in Mesopotamia, both in population and area.
At its height, it had between 40,000 and 80,000 inhabitants living in 6 sq. km of the enclosed region around 2900 BC.
The development of Uruk made it the biggest settlement in Mesopotamia, both in population and area.
Eannatum, a ruler of the Sumerian town of Lagash, started a military campaign to annex the different city-states in the 25th century BC.
Ultimately, he conquered all Sumer and spread his impact beyond his borders.
Eannatum’s empire is one of history’s first verifiable kingdoms. In northern Mesopotamia, Akkad was a town.
Also, Sargon of Akkad established The Akkadian Empire, also recognized as Sargon the Great, and conquered Sumer around 2270 BC.
We can regard him as Mesopotamia’s first brilliant emperor and evidence support the facts.
He captured all southern Mesopotamia and areas of Syria, Anatolia, and Elam (west Iran).
The Sargon-built empire was up to that stage the largest empire in recorded history.
During Sargon’s regime, there were countless revolts, and its a fact that he had the world’s first skilled standing army to safeguard his empire from rebellious citizens.
After his death, Mesopotamian rulers considered him as a model for about two millennia.
Assyria is named after its first capital Assur on a plateau above the Tigris River in ancient Mesopotamian civilization.
Geography has placed Assyria in an exposed position with most sides free to loot.
Because of these neighboring nations, including the armies of Mitanni, Hittite, and Babylon constantly were a threat.
These forces defeated the Assyrians at different phases in their past and had to battle for their independence.
This developed a reactionary effect that resulted in the development of an efficient, well-organized and powerful army,
A structure capable of coping with its neighbors’ continual violence, conflicts, and attacks.
This made the Assyrian army powerful, and they triumphed over most of-of the strong Mesopotamian states by the 8th century BC to become one of the first superpowers of the ancient world.
The Assyrian king Tiglath-Pileser III ruled from 745 BC to 727 BC. Considered one of the strongest rulers in Mesopotamian civilization
He carried out a sequence of comprehensive changes to reorganize the military and restructure the government’s bureaucracy.
He also developed Assyria’s first professional standing army and up to that moment made it the most efficient military power in history.
It’s also considered him as one of the most successful military commanders in the world’s history and before his death.
He conquered most of the world known to the Assyrians.
Tiglath-Pileser III’s brother Sargon II captured the crown in 722 BC and governed Assyria until 705 BC.
The Assyrian Empire achieved its highest heights under Sargon II. It was the world’s largest empire up to that moment.
The wheel was first created as a potter’s wheel and has occurred around 3500 BC, contrary to popular belief.
Although the wheel first existed in ancient Mesopotamia, archaeologists found the earliest wheel called the Ljubljana Marshes Wheel in 2002 in Ljubljana, Slovenia’s capital, and dates back 5,150 years.
They also used the wheel as a luxurious transport for the rich and for agriculture, ceramic manufacturing, and processing.
It bases the chariot technology and other significant historical inventions on the existence of the wheel.
The chariot was the first means of private transport and then; they used in wars, sports and public use for years.
They made the oldest chariot design of a light wood with a bentwood rim.
The first chariot appeared in Mesopotamia around 3200 BC and then after used by almost every civilization after, they used chariots for kings and wealthy private commute.
People recorded information about their agricultural goods—including domestic animals and plants in the form of small clay tokens.
Scholars believe that the written form of language that we use to pass this information along today evolved out of this simple accounting technique.
On cave ceilings, upper Paleolithic individuals left tally marks and cut hash marks on portable sticks.
But, Clay tokens provided more data, including what commodity they counted, a significant leap forward in storing and retrieving information.
Urban towns flourished during the Uruk era in Mesopotamia [4000–3000 BC] and accounting administrative requirements increased.
In Mesopotamian culture, production of secondary commodities such as wool, clothing, metals, honey, bread, oil, alcoholic beverages, rope, furniture, jewelry, tools, perfume required accounting, and the number of tokens used increased in 3300 BCE.
During the Late Uruk era [3500–3100 BCE], accountants started to maintain tokens inline globular clay envelopes called bullae.
Bullae are hollow clay balls about 5–9 cm (2–4 inches) in diameter: they kept tokens inside the box and the opening later sealed.
About 150 of these clay envelopes are recovered from excavation sites of Mesopotamian civilization.
Mesopotamians developed the concept of urbanization for the first time.
Human beings began to live in a particular location instead of scavenging or hunting for the first time in history.
Agriculture’s creation enabled feeding more individuals and livestock living in one place.
People taught to trade, and the notion of taxes evolved with it.
Mesopotamia emerged as one of the world’s first sun-dried brick-built towns.
Urbanization in Mesopotamia began in the Uruk era (4300–3100 BC) and massive mud-brick houses built around 3200 BC was the biggest colony ever to be built in human culture.
Huge fortifications constructed by King Gilgamesh surrounded the town.
The cuneiform writing system is also not an alphabet, and it doesn’t have letters.
Instead, it used between 600 and 1,000 characters to write words or syllables which was one of the earliest forms of writings used in ancient Mesopotamia.
Sumerian and Akkadian (from old Iraq) are the two primary scripts published in Cuneiform, although more than we record a handful of others.
This implies that we could use it to write Chinese, Hungarian or English pretty well today.
The first stage used basic pictures that were also used to record syllables soon.
Reading the letters of other people, particularly when they are 4,000 years old and written in such an attractive and sensitive format, is absolutely fascinating.
Marriage was of essential significance in ancient Mesopotamia culture because it guaranteed the continuity of the bloodline and offered social balance.
Human relations in ancient Mesopotamia were as difficult and complex as those today, and the emotion of affection was a component of that nature.
There are poems, like of Akkadian composition around 1750 BCE, which portrays two couples arguing that the female believes
that the boy has an affair with someone and that he has to convince her she is the only one.
Ultimately, after poetic discussing the issue, the pair reconciles, and it’s clarified that they will stay comfortably together now.
While romantic love played a role in Mesopotamian weddings, marriage was a legal contract between the father of the bride and to be the groom.
More commonly, it was between two families according to the customs and standards of Mesopotamian culture.
(Its called dowry; Fathers gave the bride to the groom’s family who paid the highest price to them.)
To be considered legal, the wedding celebration had to include a feast.
For the pair to be legally married, the marriage procedure had five phases to be noted:
1.Engagement / marriage agreement;
2.Payment of the bride and groom parents to each other (gift and wife price); ceremony/feast;
3.Bride shifting to the house of her husband/in-laws;
4.Sexual intercourse between the bride and the pair expected to be a virgin on their wedding night and become pregnant.
Mesopotamian rituals and practices may seem odd, or even unfair, to a Western modern-day mind.
The ancient world’s humans were no distinct from those who live today.
Many modern weddings started with a promise, end sadly, while many others struggled initially but last a lifetime.
Researchers have encountered at a Kars symposium called “Ani’s Underground Secrets” to explore the underground world of the city listed in old carvings as the place of an old esoteric school in Mesopotamia.
At its peak, Ani rivaled in size and importance the likes of Constantinople, Baghdad, and Cairo.
Ani had risen to over 100, 000 people by the 11th century in Mesopotamian civilization.
It would become the battlefield for different contending empires, resulting in its destruction and abandonment.
Today, hundreds of ancient churches, Zoroastrian temples, and other structures stay spread across the rough and desolate landscape, most of them in ruins.
It was the beginning of a discovery of water streams, unexplored monk cells, meditation chambers, big hallways, complex tunnels, pits, and corners beneath the remains of Ani’s old Armenian city.
They found a papyrus fragment in a place in one chamber. In an ancient Armenian language, the document was written in some strange text,
The first sign that Ani’s hidden world was very old.
Archeologists put together the significance of the strange text after a while.
They learned that the text was a cult message written from one monk to another monk.
Just like the Mesopotamian civilization, there is another ancient civilization called Indus Valley civilization and it is as old as Mesopotamian it just fascinates and intrigues us to know about our ancestors yet see how far we have come.
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