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The Mesopotamian civilization

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  1. Introduction
  2. Early settlements and origin of cities
  3. The Sumerians, Babylonians, Kassites and the Assyrians and Chaldeans
  4. Mesopotamian society
  5. Code of hammurabi
  6. Mesopotamian religion
    1. Early sumerian religion
    2. Astronomy
    3. Philosophy
  7. Writing and education
    1. Script
    2. Literature & learning
  8. Medicine
  9. Science and technology
    1. Agriculture
    2. Crafts
    3. Mathematics
  10. Urban planning and architecture
    1. Houses, places and ziggurats
  11. Conclusion
  12. Bibliography

Mesopotamia or Bilad Al-Rafidayn, the Arabic terminology for "land between the rivers" is widely considered as the ?cradle of civilization? on account of the flourishing urban communities that thrived in this land much before the rest of the world was inhabited.In a narrow sense, Mesopotamia refers to the flat alluvial land that lies between the Tigris and the Euphrates, bound by the Zagros Mountains in the North and the Arabian deserts in the South. However, these two rivers have changed their course several times in the past twelve thousand years and as such, what constituted ancient Mesopotamia now includes territories much beyond the present riverbanks, and incorporates the lands comprising of modern day Iraq, some parts of northeastern Syria, southeastern Turkey and the Khuzestan Province of southwestern Iran.The Sumerian, Akkadian, Babylonian, and the Assyrian empires dominated much of Bronze Age Mesopotamian civilization whereas the Neo-Assyrian Empire and Neo-Babylonian Empire dominated Mesopotamia during the Iron Age. The Iranian Achaemenid conquest ended the ancient Mesopotamian civilization, and Mesopotamia remained under Persian rule until the Islamic conquest of the 7th Century.

[...] The Persians annexed Babylon and the other city-states to their empire and this ended the ancient Mesopotamian civilization. MESOPOTAMIAN SOCIETY The Mesopotamian society had three distinct social classes. The upper class or the nobles comprised of government officials, priests, and warriors. Freemen or the middle-class comprised of merchants, artisans, professionals, and wealthy farmers. Slaves formed the third class citizens. The priests and other members of the upper class lived a life of luxury and abundance, and had many slaves working for them. [...]

[...] SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY Agriculture The development of the Sumerian civilization depended on their advanced knowledge in agricultural practices that included maintaining an extensive system of canals, dikes, weirs, and reservoirs, all of which required considerable engineering knowledge and skill. They were the first to use wooden ploughs to soften the soil before planting crops such as barley, onions, grapes, turnips, and apples. The Babylonians not only inherited the technical achievements of the Sumerians in irrigation and agriculture, but also made further advancements. [...]

[...] Ziggurats One unique specimen of Mesopotamian architecture is the Ziggurats, the huge pyramidal temple towers in the form of a terraced step pyramid of successively receding stories or levels that dominated the city. The number of tiers in the pyramid ranged from two to seven, with a shrine or temple at the summit. The facings, made of glazed bricks had the names of the kings engraved on to it. A series of ramps on one side of the ziggurat or a spiral ramp from the base to summit provided access to the shrine. [...]

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