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Ancient Near East

Uploaded by Admin on Jun 11, 2000

Millions of years ago the procreant low lands in the river basins of Euphrates and Tigris was probably the home of some animal life, but no great civilizations. However, things change over time, and just a few thousand years ago the same fertile low lands in the river basins of Euphrates and Tigris became the home of a very rich and complex society. This first high society of man was located in what some still call “Mesopotamia”. The word “Mesopotamia” is in origin a Greek name meaning “land between the rivers.” The name is used for the area watered by the Euphrates and Tigris and its tributaries, roughly comprising modern Iraq and part of Syria. South of modern Bagdad, this alluvial plain was called the land of Sumer and Akkad. Sumer is the most southern part, while the land of Akkad is the area around modern Bagdad, where the Euphrates and Tigris are closest to each other. This first high, Mesopotamian society arose as a combined result of various historical, institutional, and religious factors. The reality of these factors occurring at a specific place within the fabric of space / time indeed established the basis for this first high civilization. Items like irrigation, topography, and bronze-age technical innovations played a big part along with the advent of writing and the practice of social conditioning (through the use of organized religion) in this relatively early achievement of man.

The factors of irrigation, inherent topography, and useful bronze-age technical innovations paved the way for the agricultural revolution to occur in the land of Sumer and Akkad. The people of the Tigris and the Euphrates basin, the ancient Sumerians, using the fertile land and the abundant water supply of the area, developed sophisticated irrigation systems and created what was probably the first cereal agriculture. This historical factor resulted in an excess of production of cereals, dates, and other commodities. The consequence of excess is the emergence of a productive peasant agricultural system and a redistributive economy that fuels the progress of civilization.

Without a doubt, the Sumerians were highly innovative people who responded creatively to the challenges of the both the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Not just any spot on the planet is a good prospect for irrigation, and it is the topography of the land and the intelligence of the people that allowed efficient irrigation systems to develop. The precipitation in the mountains...

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Uploaded by:   Admin

Date:   06/11/2000

Category:   History

Length:   7 pages (1,583 words)

Views:   1990

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