Mesopotamia occupied the land between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. Due in part to its geography, civilizations have been present in Mesopotamia since as early as 10,000 B.C. Today the area forms a part of Iraq.
Mesopotamia translates to "land between rivers" in Ancient Greek, and human beings came to occupy this strip of land largely because the rivers made the land very fertile through flooding. Mesopotamia is sometimes referred to as "the Fertile Crescent" for this reason. It is also termed "the Cradle of Civilization" for its role in the history of agriculture and cultural development. The desirable conditions of this area allowed the cultivation of crops and the establishment of permanent settlements that replaced the nomadic hunter-gatherer lifestyle of humans in other areas of the world.