Mesopotamia became a center of trade early in human history because its farmers mastered irrigation early, providing more crops than they needed to support the population. This allowed Mesopotamia to trade the surplus with neighbors. Its position between Europe and Asia also made it a prime trading hub.Continue Reading
In ancient times, Mesopotamia relied on trade for many important resources, including mineral wealth. The civilizations in the region had few natural resources to rely on, and only its great agricultural capacity allowed the population to flourish. Much of this trade occurred before the invention of coinage and was handled through complex barter transactions. The need to keep track of these transactions led to the development of writing for the purpose of record-keeping.
As other civilizations made their own advancements in agricultural technology, Mesopotamian empires maintained their power through trade. Sumerian temples became the first banks and credit institutions, and the Babylonians developed the first commercial banking system. This wealth funded great construction projects, such as the Great Ziggurat of Babylon, the structure that became the inspiration for the story of the Tower of Babel.
Ultimately, the wealth of the empires of Mesopotamia became great enough to inspire outsiders to wage war, and the region fell under the control of the Persians and the Romans before ultimately falling to Muslim conquerors in the seventh century A.D.Learn more about Mesopotamia
Some interesting facts about Mesopotamia include the meaning of the word Mesopotamia, the numerous countries that made up Mesopotamia and the region's use of money. "Mesopotamia" literally means "the land between two rivers." The modern names for the rivers that bounded Mesopotamia are the Tigris and Euphrates.Full Answer >
Some of civilization's first cities were founded by the Sumerian people in Mesopotamia, which is located in the valley between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. In Mesopotamia, women were wives and mothers and took care of household duties. Men were trained from an early age for specialized jobs such as masons, musicians, builders or politicians. Big events such as weddings were celebrated with parties and festivals.Full Answer >
The city-states of ancient Mesopotamia were independent cities constructed around temples and entirely self-contained within mighty perimeter walls. City-states were unified with each other only by their shared use of the Sumerian language. They spent most of their time engaged in conflict over resources.Full Answer >
Society in ancient Mesopotamia was primarily male-dominated. As one of the world's first urban centers, however, the role played by men changed from one in which they would no longer be focused strictly on tribe and family, but would instead view themselves as holding a place in a much larger and organized community. The social status of a man in Mesopotamian society was determined by his profession, with those who were trained to be scribes considered among the elites.Full Answer >