What Was the Economy of Ancient Mesopotamia?
The economy of ancient Mesopotamia mainly depended on agriculture and trade. Mesopotamia is regarded as the cradle of civilization because it saw the beginning of human settlement in an organized society.
One of the main economic activities of ancient Mesopotamia was agriculture, which largely relied on irrigation for success. Farmers around the region channeled water from the rivers Tigris and Euphrates to their lands because the natural geographic conditions were not suitable for agriculture. Some of the crops that were cultivated include onions, apples, barley, turnip and grapes. The use of dams and aqueducts were the main forms of water control techniques in the region. To farther supplement agriculture in the region, the people came up with techniques for fishing.
Another important aspect of the Mesopotamian economy was trade with neighboring communities. This was necessitated by the fact that natural resources were not plentiful in the region. Assyrian merchants would make their way into Mesopotamia with caravans of Donkeys that bore items such as tin and textile. Mesopotamians traded items such as grains, cooking oil, pottery, jewelry and baskets. They acquired gold from Egyptian traders while pearls and ivory was obtained from Indian merchants. The waterways that went through Mesopotamia made it an ideal place for traders to converge.