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Ancient Civilizations: Mesopotamia

Updated on July 2, 2012

Mesopotamia is another ancient civilization that we know little about. Similar to the Sumerians the Mesopotamian civilization started around the same vicinity of Iraq, Middle East. This was a very popular settlement area because of the fertile plains along the two rivers the Tigris and the Euphrates. These two rivers combined brought the fertile soil needed to harvest crops, feed animals and turn soil. This is why it has been one of the largest cradles of human civilization

Major Mesopotamian Cities

One of the most historic cities in ancient culture is Babylon. This city was the capital of the Mesopotamian civilization. It was established along the backs of the mighty Euphrates River. There are many references to this great empire throughout history. Including in the christen bible. It soon became the commercial center of the ancient world. It traded with countries as far away as Europe. It was established by the ruler Hammurabi in 2000 B.C.

The city of Babylon did not exist with before Hammurabi. He was considered one of the most influential kings in Mesopotamian History. He drew up a series of laws and codes that were soon established as law by the people. He was very influential with his neighbors as the before his rule the country had many splintered rulers. He united them under one banner and conquered many lands around him. The expansion and wars brought him countless treasures from the countries of Assyria and Sudan.

There was also another very influential city in the Mesopotamia which was founded a little earlier than the capital of Babylon. This is the great city of Nippur. The location of this city is located south of Bagdad, Iraq. It was the religious capital of the region and considered by the people of the time the location of the supreme, holy creator of mankind. They referred to god, as Enlil, he was in charge of the storms. He was thought to have a major influence on the political ties of the country.

One of the large Sumerian Ziggurat temples was built in the center of this city. It was reappointed as a temple to the Mesopotamia gods. Nibbur is famous for planning and importance when attacking and political changes were in the making.

Economic History of Mesopotamia

The Mesopotamian civilization was one of the only civilizations that first started to use a system of money exchange. Being that most people still used the barter system, this was a unique way of exchanging goods and services. Gold and silver coins were flattened, and symbols placed on them in exchange for goods and services. There was even interest and loan calculations on transactions that were being borrowed from. This was paving the way of modern money transactions.

The exchange created a complex system of value that started with gold, silver, tin, and then copper. They also used wheat as a type of transaction. However, the transport of many pounds of barley was difficult and time consuming.


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    Jose Juan Gutierrez 5 years ago from Mexico City

    Interesting Hub! Given the fact that this is one of the great civilizations of the world, it should be expanded with more information.

    Voted interesting!

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    samanthajae 5 years ago

    There must have been quite a bit of research done in order to create this well-written hub. It reminded me of my history classes. Interesting writing