Ancient Mesopotamia History Top 10 Interesting Facts

1.The 2 rivers of Mesopotamia are the Tigris and the Euphrates (Dijla and Furat, in Arabic). Today, the Tigris and Euphrates join up to flow into the Persian Gulf.

Ancient mesopotamia map

2.The Tigris and Euphrates Rivers meet somewhat north of the modern city of Basra and flow into the Persian Gulf.

3. Mesopotamian Religion did not believe in the after-life. They believed that all good and bad people go under-ground as ghosts and eat dirt.

4.Temple Economy – ruler/king administered lands on behalf of the gods. The ruler was also responsible for distribution of food. Central grain storage were vital to the economy.

5.Mespotamian cities were known for their diverse array of artisans and craftsmen.

Ancient mesopotamia cities

6.Their religion also believed that they were servants of god. If you were to ask a person today why they are here they would say because god loves me.

Ancient mesopotamia religion

7. Mesopotamia invented the wheel, plow, irrigation systems and the sailboat.

Ancient mesopotamia wheels

8.Priests would read the livers of chickens or lambs to see what the gods wanted for sacrifices

9.Priests controlled the irrigation systems and also had more power than the king and queen.

Ancient mesopotamian irrigation

10.Their written language began as pictographs, pictures of things that acted as words. Pictographs worked, but they were rather cumbersome.

Ancient mesopotamia writing

11.Sumer was the first urban civilization in ancient Mesopotamia. The Sumerian city of Eridu is considered to be the first city in the world. It was founded around 5400 BC on the coast of the Persian Gulf in southern Mesopotamia. A prehistoric people known as the Ubaidians are considered to be the first civilizing force in Sumer, draining the marshes for agriculture, developing trade and establishing industry,

12.The term Mesopotamia comes from the ancient Greek root words “meso”, meaning “middle”; and “potamos” means “river”. So it translates as “(land) in the middle of rivers”. Mesopotamia generally refers to the lands between the Euphrates and Tigris rivers.

13.Uruk’s growth made it the largest Mesopotamian settlement, both in population and area. At its peak, around 2900 BC, it had 40,000 to 80,000 inhabitants living on 6 km2 of walled area. This made Uruk most likely the largest city in the world at the time.


15. AMORITES founded the first BABYLONIAN EMPIRE in Mesopotamia

16. Tiglath-Pileser III was an Assyrian king who ruled from 745 BC to 727 BC. He also created Assyria’s first professional standing army and made it the most effective military force in history up to that time. Tiglath-Pileser III is considered one of the most successful military commanders in world history

17.Cuneiform is a Latin term meaning “wedge-shaped”. The Sumerian script developed from pictographs but grew in sophistication and eventually became a full-fledged writing system

18.The Fertile Crescent is a quarter-moon-shaped region of ancient Mesopotamia that corresponds to present-day southern Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Israel, and northern Egypt. It is a place commonly referred to as the “Cradle of Civilization”. The term “Fertile Crescent” is often assumed to be of ancient origin, but it was actually coined in 1916 AD by Egyptologist James Henry Breasted in his popular book Ancient Times. : History of the Early World.

19.Writing developed independently in many different areas of the world from China to Mesoamerica, but Mesopotamia is considered the first to do so, having developed a writing system before c. 3000 BCE known as cuneiform. The wheel also originates from the region (ca. 3500 BC), contrary to claims that it was invented in Central Asia. The oldest bicycle in the world, dated to approx. 3200 BCE (known as the Ljubljana Marshes Wheel) was discovered in Slovenia in 2002 CE, giving rise to claims that the wheel was invented by the inhabitants of Central Asia. However, the Mesopotamian wheel came first, as evidenced by its appearance in Mesopotamian art before 3200 BC. But the invention of the city is among the most significant innovations of Mesopotamia.

20.Among the most important resources in the region was water, and it was most likely the cause of the first war in recorded history.

21.Beer was considered the “beverage of the gods” and its brewing was overseen by the goddess Ninkasi (who lent her name to today’s Ninkasi Brewing Company of Eugene, Oregon, USA), who ensured its purity. Beer was the most popular beverage in ancient Mesopotamia because it contained so many important nutrients that it was considered food and was used to pay workers’ wages.

22.Among many of Mesopotamia’s achievements of “firsts” include the first dog collar and leash, represented in early Mesopotamian art. Early dog ​​collars appear to have been little more than ropes or strips of leather tied around the dog’s neck, but gradually became more ornate as civilization developed.

23.Another of Mesopotamia’s “firsts” is the world’s first multi-ethnic empire, the Akkadian Empire (2334 – c. 2083 BC), founded by Sargon of Akkad (r. 2334–2279 BC). The exact location of Akkad is unknown, but according to Sargon’s inscriptions, his empire stretched from the Persian Gulf up through present-day Kuwait, Iraq, Jordan, Syria, most likely the Levant, and down through Asia Minor to the island of Cyprus.

24.Enheduanna was not only a high priestess who helped maintain her father’s empire in Sumer, but also an acclaimed poet and the first author known by name in world history.

23.Although the Code of Babylonian King Hammurabi (r. 1792-1750 BC) is well known, it was not the first code in the world, or even the first in Mesopotamia. The earliest code was that of Uruka-gin in the 24th century BC, and the second was that of Ur-Nammu (r. 2047-2030 BC), the founder of the third Ur dynasty in Sumer, which began the Ur III period (2047 -1750 BC) .

Here are 5 more bonus facts about mesopotamia!

  • .For 5000 years before the appearance of writing in Mesopotamia, there were small clay objects in abstract shapes, called clay tokens, that were apparently used for counting agricultural and manufactured goods.
  • Further down the history lane, use of clay tokens was completely stopped by ancient Mesopotamians. They simply started to impress the symbol of the clay tokens on wet clay surfaces. In addition to symbols derived from clay tokens, other symbols that were more pictographic in nature were also added i.e. they resemble the natural object they represent.
  • Ur (ruled by the Third Dynasty) was the dominant city in the 22nd century BC but it collapsed as a power in the wake of the Elam invasions.
  • .An important literary work associated with the early Mesopotamians is the Epic of Gilgamesh.

Ancient mesopotamia epic of Gilgamesh

  • .Ancient Mesopotamian soldiers were paid with wooden coins.
  • They used to bury royal ladies underneath the queens quarters, when different people started moving into Mesopotamia ,or taking over the government, they adopted some culture, beliefs, and traditions of the people who had lived there before them.