Mesopotamia was known as the land between two rivers, the Tigris to the north and the Euphrates to the south. Rains were seasonal in this area, which meant that the land flooded in the winter and spring and water was scarce at other times. Farming in the region depended on irrigation from the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers.
In ancient times, many resources in Mesopotamia were scarce or absent, which stimulated trade within the region and beyond. Supported by lucrative trade with its neighbors, Mesopotamia grew to become a powerful empire.
In Mesopotamia men were the farmers of the land, the kings and rulers, and government officials. Historians have concluded that most of the society of the desert climate became farmers. Farmer’s fields provided onions, garlic, apples, grapes, figs, and pomegranates. With fertile environments and rich soils, farmers took their advantages and domesticated a variety of animals and plants. Farmers searched for farming techniques and technologies to increase production.
Over 5000 years ago some prehistoric farmer, perhaps in Mesopotamia, got the bright idea of hitching his ox to his digging stick — and so the plow was invented. Such primitive stick plows still are used in some parts of the world. The construction of this earliest plow was probably that of a crooked tree branch, making it an easily found mechanism in the Mesopotamian environment. Though it was better than having to dig separate holes, this plowing process still took the farmer much time and patience.
The land may have been fertile, but the ancient Mesopotamians learned the rivers could not be trusted to flood their fields when they needed them to. Rain was also something that could not be counted on. So, the Mesopotamians invented irrigation. They dug a maze of ditches and waterways from the rivers to their fields, creating a dependable source of water for their crops.
Mesopotamia wheat and barley were most important grown crops by the Sumerians. Shade trees protected trees from harsh winds and from the sun. Some of the fruits they planted were dates, grapes, figs, melons, and apples. Their favorite vegetables that they grew were the eggplant. They planted vegetables such as onions, radishes, beans, and lettuce.
Farmers irrigated land and started planting wheat, barley, millet, beans, and sesame seeds. They used spears to hunt, caught fish in nets, and killed birds with sling shots and arrows. Sumerians got their food from nearby marshes and rivers. Thought the climate in Mesopotamia was very hot, they still received enough rainfall for crops. Soon, Mesopotamia became a very rich farming ground.
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Ancient Mesopotamian Plows Invention