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The most important cultures of ancient Mesopotamia

The most important cultures of ancient Mesopotamia

September 14, 2022

The explorers say that this is where everything began, the cradle of civilizations.

The so-called Ancient Mesopotamia , which is located in the Middle East today, has seen the birth of many of the most prosperous civilizations in the history of mankind. Predecessors of all the culture acquired worldwide, with more than six thousand years of history, were especially important Babylon, Assyria and the Sumerians.

The name of Mesopotamia It has a meaning that has been translated into different ancient languages ​​of the time: it means "between two rivers". Its origin is due to the geographical location of its culture, located between the Euphrates River and Tigris that are part of the current Syria and Iraq. Among many of the influences and inheritances that have been assumed to be part of our current affairs, one fact in particular is noteworthy, that of writing.


Origin and territorial extension of Mesopotamia

Given the antiquity and the transformation that the zone has suffered since the first archaeological remains were discovered, the extension of the Ancient Mesopotamia is very significant . We could say that it starts from Anatolia (eastern Turkey) to the Persian Gulf of Iran. Note that it is an approximate geographical location, as there may be some discrepancies between expert historians.

Since the origin of Mesopotamia is credited between 5000 and 6000 a.C., it can be intuited that these lands gave rise to the techniques of branches and fisheries, agriculture and livestock. Subsequently, these events involved the development of cities with all their meaning: administration, cultural spaces and circular economy. Some of the first cities were Choga Mami, Buqras or Yarim.


The cultures that influenced the development of Ancient Mesopotamia were several. In the first place it was the Umm Dabaghiyah culture; later the Hassuna-Samarra culture replaced it and finally we find the Halaf or Halaf culture later (around 4,000 BC).

The main Mesopotamian cultures

A territory with so much history would not be understandable without identifying the cultures that formed it. Then we will highlight the most relevant cultures and that gave origin to the Ancient Mesopotamia .

1. The Sumerians

The Sumerians were the first civilization of the region . The first city-states were founded as Uma, Ur, Eridu, and Ea. Impressive as it may seem, at that time there was already a certain state consciousness as a model of society and political system, in a very archaic way, of course, where there was a single figure with absolute power over the masses that the Sumerians called "vicar". God protector of the city.


In addition, it was during this period that there is evidence of the first pictograms, which would be the origin of the writing, since this technique is based on the assimilation of the drawings to the words. The construction of temples and walls to surround the cities as a measure of protection suggests that there were different battles between the towns of the area.

2. The Acadians

As has been happening throughout the history of mankind, success soon attracted the enemies of the area. Different nomadic peoples, especially from the Arabian Peninsula such as the Syrians, Hebrews and Arabs who decided to intensely invade the territories developed by the Sumerians. It dates from 2,500 a.C. the absolute dominion of the mentioned civilizations.

The Akkadians were the most important group in Mesopotamia thanks to King Sargon , who founded the capital of Agadé to replace Kis once the Lugalzagesi empire was defeated. The Sargon dynasty had to face for centuries various internal revolts in the struggle for power, a fact that overthrew the Akkadian Empire back in the year 2,200 BC. at hand the gutis and morreos.

3. The Assyrians and Babylonians

After a brief "reconquest" of the Sumerians from the lands usurped by the Akkadians, the Babylonian and Assyrian empires were the most influential cultures of ancient Mesopotamia , constituting a new model of unified empire that would be adopted even by the modern monarchs of Western Europe as the dominant political system.

Under the mandate of Hammurabi an extensive struggle for the expansion of territory and cultural hegemony began, making the city of Babylon its capital. At this time, the first laws and codes were established to cement an effective administration model since the empire was endowed with more control that needed control.

Surely the Assyrian empire is the most important for their tremendous military practices to which they submitted with the dominated people.They were brutal, implacable, bloodthirsty and incoherent. They trampled with the preceding culture and imposed theirs. Likewise, not all were bitter battles. The Assyrians incorporated innovative irrigation techniques, river inflows and a cultural legacy that today is still classified as one of the most beautiful in the world.


Mesopotamia: Crash Course World History #3 (September 2022).


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