Ancient Mesopotamia

By: Adriyana Johnson


The Tigris and the Euphrates river are physical features of the region sometimes known as Mesopotamia. Mesopotamia means" between the rivers". It lines between the Asia Minor and the Persian gulf. Although Mesopotamia had fertile soil, farming wasn't easy there. The region received little rain. This meant that the water levels in the Tigris and Euphrates rivers depended on how much rain fell eastern Asia Minor where the two rivers began. Mesopotamia is located now in Europe and Asia together it is called Eurasia.mesopotamia is 7,300 miles away from elm city, nc. Every, year floods brought silt to the Tigris and the Euphrates. Silt is a mixture of rich soil and tiny rocks. The fertile silt made the land ideal for farming. Flooding destroyed crops, killed livestock, and washed away homes. When water levels were to low crops dried up. Farmers knew that they needed a way to control the rivers flow. To solve their problems mesopotamians used irrigation. To irrigate their land, they dug out large storage basins to hold water supplies. Then thy dug canals, that connected to a network of ditches. These ditches brought water to the fields. To protect their fields from flooding, farmers built up the banks of the Tigris and Euphrates. These built up banks held back flood waters even when river levels were high. Irrigation increased the amount of food farmers were able to grow. In fact farmers could produce a food surplus. Farmers also used irrigation for water grazing areas for cattle and sheep. As a result, Mesopotamians ate a variety of foods. Fish, meat, wheat, barley, and dates were plentiful.



Akkadians, Assyrians, Babylon are the civilizations of Mesopotamia. As civilizations developed along rivers, their societies and governments became more advanced. Religion became a main characteristic of these ancient cultures. Kings claimed to rule with the approval of the Gods, and ordinary people wore charms and performed rituals to avoid bad luck. Humbaba came from his strong house of cedar. He nodded his head and shook it me-making Gilgamesh ; and on him he fastened his eye, the eye of death. Then Gilgamesh called to Shamash and his tears were flowing "o glorious Shamash, I have followed the road you commanded but now if you send no succor , how shall I escape?" Glorious Shamash heard his prayer and he summoned to great wind, the north wind, the whirlwind, the storm and the icy wind, the tempest and the scorching wind; they came like dragons, like a scorching fire, like a serpent that freezes the heart a destroying flood and lightnings fork. The tears started to his eyes and he was pale, Gilgamesh let me speak, I have never known a mother, no nor a father who reared me. Let me go free Gilgamesh and I will be your Sewart , you shall be my lord; all the trees of the forest that I tended on the mountain shall be yours. I will cut them down and build you a palace. Not so my friend. First entrap the bird and where shall the chicks run then? Afterwards we can search out the glory and glamour, when the chicks run distracted through the grass. Gilgamesh listened to the word of his companion, he took the ax in his hand, he drew the sword from his belt and he struck Humbaba with a thrust of the sword to the neck, and Enkidu his comrade struck the second the third blow Humbaba fell. When he saw the head of Humbaba, Enlil raged at them Why did you do this thing? From henceforth may the fire be on your faces, may it eat the bread that you eat, may it drink where you drink, then Enlil took again the blaze and the seven splendors that had been Humbaba's , he gave the first to the river and he gave to the lion, to the stone of execration, to the mountain.

Hammurabi's Code

Hammurabi was a brilliant even leader. His armies fought many battles to expand his power. Eventually he thought all of Mesopotamia into his empire, called the Babylonian Empire After his capital. He was also an able ruler who could govern a huge empire. He oversaw many building and inspiration projects and improved Babylonian's tax collection system to help pay for them. He also brought much prosperity through increased trade.

Hammurabi's code was a set of 282 laws that dealt with almost every part of daily life. For instance, injuring a rich man brought a greater penalty than injuring a poor man. Hammurabi's code was important not only for how thorough it was, but also because it was written down for all to see. Hammurabi ruled for 42 years. During his reign Babylon became the most important city in Mesopotamia. However, after his death, Babylonian power declined.