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Ancient Mesopotamia - The Cradle of Civilization

            Mesopotamia, the land between the rivers, derives its name and existence from the rivers Tigris and Euphrates. Known as modern day Iraq, ancient Mesopotamia was once a hotspot for early civilization. From an anthropological point of view we can see the inventions of writing, laws and government, agriculture, and even religion. These inventions and innovations of ancient Mesopotamia help set the stage for modern society. Life starts in Mesopotamia in the form of prehistory nearly 2 million years ago during the Paleolithic period. The settlement of humans began when Homo erectus moved out of Africa to the East. As Homo erectus evolved into Homo sapien sapiens, changes in their habitat, stone tool technology, and diet were seen. While they started as hunter gatherers, it was later found that they domesticated plants and animals in the East between 11,000 and 6500 BC. Between 6000 and 4000 BC, farming communities were developing and increasing in size throughout the Tigris and Euphrates. Because of their evolution in the area, the people of this area were known to begin the agricultural revolution. These early humans built houses made of reeds and mud and archaeologists have found storage bins that were used to hold wheat and barley. .
             Cuneiform, a Greek word meaning "made of wedges," is the oldest form of written language in the world. The importance of cuneiform writing later evolved to the use of recording business transactions. This writing was invented at Uruk in order to record the incomings and outgoings of goods and produce during trade. It was very beneficial to be able to record data and have precise accounts for the amount of trades that were taken place in Mesopotamia. Because of Mesopotamians early form of written language, Egyptians and Persians were also able to adopt cuneiform into their own languages. These shapes and symbols were written on clay tablets that were able to be found and preserved by archaeologists today.

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