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Paper Topic:

Mesopotamia the cradle of civilazation

Why is Mesopotamia known as the cradle of civilization ? Identify and discuss essential

ingredients of civilization that first appear in this ancient region of the world


The name Mesopotamia refers to the land between two rivers - the Tigres to the east and the Euphrates to the west . The later is referred to in Genesis 2 v14 as flowing out of the Garden of Eden , so the Biblical seem to have felt that this area was where humanity began

In that place a city , U r of the Chaldeans , was built

, the ruins of which can still be seen at Tell Mugheir which lies 140 miles south of ancient Babylon and 150 miles to the northwest of the Persian Gulf in modern Iraq . The main ruins cover some 150 acres and were uncovered over a period of many years , beginning with the excavations of J .E . Taylor in 1854

Chaldean civilzation

The Chaldeans were a Semitic tribe , i .e they spoke one of the Semitic languages and were Caucasians , said to have descended from Shem , son of Noah . They lived mainly on the banks of the Euphrates . Their civilization had many of the attributes that we recognize in modern cities at a period when most people of the world were still hunter gatherers . Eridu , which is a few miles to the SSW of Ur , was another religious center , with a temple to the god of the sea and of wisdom . It too was rediscovered in the19th century According to records it was at one time actually on the coast and alluvial deposits seem to date it somewhere in the7th millennium B .C .E , although the earliest settlers in the area arrived about 9 ,000 B .C .E . according to The History Guide Lecture 2 . These early settlers established agriculture and the domestication of animals . The cities seem to have been a response to organise such things as irrigation , trade and the needs of a larger population . As is often the case the city grew up on the banks of the river , it being their source of water and of trade

Taylor uncovered a temple mound or ziggurat which climbed in three levels to a height of 70 feet known as the Mountain of Heaven . 70 feet may not sound impressive to us , but this would have been the only large building in the plain and visible for miles around . Buried at the four corners of the ziggurat were cuneiform tablets telling of the name of the city and its founder and who had carried out repairs to the temple over the years . So we see that this was a city that was organised enough for its citizens to work together on this huge construction project . In the temple area many records were found revealing that the people paid tithes and that the temple also benefited from trade . Leonard Woolley 's excavation of 1924 , as recorded in the Thompson Chain Bible archeological supplement , page 364 , revealed some 4 square miles...

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