The first thing we do when a new baby is born in the family, or more specifically in the hospital or nursing home as the case may be, is to put that infant in a cradle. The first place for a toddler is none other than the cradle. Similarly, the world we live in now and the civilized society we inherit also had its birth some time ago in the distant past and were also nurtured, similar to the toddler coming to the world for the first time.
When and where our civilization did give its birth and what is that “cradle of civilizations”?
Mesopotamia is the region that can be rightly referred to as the “cradle of civilization.” The region occupied by Iraq, as we know now, along with the eastern part of Syria, south-eastern part of Turkey and the south-western part of Iran, is the region which is referred to as Mesopotamia in the distant past. This entire region, collectively, is called as the “cradle of Civilization.”
Why this region is called as the “cradle of civilization?”
- According to historical records, the civilization flourished in the late 4th millennium BC in this region.
- It is here that the first literate society, sophisticated in nature at that time, first emerged.
- This region included the two major rivers – the Euphrates and the Tigris. Unlike other civilizations that flourished in the banks of the river, the Mesopotamian region included land that was far away from the rivers and as such arid and not fit for inhabitation.
- The Mesopotamians were the first people to have find solution for inhabiting arid lands by inventing the technique of irrigation and bringing water to the places far away from the nearest water source in the form of sea and rivers. Not only did they invent the system of irrigation, but also developed it and also discovered the ways and means to have control over the water in the form of construction of dams. They also used aqueducts for utilizing the water effectively and efficiently.
- The Mesopotamians were not only responsible for irrigation and development of agriculture. They have made significant developments in the field of language, mathematics, science, astronomy, politics, economics, and law. In fact, they were responsible for laying the foundations of a modern society.