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The gap opened at the end of the fourth millennium between the north and the south was never entirely filled in ancient history. Historians are sure that the oldest of the civilizations, the Sumerians, were astronomers, but most of their knowledge was lost, leaving a few tantalizing fragments of their sophisticated culture , cited: By the Waters of Babylon: download for free By the Waters of Babylon: Palaces,. In the course of time the Mesopotamian script gradually lost its pictographic character. Georges Roux. Trivia About Ancient Iraq. To extend the areas of cultivable land artificial irrigation was developed, but the enormous common effort required to dig and maintain big canals and the need for an equitable distribution of water considerably reinforced the authority of the traditional town chiefs, the high priests.
Add To Cart. Writings: Thomas Jefferson, Writing, Vol. The Bible Is God's Word. St Francis of Assisi. A Christian's Response to Islam.
Christianity Is Jewish. Until the middle of the nineteenth century there was little evidence of the great civilizations that flourished for over three thousand years between the Tigris and the Euphrates, apart from a few allusions in the Bible. Almost every trace of the arts, sciences and literature of the Sumerians, Akkadians, Babylonians, and Assyrians was obliterated, hidden under thousands of artificial mounds or tells representing ancient cities.
Over the last hundred of years, however, archaeologists of various origins have sought to uncover the monuments and texts that reveal the history and civilization of the region known as Mesopotamia, most of which corresponds to the territory of modern Iraq.
In the last three decades, perhaps no other country has been so extensively explored by archaeologists from all over the world and by the Iraqis themselves, while new texts have been published and older texts retranslated or reinterpreted by international teams of Sumerologists and Assyriologists. Sheep originally were hairy, not wooly.
But when farmers moved south into the warmer alluvian plain south of modern-day Samarra , the sheep adapted by growing a coat of wool, which cooled them.
Dogs, cattle and pigs were also domesticated. And other uses for animals beyond food evolved: milk, milk products, fiber and eventually, mobility. Village Life Begins. People began to live in permanent settlements, rather than moving around seasonally to follow resources. Population growth was one major consequence. Births among hunter gatherers tend to be widely spaced, at intervals of years, since women can only carry one small child at a time. Village life also meant storage facilities for food, containers of stone, and later clay pottery, and agricultural tools, like sickles and hoes.
Early Agricultural Village Sites. Archaeologists have constructed a chronological sequence of village life, with period names identified by key excavated sites; the pottery from the later ones is used to identify contemporary sites. Later Agricultural Cities.
The key sites that represent the second phase of agriculture and urbanization are:. In later periods, metals such as tin, silver and copper were imported south from Anatolia, copper came north from the Gulf.
Steatite, a soft stone suitable for carving, came from the Iranian plateau. Precious stones such as lapis lazuli were imported from the Badakshan mines of Afghanistan. And carnelian traveled the immense distance from India. The Urban Revolution. The alluvium — roughly corresponding to the area known as Sumer — is often described as resource poor, lacking timber, stone, metal ores and minerals, except for bitumen a hint of the modern oil wealth of present-day Iraq.
Yet the surface of this flat plain, when irrigated, was extremely fertile, which made irrigation and agriculture the defining characteristic of the rise of civilization in Mesopotamia. Irrigation required collective cooperation in terms of labor and planning, the building of canals, channels, dykes and reservoirs, while the frequent and sometimes violent flooding required organized response, frequent repair, desilting and replacement of boundary stones and markers.
Gradually a mosaic of micro-environments took root, each producing tradable commodities: fish and reeds from the marshy lagoons of the south, at the head of the Persian Gulf; date palms and gardens from regions located along the levees; grain crops from the flatlands farther way, irrigated by the canals; and goat and sheep herding, wool, milk and meat production in the open grasslands farther away.
Towns that sprang up in these micro-environments produced and traded these commodities as well as value-added products like woolen textiles, dairy foods like cheese, or beer brewed from barley. The volume of trade efficiently transported along the rivers and canals encouraged the growth of larger towns, each with its tutelary god or goddess, and a tripartite temple. Although gods, like the rich, had multiple residences and were worshipped in several cities.
Many inter-related factors explain the development of cities. Mar 01, ISBN Newly revised and containing information from recent excavations and discovered artifacts, Ancient Iraq covers the political, cultural, and socio-economic history from Mesopotamia days of prehistory to the Christian era. Georges Roux was a French writer born in Salon-de-Provence in The son of an army officer, he lived for 12 years with his parents in Syria and Lebanon before returning to study medicine at the University of Paris, graduating… More about Georges Roux.
Category: Ancient World History. Paperback —.