By 3000 BC, Mesopotamia was firmly under the control of the Sumerian people. Sumer contained several decentralized city-states including Eridu, Nippur, Lagash, Uruk, Kish and Ur. The most prominent city of Sumer was Uruk, which is situated around 30 km east of the modern city of Samawah in Iraq. Among the first cities in the region, it played a leading role in urbanization and state formation in Mesopotamia during what is known as the Uruk period. Uruk’s growth made it the largest Mesopotamian settlement, in both population and area. At its height, around 2900 BC, it had a population between 40,000 and 80,000 living in 6 km2 of walled area. This made Uruk most likely the largest city in the world at the time.

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TIGRIS The term Mesopotamia comes from ancient Greek root words “meso”, meaning “middle”; and “potamos” meaning “river”. It thus translates to “(land) in the middle of rivers”. Mesopotamia broadly refers to the lands between the rivers Euphrates and Tigris. The region includes most of modern day Iraq; Kuwait; and parts of northern Saudi Arabia, western Iran, eastern Syria and south-eastern Turkey. Mesopotamia is usually divided into Northern or Upper Mesopotamia, which is the area between the two rivers from their sources down to Baghdad; and Southern or Lower Mesopotamia, which is the area from Baghdad to the Persian Gulf including Kuwait and parts of western Iran. Mesopotamia was home to many of the oldest major civilizations in the world including Sumerians, Akkadians, Assyrians and Babylonians.

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It’s world-famous for the Roman ruins of Herculaneum and Pompeii, destroyed by the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 C.E., but the latest tourist attraction in Naples shows a very different side of the city. Opening in June, the Ipogeo dei Cristallini — Hypogeum of Cristallini Street — is part of an ancient cemetery, located just outside the walls of Neapolis, as the city was called 2,300 years ago.

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Ancient and not-so-ancient history meet in the blossoming Neve Ilan Forest Take a walk in the lush hills just outside Jerusalem, where structures of a kibbutz from pre-state Israel and an ancient Hasmonean fortress sit together among the wildflowers

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More from Ancient history

TIGRIS The term Mesopotamia comes from ancient Greek root words “meso”, meaning “middle”; and “potamos” meaning “river”. It thus translates to “(land) in the middle of rivers”. Mesopotamia broadly refers to the lands between the rivers Euphrates and Tigris. The region includes most of modern day Iraq; Kuwait; and parts of northern Saudi Arabia, western Iran, eastern Syria and south-eastern Turkey. Mesopotamia is usually divided into Northern or Upper Mesopotamia, which is the area between the two rivers from their sources down to Baghdad; and Southern or Lower Mesopotamia, which is the area from Baghdad to the Persian Gulf including Kuwait and parts of western Iran. Mesopotamia was home to many of the oldest major civilizations in the world including Sumerians, Akkadians, Assyrians and Babylonians.

235 views ·

It’s world-famous for the Roman ruins of Herculaneum and Pompeii, destroyed by the eruption of Vesuvius in 79 C.E., but the latest tourist attraction in Naples shows a very different side of the city. Opening in June, the Ipogeo dei Cristallini — Hypogeum of Cristallini Street — is part of an ancient cemetery, located just outside the walls of Neapolis, as the city was called 2,300 years ago.

245 views ·

Ancient and not-so-ancient history meet in the blossoming Neve Ilan Forest Take a walk in the lush hills just outside Jerusalem, where structures of a kibbutz from pre-state Israel and an ancient Hasmonean fortress sit together among the wildflowers

225 views ·