The Middle East and Ancient Mesopotamia
Hydrology, Irrigation Systems, and Cooperation
My Blog on The Middle East and Resources
For Class and Homework discussions you may have to participate in a web log, or blog discussion. Click on the link below:
A Brief History on The Middle East and Resources
( A Political Map of The Middle East)
The Middle East is a region or area located in the continent of Asia and Africa. Egypt is the only country of The Middle East that is located in Africa.
In antiquity, the area of the Middle East is known for starting the first civilizations. Ancient Egypt, Ancient Mesopotamia, The Babylonian Empire, The Assyrian Empire, and The Persian Empire all originate from this region.
Some of the greatest achievements from humanity come from this geographical region. The first forms of writing like cuneiform and hieroglyphs originated from Iraq and Egypt, respectively. Mathematics and law were first developed by the Mesopotamians who lived in Mesopotamia, present day Iraq. The first attempts of metallurgy began in The Middle East as well as domestication of animals and farming. Monarchies and theocracies, forms of government emerged in this area.
One of the greatest achievement to propel humanity was the creation of legal systems. The first notable creator was Hammurabi, sometimes written as Hammurapi. He was a Babylonian king who developed a code of written law to better rule his people. It is known as Hammurabi's law.
After the conquests of Alexander the Great of Macedonia, The Middle East was no longer a formidable power til the emergence of the prophet Mohamed and the start of Islam. The empire covered The Middle East, various parts of North Africa, and Spain. The Muslim invasion of Europe by the Umayyad dynasty was halted by Charles Martel in 732 C.E. at the battle of Tours.
Throughout history there has been a clash between the peoples of the Middle East and those of the Western World. However, much of the friction has been due to territorial or ideological disputes. Much of the problems or prejudice towards the Middle East is due to ignorance or cultural insensitivity,
Water is a precious resource in the Middle East. However, it is scarce and being threatened by damming and pollution.Click on the links below to better understand the importance of water.
This is a short film by Leonardo Dicaprio about water.
Current Issues In The Middle East
The Middle East is currently plagued by war and exploitation of its most famous resource: oil.
Sadly, it is an area of the world that has contributed much culturally to the world yet many only think of The Middle East as a harsh desert world with people solely bent on war and terrorism. Nothing could be farther from the truth.
The BBC is an excellent site for current news on the Middle East
Another great source is The CIA-The World Factbook
Once you click on the link below go to Quick Links on the right-hand side and click on it. There a map of the world should present itself. Click on any continent you are interested in. From there you should be able to narrow your search by country.
Mesopotamia is the first civilization in history. Civilization was only possible through the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. Domestication of the rivers led to engineering feats like the building of levees and irrigation systems. The water distribution allowed for food surplus, which then allowed for division of labor.
Specialization permitted the Mesopotamians to create mathematics, writing developed from trade called cuneiform, and create new technology like the wheel, the plow, and irrigation systems. Mesopotamian civilization was the impetus for other civilizations.
Click below for an introduction on Mesopotamia
The Tigris and Euphrates Rivers
The Tigris and Euphrates rivers were important rivers to Mesopotamia. Without them civilization would not be possible.
Click on the link below to learn about the Tigris and Euphrates rivers
Mesopotamian achievements include writing, mathematics, and architecture. These achievements were imitated and then revised by subsequent civilizations.
Please explore the following links below
The link below explains cuneiform
The link below explains ziggurats
Below is another link on ziggurats
The Myth of Gilgamesh
Gilgamesh is the first epic in history. It is the story of a king who seeks to understand death. You will find that it has a lot of parallels to Biblical stories.
Click on the links below to see different versions of The Story of Gilgamesh
Introduction to The Story of Gilgamesh
The story of Gilgamesh
Animated Version of The Gilgamesh Story
Gilgamesh Part 1
Gilgamesh Part 3
Gilgamesh Part 4
Gilgamesh Part 5
Gilgamesh Part 6
Gilgamesh Part 7
Gilgamesh Part 8
Gilgamesh Part 9
Gilgamesh Part 10
Gilgamesh Part 11
Hammurabi was the first ruler to codify laws. These 282 laws were known as Hammurabi's code. The creation of law was integral in creating order in civilization and exact consequences on those who transgress the law.
Click on the links below to learn more about Hammurabi's Code:
Web Resources on Mesopotamia
Mesopotamia-The British Museum
Ancient Mesopotamia for Kids
Ancient Mesopotamia-University of Chicago
Ancient River Valley Civilizations
Clandestine CIA Project
Mesopotamian Social Structure