Mesopotamia (Greek, "between the rivers") is the alluvial plain between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers (in contemporary Iraq). Writings from Mesopotamia are the earliest written work in the world, giving Mesopotamia the reputation of being the cradle of civilization.
Mesopotamia was settled by, and conquered by, numerous ancient civilizations, including Sumer, Babylonia, Assyria, Akkad. Peoples who threatened or invaded these lands include Egypt, the Hittites, and Elam.
These civilizations arose from earlier settlements and cultures which were among the first to make use of agriculture.
- Neolithic settlements e.g., Jarmo, Tell Abu Hureyra
- Hassuna period
- Halaf period (or Halafian)
- Samarra period (or Samarran), e.g., Choga Mami
- Ubaid period, e.g., Eridu
- Uruk period, named after the city Uruk.
- Sumerian Early Dynastic period