17 Mesopotamia Facts for Kids
Mesopotamia—an ancient land that once hosted a diverse and rich culture. Today, the ancient land is celebrated for its rich history of culture, warfare and trade. In fact, Mesopotamia is considered one of the oldest fully realized civilizations in the world. Many scholars have given Mesopotamia the name, ‘the cradle of civilization.’ Today, what remains of Mesopotamia is found in parts of Turkey, Syria and most of Iraq.
Mesopotamia Facts for Kids ~ All About Mesopotamia
1. Mesopotamia is also known as ‘land between rivers’ – it was located between two major rivers known as the Euphrates and Tigris rivers.
2. The entirety of the region was located in present day Iraq and parts of Syria and Turkey.
3. Mesopotamia’s northern region consisted of plains, where many people cultivated crops and raised cattle. The southern region housed jungles, rich soil and various marine life. The soil in the southern area was where much of their farming happened.
4. Although they had a fertile land, people of Mesopotamia did have to import goods like timber, hard stones and metals from places in the East and North.
5. Mesopotamia was believed to have been founded around 5500 BCE (before common era).
6. Lapis lazuli, a semi-precious stone imported from Afghanistan, eventually become one of the hallmarks of Mesopotamia artwork and jewelry. Lapis stones were used in the eyes of Mesopotamia artwork of gods and goddesses.
7. People of Mesopotamia developed a common religious belief system, where they worshiped a patron god or goddess at designated temples throughout their land.
Cities of Mesopotamia
8. Uruk was one of Mesopotamia’s biggest cities. The city’s patron goddess was Inanna, the Goddess of Live and War.
9. The earliest form of writing on record was discovered in Uruk: pictures drawn on clay.
10. The pictorial writing eventually developed into cuneiform, the earliest known writing system in the world, best known for its wedge-like shapes that were etched into clay tablets. Sumerian was the most common language seen on Mesopotamia cuneiform.
11. Ur was another one of Mesopotamia’s largest cities. Sumerian was its most common written language, but was rarely spoken.
12. Ur was the home of famous buildings that were known as ziggurats. These shrines were created as the center of the city, where many people met to socialize and worship.
13. Many ziggurats were built tall; some were said to have reached height as tall as 200 feet!
Did You Know?
14. Brick-making became a major industry throughout Mesopotamia.
15. People of Mesopotamia were the first to understand the concept of the number zero. They were also the first to start experimenting with mathematics.
16. People of Mesopotamia used weight to barter, buy and sell items.
17. Many believe that people of Mesopotamia invented the sailboat.