Portal:Mesopotamia

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Introduction

Map showing the extent of Mesopotamia. Shown are Washukanni, Nineveh, Hatra, Assur, Nuzi, Palmyra, Mari, Sippar, Babylon, Kish, Nippur, Isin, Lagash, Uruk, Charax Spasinu and Ur, from north to south.

Mesopotamia is a historical region of Western Asia situated within the Tigris–Euphrates river system, in the northern part of the Fertile Crescent, in modern days roughly corresponding to most of Iraq, Kuwait, the eastern parts of Syria, Southeastern Turkey, and regions along the Turkish–Syrian and Iran–Iraq borders.

The Sumerians and Akkadians (including Assyrians and Babylonians) dominated Mesopotamia from the beginning of written history (c. 3100 BC) to the fall of Babylon in 539 BC, when it was conquered by the Achaemenid Empire. It fell to Alexander the Great in 332 BC, and after his death, it became part of the Greek Seleucid Empire.

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Akkadian signs for /ni/
The Akkadian language is the earliest attested Semitic language. It used the cuneiform writing system derived ultimately from ancient Sumerian, an unrelated language isolate. It was originally the language of the Akkadian Empire (ca. 2270 – 2083 BC (short chronology)), centered in Akkad. After the empire collapsed, the written language continued to be used as the official, diplomatic lingua franca throughout the ancient Near East until it was gradually displaced by Aramaic and later Greek more than a millennium later.

Did you know

...that the sexagesimal (base-60) numeral system, developed in the 3rd millennium BC by the Sumerians, is the source of our modern day usage of 60 seconds in a minute, 60 minutes in an hour, and 360 (60×6) degrees in a circle?
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Key topic

Akkadian Empire
...The Akkadian Empire was centered in Akkad, an ancient city in central Mesopotamia. Despite its ancient importance, the city of Akkad has not yet been located. It was probably situated on the west bank of the Euphrates, between Sippar and Kish (ca 50 km (31 mi) southwest of Baghdad).

The Akkadian Empire reached the height of its power between the 23rd and 22nd centuries BC, following the conquests of king Sargon of Akkad.

Because of the policies of the Akkadian Empire toward linguistic assimilation, the predominant Semitic dialect was named the Akkadian language, reflected in the word akkadû ("in the language of Akkad") during the Old Babylonian period to denote a Semitic-language version of a Sumerian text.

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Mesopotamia(6 C, 26 P)
History of Mesopotamia(4 C, 10 P)
Mesopotamian Arabic(3 P)
Upper Mesopotamia(17 C, 29 P)
Mesopotamia templates(3 C, 4 P)

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