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Ancient Iraq[edit]

An interesting question is why some histories of the Ancient Near East talk about the Babylonians, Sumerians etc. as being in Mesopotamia, they baulk at using the modern term Iraq? But Mesopotamia is a Greek term, it was only applied to the region long after some of these civilizations. Also nobody baulks at talking about the history of ancient Egypt, Greece etc. even referring to periods long before these terms were applied to these countries. PatGallacher 02:03, 17 October 2005 (UTC)

Okay, but Egypt is also a Greek term (the Egyptian word is Kemet) and the Greek name for Greece is actually Hellas. We use terms like Egypt, Greece and Mesopotamia, not because we're racist, but because we've been doing so for hundreds if not thousands of year. Changing them leads to resistance because long standing traditions are not easily overthrown. ath —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:17, 10 December 2007 (UTC)

The reason why people baulk at using a term like "Ancient Iraq" is because it's misleading. Firstly, from a geographic perspective it implies that Mesopotamia somehow corresponded geographically to modern-day Jordon, when this patently isn't the case. I've already raised this issue below because this article is presently perpetuating this myth, but Iraq's present day borders were drawn up by British civil servants in the 20th century. There's more than a touch of irony about someone claiming that denying modern day Iraq's heritage is some sort of western-imperialist brand of racism, when the borders of Iraq itself (and the heterogeneous people we have consequently shoved together under the label of "Iraqis") owe their modern identity to western civil servants.
Secondly, there was no such thing as a homogeneous race of "Mesopotamians" who correspond in any way with the people we refer to as "Iraqis" today. The Assyrians and Babylonians were a semitic people, whilst the Sumerians spoke a language that was completely unrelated in its origins. Implying that a race of Mesopotamians gradually evolved into the Iraqis of today is therefore completely misleading. Neither are modern day Iraqis a homogeneous race of people either. To try and claim that somehow the descendants of Semitic peoples (Assyrians and Babylonians), the linguistically unique Sumerians, Indo-Europeans (Kurds), Arabs and the other peoples who presently occupy Iraq are somehow one group descended from a non-existent race termed "Mesopotamians" is an exercise in confusion.
The only grounds for calling Mesopotamia "Ancient Iraq" are linguistic ones. Trying to make the above argument about modern-day Iraqis all sharing a Mesopotamian heritage is just a piece of nonsense. Blankfrackis (talk) 18:31, 14 December 2007 (UTC)

Thus, I could write a large response and critique all the errors you just made, but that would be time consuming and pointless, so here's something very short instead.

Todays Iraqis should be known as Mesopotamians, in the same way as Iranians are known as Persians, Ancient Iraq is Modern Iraq's history and heritage, and if you are not convinced of this, cest la vie, after all more than half of the human race worships their imagination so what does it matter? Iraq - Over 8000 Years of History.—Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:18, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

There is no parallel with the example of Persians and Iranians. The Persians were a distinct ethnic group with a common language, culture and history. In contrast there was no "Mesopotamian" ethnicity and no common Mesopotamian language or culture, far less one which is the heritage of present day Iraqis - the vast majority of whom speak Arabic and Kurdish, not Akkadian or Sumerian or descendants of these languages. Not that we refer to Iranians as ethnically Persian in the west in any case, we refer to the ethnic group of Persians as distinct from Iranians as is illustrated here -Iran naming dispute.
Incidentally, there would be nothing pointless about you taking issue with the points raised above - that's what this page is for - and I'd encourage you to voice your opinions. Blankfrackis (talk) 19:55, 16 December 2007 (UTC)

If modern day Iraqis didn't descend from Mesopotamian peoples, who did? Someone must carry the genes of these ethnicities, unless they were all victims of a holocaust that no one has ever heard of. So Blankfrackis, if modern day Iraqis aren't descendants of ancient Mesopotamian peoples, what modern day people would be your best guess? These ancient bloodlines must have gone somewhere. What on earth would make their genes travel further than the land between the two rivers? So be my guest, holocaust or migration? I think we should stick to the consensus. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 00:47, 22 May 2009 (UTC)

Unsigned said "migrations or Holocaust, that no one had ever heard of" how about both, 10,000 times, that everyone has heard of? Everyone who studies the peoples that have lived in that area without grudge or brainwashing knows this, all the inscriptions refer to dozens of migrations and holocausts you gotta be joking to say "no one has ever heard of". Latin history, the Greek writings on the territory, A WHOLE BOOK OF THE BIBLE'S OLD TESTAMENT (Lamentations, hint its the one book of the Bible no scholar is in dispute actually happened) almost every other book of the Bible mentions wars with and between the Aramaic speaking peoples, every stone inscription without exception, flood stories, (Gilgamesh, Noah), famine stories, Roman Empire salting the earth stories, Alexander the Great genocide stories, ethnic cleansing stories, the fact that almost every (NO NO NO, excuse me EVERY) people that was once described as being there no longer exists, not one of its original religions exists, not one of its original languages exists as spoken. We are not talking about Britain here this place has no contiguous line of heritage, it was the birthplace of real war (besides the good things). Assyria moved whole peoples in their time to take away their attachments to land and nationalism (and they were probably the good ones because they recorded this policy at least). NATO style or Hitler/Stalin style pacts started there, Mohammed a native called it Taqiyya look it up referring to his temporary alliances in the Koranic wars. (and i know no one is going to believe me but I!, not a real scholar was the first to describe Mesopotamia as the 'cradle of civilization' on Wikipedia in this article about 6 years ago believe it or not under a different name, actually that was 10 names ago, I stole the term from the tv shows and books about Western Civilization by real scholar the Romanian scholar of France, Eugene Weber referring to Western Europe's evolution from Mesopotamia as 'the cradle of civilization', no one is going to believe me, evil always wins on Wikipedia, I believe it was from the late Mr. Weber's book 'Reflections on The Jews of France' or 'The Harbinger of Fascism' he uses his great phrase to describe Mesopotamia that I randomly put on Wikipedia before that name was banned by some racist bigot bully who knows how to twist all things against Jews). — Preceding unsigned comment added by Maryester (talkcontribs) 13:06, 13 May 2012 (UTC)

Maryester what long angry salad of letters that doesn't make a single coherent argument, and since when was the Bible a history book let alone a sholarly source? 21:32, 15 June 2013 (UTC)
If people would do simple mathematical calculations based on the power of two, they would see how many billion branches there are in both directions between now and 800 AD, enough for every person today to easily be descended from nearly every single person then who left issue of every nationality, then they would see how silly it sounds when they would talk about the earliest common ancestor long before that. Just like the projected myth that genes always stayed put within a fifty mile radius, century after century, everywhere. Gaspard de Coligny is a good example because records of his ancestry are unusually complete going to about 300 AD, by that time they include the royalty and nobility of every entity in the then known world, as do everyone else's of course. So who's descended from the Ancient Sumerians and Egyptians? Well undoubtedly we all are, but in varying proportions of course. Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 01:53, 16 June 2013 (UTC)
We all undoubtedly are, in varying proportions of course, but the inhabitants of the geographical locations where the ancient civilization historically existed are the most likely of modern humans to be descended from them. This isn't an exercise in "simple mathematical calculations based on the power of two", but rather simple logic. 23:32, 17 June 2013 (UTC)
Based on the mathematical realities I mentioned, the most technically accurate statement then would be "the inhabitants of the geographic locations where the ancient civilization historically existed are the most likely of modern humans to have the highest proportions of descent from them. Even then, there are exceptions to that rule, as large-scale migrations of entire populations have been more common over the centuries than you apparently think. Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 13:28, 18 June 2013 (UTC)

Largely Corresponding to Iraq[edit]

- - - - -

reality of Mesopotamia[edit]

Mesopotamia starts from south-east of Turkey and goes down to syria and iraq. It is not a specific place where kurdish people live. Most of kurdish live in area where it is currently Iran. There are many other nations that live in Mesopotamia.

Please unlink this article from any kurdish or terrorist links. Mesopotamia is never a kurdish area.

Mesopotamia is the region which Kurds do live and lived for over 5000 years. 19:39, 2 December 2006 (UTC)
Not correct, Assyrians have been living 6757 years after the fall of the Assyrian empire til this day. Assyrians are the Indegenous people of Mesopotamia along with the Ancient Akkadians (Ancestors of the Assyrians), Sumerians, Babylonians & also Arameans (in which had intermarried with Assyrians & Babylonians)ILLeSt 15:41, 10 June 2007 (UTC)
This is so correct. Mesopotamia has always been characterised by ethnic diversity. Kurdish people have been living in the area since pre-historic times, and are thought to have developed from an Iranian admixture over a Hurro-Urartuan population. These people, as Subartu, havebeen dwelling in northern Mesopotamia since before the Sumerian period. It is thought the Halaf culture (5,500 BCE) may have been Hurrian speaking. John D. Croft 07:25, 14 November 2007 (UTC)
I agree, Kurdish people have been living in their area for thousands of years. Not only that, I also believe the part that is considered Mesopotamia in modern-day Turkey is Kurdish. Denying that won't change the history, it only will make Wikipedia inaccurate, so take your hatred elsewhere.XxDestinyxX (talk) 18:11, 20 February 2011 (UTC)
That is incorrect, Kurds, as an ethnic group and NOT a social class in Islamic persia, did not exist in Northern Iraq until well into the 1100s ܐܵܬܘܿܪܵܝܵܐ 04:36, 11 May 2014 (UTC)

As this seems to be just a forum style argument and this isn't a forum, if you can't bring any sources to bear on this I may delete the section. Dougweller (talk) 19:09, 20 February 2011 (UTC)


I take exception to this statement: "The Mitanni were an eastern Indo-European people (belonging to the linguistic "satem" group)". Most certainly not.

Having said this, a chariot-using Indo-Aryan group seems to have imposed itself on the Mitanni, leaving scant linguistic remnants in otherwise non-IE documents, and in particular a famous horse-care manual, but the Mitanni themselves were not IE speaking. --FourthAve 18:04, 14 August 2005 (UTC)

  Origin of name

I understood it that the name means "between two rivers" in Greek. Is it possible that this name is simply an indigenous development to Greek? I once visited a village on the island of Naxos in Greece called "Mesapotamia" or something like that, which was between two rivers.

An interesting question is why some histories of the Ancient Near East talk about the Babylonians, Sumerians etc. as being in Mesopotamia, they baulk at using the modern term Iraq? But Mesopotamia is a Greek term, it was only applied to the region long after some of these civilizations. Also nobody baulks at talking about the history of ancient Egypt, Greece etc. even referring to periods long before these terms were applied to these countries. PatGallacher 02:03, 17 October 2005 (UTC)

- - - - - -

In answer to your questions, Mesopotamia is indeed a Greek term. No such name was ever used by the various peoples of Mesopotamia themselves. Many simply called it "The Land."

Additionally, I do not find it odd that Assyriologists resist using the term Iraq to designate Mesopotamia. Mesopotamia is not confined to Iraq; it also encompassed, at varying times, parts of Iran and Syria. Also, the different peoples of Mesopotamia you mentioned usually lived in specific parts of the region. The Sumerians, for instance, lived in the south, and it would be therefore somewhat incorrect to speak of the entirety of Iraq as their home. Traditionally, as far as I see it, many scholars use the term 'Near East' to refer to Mesopotamia, the Levant, and parts of Iran; scholars will name specific kingdoms or parts of the Near East to talk about certain peoples. This simply allows them to be more specific. --KTN


with the exeption of religous ceromonies when did they play music? also i do not see any imformation on family and kin!!! please can anyone help!-- 21:14, 7 November 2005 (UTC) 22 —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:38, 21 October 2007 (UTC)

Old Persian word Miyanrudan[edit]

Mesopotamia (Greek: Μεσοποταμία, translated from Old Persian Miyanrudan "the fertile cresent"; Aramaic name being Beth-Nahrain "House of Two Rivers") Miyanrudan seems to mean "between rivers i.e Miyan(between)+rud(river)+an(plural sign). Can we check the sources which translate this word as "the fertile cresent" , I feel sure thats not the literal meaning of the word.Pasha 19:19, 24 November 2005 (UTC)

I checked some sources and found that Miyanrudan actually means what I suggested above "between rivers" which is understood as "a land between rivers".Pasha 12:26, 25 November 2005 (UTC)

Improvement drive[edit]

A related topic, History of the world is currently a nomination on WP:IDRIVE. Support the article with your vote to improve its quality. --Fenice 14:18, 28 December 2005 (UTC)

Wikipedia naming conventions[edit]

Wikipedia:Naming conventions (numbers and dates): "For years BC, the format is "<year number> BC", for example 44 BC." --JFK 08:11, 25 April 2006 (UTC)

Removed needs copy edit and wikify tags! Need references now![edit]


this article requires some serious work, and a plan. It just won't do to list the value of a shekel in various units, or individual laws of Hammurabi on an overview article on Mesopotamia. Write flowing, coherent summary paragraphs of the various sub-articles, and weed out all the flotsam that appears to have accreted here. dab () 16:01, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

Absolutely agreed. I'll work on it as much as possible, or, if others are interested, we could do a complete rewrite. -b 06:24, 18 June 2006 (UTC)

Proposed Merge[edit]

Dbachmann has proposed that History of Ancient Mesopotamia be merged into Mesopotamia. I have corrected the merge tags as the editor had only tagged the History of Ancient Mesopotamia page. I have no strong thoughts on this proposal, but I would like to point out that, based on the current article sizes, the resulting article will be close to or slightly exceed the recommended article size limit. Road Wizard 17:38, 11 June 2006 (UTC)

Oppose merger. The Mesopotamia article could do with some expansion in several sections, while the History of Ancient Mesopotamia article could as well, but mainly, would suffer greatly if downsized. A merger makes no sense, based on article size. Wikipedia has is fair share History of articles. I can't see a reason to get rid of it. *shrug* -b 06:20, 18 June 2006 (UTC)
Oppose merger. Articles that try to cover too much become long and overly complicated to read. Basically I like the Mesopotamia article. Although it could benefit from some expansion and clarification, it is a good summary article. Mattisse 10:46, 28 July 2006 (UTC)
the point is that as the ToC was organized, the 'history' article is the "main" article of about 90% of this article. That doesn't make sense. Maybe change "history" to "timeline", and make this one the "ancient Mesopotamia" article. dab () 11:43, 28 July 2006 (UTC)
You are probably right. I am just learning about Mesopotamia through reading these articles and I found this article the most helpful (to me) of the ones I have come across so far. I have not read all of them but some are almost incomprehensible to an uninformed person. Mattisse 12:46, 28 July 2006 (UTC)


We need a better map for this article. The current one doesn't even include Eridu. JDG 19:37, 26 June 2006 (UTC)

Eridu is seven miles from Ur. There is only so much detail you can cram into a thumbnail overview map. But you are welcome to fire up the GIMP, of course. dab () 11:32, 28 July 2006 (UTC)

A map of Mesopotamia with the current political boundaries would be beneficial in giving people a better understanding of its location. Mikemill 01:31, 27 October 2006 (UTC)


Can this article be extended with a list of well-known standard works on Mesopotamia and its history? Would be nice, thanks

Law examples[edit]

On this page (under "Laws") there were about 30 examples of laws from the Code of Hammurabi. I have moved them to the article Code of Hammurabi, since I think that is their proper place. I really think that article should contain the entire set of laws (since it is not so big), and I will probably make an effort to do this (but not right now). If someone else feel the urge, it would be greatly appreciated. The entire set can be found here:

My regards, Dennis Nilsson. --Dna-Dennis talk - contribs 11:56, 1 August 2006 (UTC)


Under the section on Mesopotamian gods, it is stated that Enlil is the most important god in the Mesopotamian region. I believe that statement is somewhat misleading. To my knowledge, over the thousands of years of Mesopotamian history, that honor changed hands quite a few times depending on what particular group held power. It should either be qualified or changed; if I have some time later, I will try to come up with a more constructive suggestion for changing it, but for now I wanted to pose it to discussion group to make sure I wasn't just splitting hairs. Any thoughts? Porlesa 15:47, 13 September 2006 (UTC)


I doubt that "Cuniform was fun too." in the 5.2 Games section is quite up to the finest quality one could hope in such a page. Could someone consider this?


HUGE parts of this article looks as if it's been copy right out of a textbook. Especially the Religion part... Could someone fix this. 07:00, 7 October 2006 (UTC)

wiki spam[edit]

There was some wiki spam in this that I took out. It was somehow triggered or near this code (see the source under "edit" of this page - which I couldn't get to reproduce.. ??:



  1. ^ Scheffler, Thomas; 2003. “ 'Fertile crescent', 'Orient', 'Middle East': the changing mental maps of Souhwest Asia,” European Review of History 10/2: 253–272. Also: Bahrani, Zainab; 1998. “Conjuring Mesopotamia: imaginative geography and a world past", in Archaeology under fire: Nationalism, politics and heritage in the Eastern Mediteranean and Middle East. L. Meskell (ed.), Routledge: London and New York, 159–174.


I suggest moving ziggurat section from religion to architecture. In fact I plan to create a subheading Temples and Sanctuaries under Architecture. Ziggurats should probably go under that. Any disagreements? --Warpalawas 01:47, 31 October 2006 (UTC)

Someone has nonsensified the section on Ziggurats by entering general information about Mesopotamia after the correct information regarding Ziggurats. Ideally this extra entry should be edited out or transferred to where it really belongs. AND, this extra entry itself is badly in need of being tidied up. donkeyhotey 20.35, 30 July 2009 (UTC)Donkeyhotey (talk) 19:37, 30 July 2009 (UTC)

Kings of Lagash[edit]

its mentioned in the article that the kings rulling from 2494-2351 is from Lagash, but im pretty sure that in fact they were all from the city of Kish. also the last king Uruinimgina is also called Urukagina. 18:59, 2 January 2007 (UTC)

Why would that matter, as long as they call themselves ensi of Lagash? The Hellenistic kings of Pergamon were all from the Black Sea. That doesn't negate the fact that they were Attalids of Pergamon --Warpalawas 03:40, 3 January 2007 (UTC)


These dates can't be right...

  1. Akkadian Empire (ca 2350 BC - 2193 BC).
  2. Third dynasty of Ur ("Sumerian Renaissance" or "Neo-Sumerian Period") (ca 2119 BC - 2204 BC)

Can someone correct them? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

I don't see any problem w/ them. They appear to be correct. -- Szvest - Wiki me up ® 13:42, 25 January 2007 (UTC)


I have added a link to Catalhoyuk pointing out that it's people also buried their dead underneath their homes. 17 July 2007

Revert move[edit]

Need to undo this weird move... siafu 21:33, 19 September 2007 (UTC)

Agreed. 23:45, 19 September 2007 (UTC)


I just found that the Agriculture section talks nothing about the farming of the land in its subtitles. I might be wrong about the meaning of agriculture, so I think that someone else should do it. Thx. leujohn 12:26, 1 October 2007 (UTC)

Danny Twinkie[edit]

"Anu was the Sumerian god of the sky. He was married to Danny twinkie Pisarino, but in some other Mesopotamian religions he has a wife called Uraš. "

It doesn't sound quite right that he was married to "Danny Twinkie Pisarino", but I don't have better information to replace this with —Preceding unsigned comment added by Confusimo (talkcontribs) 11:38, 5 October 2007 (UTC)

Yeah you are probably right. The word twinkle is probably not in cunieform. Thx for pointing it out, but I really can't find info on it. Can someone help? leujohn 14:19, 6 October 2007 (UTC)

Anu's wife was typically Ki, goddess of the Earth. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:17, 7 October 2007 (UTC)

I think this is all wrong. How would they know about twinkies back then?? they were lucky if they found bread let alone icing!!! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:24, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

Original Mesopotamia[edit]

The west Part of Iran it is not originally Mesopotamia it was conquered by Mesopotamia (Khuzestan) just like Mesopotamia conquered Sham, Egypt and so on, so saying the west part of Iran is Mesopotamia is officially wrong, and I added strong sources prove that (I don’t need to because everyone know it) but I have to because some members insets to repeat the mistakes, and the strong sources are Mesopotamia official website, The British Museum and New York Museum… Mussav (talk) 18:47, 24 November 2007 (UTC)

Well, indeed the Elam and other Iranian based dynasties where also partly Mesopotamian. Achaemenid Empire has been Mesopotamian in art and literature.--Alborz Fallah (talk) 19:57, 24 November 2007 (UTC)
Mr Fallah, what are you talking about is true, they were part of Mesopotamia but my point was about the Original Mesopotamia, Mesopotamia Invaded/conquered nations and Nations Conquered/Invaded Mesopotamia, but the other Nations aren’t Originally Mesopotamian, didn't you read your own sources? "Sumerian, Akkadian, Babylonian, Kassite, Neo-Babylonian, and Assyrian invasions periodically crossed Khuzestan...etc". That proves my point, and enter here Susa, it says (Šušan was incorporated by Sargon the Great into his Akkadian Empire in approximately 2330 BC) so officially it wasn’t Originally Mesopotamian. Peace Mussav (talk) 16:42, 25 November 2007 (UTC)
"Mesopotamia" was never at any time the name of any political unit, thus it never had political boundaries, it is only the name of a geographic region, which usually has arbitrary boundaries established by convention (agreement) although in this case one can say the conventional boundaries are far less arbitrary and far more delineable than for most other geographic regions. But since it's a concept relying on conventional usage, it seems an error to speak in terms of "proving" where its limits extended to. Til Eulenspiegel /talk/ 02:37, 17 April 2013 (UTC)

It is only sensible to consider Western Iran as part of Mesopotamia. Parts of Iran are usually included in part of defining Mesopotamia. Actually, many scholars believe Susa (not the same as Elam) was a colony of Sumeria, from pre-history and into written history. Elam has mentioned from the earliest Sumerian scripts. And of course there is clearly an influence from the Zagros range into sumerian culture. For example, proto-elamite (or more properly, "Susianian") art, clearly influenced Sumerian art. The oldest counting tokens and ziggaruat, and pottery come from Western Iran. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 16:14, 29 April 2015 (UTC)

Western Iran, and perhaps up until central Iran, can and should, only be considered Mesopotamian. Here is a great snippet from Algaze and Guillermo, "The Uruk World System":

"The results of the various surveys and excavations in Susiana show that by the later part of the Uruk sequence (Middle/Late Uruk in local terminology) the plain had become part and parcel of the Mesopotamian world, an extension eastward of the culture and institutions prevalent in the lowlands of southern Iraq. The surveys of Wright and Johnson, in particular, document with precision the pattern of Uruk settlement in Susiana at this time: in the Middle Uruk period the principal centers were Susa and Chogha Mish on opposite ends of the plain. The former is situated on the Shaur River, a small tributary of the Dez, and at some 25 hec- tares commanded the western portion of the plain. Chogha Mish was also positioned along a tributary of the Dez, the Shureh River. At 18 hectares, Chogha Mish was only slightly smaller than Susa and dominated the eastern portion of the Susiana plain (Johnson 1973, 1987). Surrounding these central occupations and scattered across the plain were numerous subsidiary sites and villages (fig. 2). By the final phase of the Uruk period, however, important changes had taken place. Overall regional settlement density declined as many villages were abandoned along a 15-kilometer- wide band of territory roughly equidistant to each of the two principal centers, resulting in sharply polarized settlement clusters at either end of the Susiana plain. Johnson (1987) interprets these changes as reflecting the onset of intraregional conflict in Susiana. The size of Susa may have declined at this time, but this is unclear. 1 Just before the very end of this phase, however, Chogha Mish was either abandoned or contracted significantly (Dittmann 1986a:344). In spite of the settlement pattern changes just noted between the Middle and Late Uruk phases, there is little change in the size range attested for Uruk sites across Susiana. Included in each phase are numerous small agricultural villages 1-2 hectares in size, larger villages averaging 5-7 hectares, small "towns" in the 10-12 hectare range, and the small urban centers of Susa and Chogha Mish (Johnson 1973). The material culture of these sites is homogeneous throughout the plain. Excavations at both the largest centers and smaller sites in their vicinity indicate that the artifactual assemblages of Middle/Late Uruk sites across Susiana and contemporary sites in the Mesopotamian alluvium are analogous (Amiet 1986), allowing us to equate the Susa Acropolis I (Levels [20?]19-17) and Chogha Mish (Protoliterate B) sequences in Susiana with the Eanna VI-IV (Warka) and Inanna XX-XV (Nippur) sequences of southern Iraq (Strommenger 1980b:486). 3 Parallels between the two areas are not limited to ceramic assemblages that are largely identical (e.g., fig. 3A-H) — although a few types in southwestern Iran do betray contacts with the nearby highlands — but include conspicuous similarities in glyptic practices, accounting procedures (tokens, balls, bullae, and tablets), and iconography as well. Moreover, if we may extrapolate from depictions in Uruk glyptic in Susiana, traditions of monumental and religious architecture also appear to have been uniform across the two areas (fig. 3Y-BB). The striking parallels that may be observed between the material culture of the Mesopotamian alluvium and the Susiana plain in the later part of the Uruk period have important implications for our conceptualization of the development of Susiana in the second half of the fourth millennium. Equivalent sealing and accounting practices in each of the two regions indicate uniform record keeping and administrative procedures (Schmandt-Besserat 1986) (fig. 3S-X). In turn, this may suggest the existence of largely analogous institutions — particularly if Nissen (1977) is correct in seeing the schematic seals that are common to both areas (often depicting pigtailed women at work, e.g., fig. 3N, Q) as lower-level institutional seals. Comparable modes of social organization are also suggested by iconographical similarities in the fully modeled glyptic repertoires of each area: in each case it is the same larger-than-life male figure wearing his hair in a chignon who is depicted at the apex of the administrative and religious hierarchy (e.g., fig. 3M, P). 5 Other iconographic parallels evince a shared mythology (e.g., fig. 3I-L), and possibly even the existence of common religious rituals, as may be inferred from representations of apparently identical offerings brought into temples (e.g., fig. 30, R). The evidence just outlined leaves little doubt that in the later part of the Uruk period Susiana was culturally as much a part of the Mesopotamian world as the alluvium itself. Any consideration of the emergence of Uruk civilization, therefore, must take into account the role of Susiana in that process"

All this means that before and through the historical period, Western Iran was part of Sumerian civilization, let alone Mesopotamian history. Hopefully that ends the Mesopotamia/Iran debate. (talk) 00:57, 30 April 2015 (UTC)

Table too large[edit]

Whoever added the table in the article messed up. Please go back and fix what you've done so that the Etymology section of the article can be read without inducing headaches. TheMadChild (talk) 06:16, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

Furthermore, please add text to the "trends" section so that the table isn't just hanging there by itself. TheMadChild (talk) 06:19, 12 January 2008 (UTC)

Could you make the introduction longer? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:32, 17 January 2008 (UTC)

Need better first image[edit]

I propose the first image should be a clear map of the area, ancient and modern. The present 'Trends in Ancient Mesopotamia' is overly complex, and should only be included at all if that aspect is discussed in the text. It certainly shouldn't be first. (talk) 03:45, 3 February 2008 (UTC)

Mesopotamia as synonym for Iraq[edit]

I would like to add a line to the opening paragraph to the effect that some commentators (eg NY Times[1], Slate[2]) use Mesopotamia as a synonym for (modern) Iraq. (This is mostly some sections of the US media, but is widespread enough to be noted.)

The present article makes very little of any modern sense of the term (though see the first discussion in this talk section).

Any comment?

Earthlyreason (talk) 04:59, 3 February 2008 (UTC)

The biggest danger with this article as far as I'm concerned is that we erroneously suggest that Mesopotamia is a "nation" that modern day Iraqis are descended from. There's a great deal of confusion about this subject amongst many people (the media included) so if you want to make this point it has to be exceptionally clear that Mesopotamia is not the historical predecessor of Iraq. Blankfrackis (talk) 00:21, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

Soooooo it's not the historical predecessor of Iraq? – SarahTehCat (talk) 08:43, 19 July 2015 (UTC)

Academic Style[edit]

Is it just me or is the style of the section on Babylonian philosophy far too academic for Wikipedia. I'm not a very stupid person, or uneducated -- I have written three well-received books -- but for the life of me, I can't get my head round passages like these:

The earliest form of logic was developed by the Babylonians, notably in the rigorous nonergodic nature of their social systems. Babylonian thought was axiomatic and is comparable to the "ordinary logic" described by John Maynard Keynes. Babylonian thought was also based on an open-systems ontology which is compatible with ergodic axioms.[21] ... In particular, the Babylonian text Dialog of Pessimism contains similarities to the agonistic thought of the sophists, the Heraclitean doctrine of contrasts, and the dialectic and dialogs of Plato, as well as a precursor to the maieutic Socratic method of Socrates.[22]

Can somebody please be kind and translate into everyday language.

Krivuk (talk) 00:15, 20 February 2008 (UTC)

Totally. This section is semi-protected, why? Wikipedia's own page on "ergotic" in no way suggests what it might mean in a philosophical or social organization context. I know we're not supposed to vent, but this section seems laughably pretentious. Lemccan (talk) 16:20, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

Loss of List of Rulers[edit]

Sumerophile deleted the list of Mesopotamian Rulers. I feel this is a loss in an encyclopedia, especially since the list is not found anywhere else on the internet - if a Wikipedia list exists, could it have a pointer under "Kings". For this reason I would propose undoing the change. Thoughts anyone?

John D. Croft (talk) 04:33, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

The list was rather random. The whole Sumerian king list is at Sumerian king list. None of the Lagash dynasties, or the later Larsa dynasty are included on the actual list, but they are linked to it. I'll add a link to the king list to this article. Sumerophile (talk) 16:48, 21 February 2008 (UTC)

Ancient mesopotamia timeline factual problem[edit]

"Ancient Mesopotamia" includes the period from the late 6th millennium BC until the rise of the Achaemenid Persians in the 6th century BC. This long period may be divided as follows:

Well that is the correct definiton, therefore the achamaneid empire should not be included in the timeline of ancient mesopotamia, The Achamaneid empire belongs to a different era,specially since it was not a distinctive mesopotamian civilization, please correct this...

   * Late Neolithic:
         o Hassuna, Samarra and Halaf "cultures"
   * Chalcolithic:
         o Ubaid period (ca 5900 BC–4000 BC)
         o Uruk period (ca 4000 BC–3100 BC)
               + Jemdet Nasr Period (ca 3100 BC–2900 BC)
   * Early Bronze Age
         o Early Dynastic city states (ca 2900 BC–2350 BC)
         o Akkadian Empire (ca 2350 BC–2193 BC).
         o Third dynasty of Ur ("Sumerian Renaissance" or "Neo-Sumerian Period") (ca 2119 BC–2004 BC)
   * Middle Bronze Age
         o Early Assyrian kingdom (20th to 18th c. BC)
         o First Babylonian Dynasty (18th to 17th c. BC)
   * Late Bronze Age
         o Kassite dynasty, Middle Assyrian period (16th to 12th c. BC)
   * Iron Age
         o Syro-Hittite or Neo-Hittite regional states (11th–7th c. BC)
         o Neo-Assyrian Empire (10th to 7th c. BC)
         o Neo-Babylonian Empire (7th to 6th c. BC)
         o Achaemenid Persian Empire (6th-4th c. BC)  —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 07:34, 25 February 2008 (UTC) 

You can edit the article, you know... Sumerophile (talk) 18:57, 10 April 2008 (UTC)

Mesopotamian Technology[edit]

Why was my edit reverted? Didn't Al-Haytham and Al-Jazari's inventions and tecnology set the stage for the modern era? This is common knowledge. [3]InternetHero (talk) 06:30, 19 April 2008 (UTC)

Al-Jazari long post-dates Mesopotamia's existence as a polity. This information belongs under Medieval Muslim/Arabic topics. Sumerophile (talk) 03:59, 22 April 2008 (UTC)

O.K. InternetHero (talk) 11:30, 23 April 2008 (UTC)

Revision of the lead[edit]

I found the old version confusing as it is hard to figure out how the two bits of who ruled what fit together. It is also more accurate to mention Mesopotamia as a whole as 'cradle of civilization', a phrase which is also used to describe other areas elsewhere in the world in any case.Doug Weller (talk) 14:59, 20 April 2008 (UTC)

I too found myself abit confused with the old version. Chaldean (talk) 15:37, 20 April 2008 (UTC)


Someone screwed up the economy section... needs to be expanded/revised!! —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 06:11, 9 September 2008 (UTC)


somebody write a history article about this???? ---- Teeninvestor. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Teeninvestor (talkcontribs) 21:38, 30 September 2008 (UTC)


Should be more specific on location and should include climate. Should tell what causes things to change the geography and how it changes it. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:43, 9 October 2008 (UTC)


Should give examples of technologies- especially important ones Should tell who made things, when things were made, how things were made, etc. Should tell importance of technologies made. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:47, 9 October 2008 (UTC)

social classes[edit]

Should show social classes and why they are what they are and what the people in each social class does. Should name some important people from the social classes and explain their importance.


WHERE DO I FIND IT!!! PLEASE TYPE IT BELOW!!! By rr97khl ___________________________________________________________go to make an account click S.S Middle school NJ then click on the book__World History: Ancient and Early Modern Times online book and read the first and second chapter. ___________________________________ —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 03:15, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

And in the future, please don't ask questions on article talk pages, but go to Wikipedia:Reference desk/Miscellaneous and ask. Thanks. Doug Weller (talk) 20:17, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

daily life was a time where you either work or die. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 15:18, 30 January 2009 (UTC)

Sheesh, haven't you people ever heard of a "line break"? – SarahTehCat (talk) 08:40, 19 July 2015 (UTC)

Links to Historical Names e.g. Neolithic and Chalcolithic[edit]

Could it be possible to link these difficult words to their counterparts in Wikipedia or even have the information in brackets behind the word. I would be really helpful, I am investigating the subject with my son. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Jonathanmcguinness (talkcontribs) 10:09, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

Good point. I've made some links (note that terms are only linked once, hopefully the first time they are used). Doug Weller (talk) 11:07, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

== UMmmm == were did you get the information about all this?Skyfaerie11 (talk) 18:51, 19 October 2008 (UTC)

Footnote 16[edit]

What's up with footnote 16?

16. ^ Eves, Chapter 2ghghghghg

--Fpmfpm (talk) 04:45, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

Thanks for pointing it out, (I guess, a pain trying to straighten this out). WHen added last year it just said Eves, chapter 2, but I think I've found the source. dougweller (talk) 06:23, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

Language and Writing section cleanup[edit]

This section's three subheadings all have minor to major issues. The first sentence under Literature and Mythology, e.g., is an incomprehensible run-on, and the final sentence under Philosophy just cuts off mid-line. Some tone and word-choice issues persist elsewhere in the section. Busy writing a paper about this stuff at the moment or I'd fix it myself. Does anyone at least have time to fix the serious issues with readability? LeSaint (talk) 22:48, 5 February 2009 (UTC)

Did a school paper get added to this article?[edit]

I'm not much of a wiki expert, but about halfway through the last entry (on Ziggurats) the style of the article changed to sound like a middle-school paper on the topic, with no references. ("If the wheel had not been invented, modern life would be very different." Indeed.) I'll leave it up to someone else to decide if there's anything there that should be kept. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 05:00, 10 March 2009 (UTC)


Further information: Babylonian literature: Philosophy

The origins of philosophy can be traced back to early Mesopotamian wisdom, which embodied certain philosophies of life, particularly ethics, in the forms of dialectic, dialogs, epic poetry, folklore, hymns, lyrics, prose, and proverbs. Babylonian reasoning and rationality developed beyond empirical observation.[1]

The earliest form of logic was developed by the Babylonians, notably in the rigorous nonergodic nature of their social systems. Babylonian thought was axiomatic and is comparable to the "ordinary logic" described by John Maynard Keynes. Babylonian thought was also based on an open-systems ontology which is compatible with ergodic axioms.[2] Logic was employed to some extent in Babylonian astronomy and medicine.

Babylonian thought had a considerable influence on early Greek philosophy and Hellenistic philosophy. In particular, the Babylonian text Dialog of Pessimism contains similarities to the agonistic thought of the sophists, the Heraclitean doctrine of contrasts, and the dialectic and dialogs of Plato, as well as a precursor to the maieutic Socratic method of Socrates.[3] The GREEK[[ (talk) 13:35, 4 April 2009 (UTC)Phoenicia]]n philosopher Thales is also


  1. ^ Giorgio Buccellati (1981), "Wisdom and Not: The Case of Mesopotamia", Journal of the American Oriental Society 101 (1), p. 35-47.
  2. ^ Cite error: The named reference Sheila was invoked but never defined (see the help page).
  3. ^ Giorgio Buccellati (1981), "Wisdom and Not: The Case of Mesopotamia", Journal of the American Oriental Society 101 (1), p. 35-47 43.


It is not clear why there is an irrelevant reference to an economist in the section about Mesopotamian philosophy. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:38, 28 June 2009 (UTC)

Mesopotamia Family Life[edit]

Please I need help with a report and its due very soon. What types of common names were there is the Mesopotamian times? If your describing the adress of a Mesopotamian home, where or what would you say? I just need some basic city-state names. If any of you can help answer these please do. I apperciate your help —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:12, 1 October 2009 (UTC)

Where is the real and correct reference of the etymology of the name Mesopotamia?[edit]

Why did the writer only showed the Aramaic and Arabic version of the name Mesopotamia? The name is Greek, from the word <<mesos>> (middle) and <<potamos or potami>>(river). Any reason for that?

mesopotamia was a long lost city-state in the ancenit times. they ivented the code of hammurabi and most inportant our alphabet. they called it cuneiform. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 22:49, 19 November 2009 (UTC)

Sumarian religion[edit]

The Sumarian word for heaven was 'An' according to E.M. Parr writing to Robert Graves. Graves surmises that since the root 'An,' or Anna' is the basis for many goddess names such as Athena, (Ath (enna) an inversion of Anatha, Mari(anna) (the fruitful mother) and Arianrhod (from Ar-ri-an - 'high fruitful mother,) the god 'An' is therefore a masculinization of the Sumerian goddess 'Anna-Nin, often abbreviated to 'Nana.' This process of masculinizing female names to male ones was in the tradition that also produced the Sumerian god 'Bel' out of 'Belili.' According to Graves this change was well known to Virgil and Ovid. Anna-Nin was further identified by J Przbuski in the 'Revue de l'Histoire des Relgions (1933) with 'Ana-hita the Goddess of the Avesta, whom the Greeks called 'Anaitis and the Persians called 'Anahid.' James Joyce in his 'Anna Livia Purabelle' celebrates Anna's universality. According to Graves if there is one single, inclusive name for the Great Goddess 'Anna' is the best choice. (White Goddess copyright 1948, First American edition 1966 PP 370-371.) It was likely that the Goddess An was originally female, and was the original Mesopotamian symbol of creation. The idea of a creator being the offspring of a prior god and goddess was a rather late invention and careful scholarship should be presented before accepting that for the peoples of Mesopotamia 'An' as male and 'Ki' as female, with and a male offspring who took over, represented the whole of their religious tradition.

Marriage occurred much later in time than this society - in the western world men joined with women in their system of 'marriage' (Mari - age) to each other in the middle and late Greek period around 300 B.C. It is prejudicial to say 'women as well as men knew how to read' as is stated in the historical part of the article, because there is no credible evidence that literacy was the prerogative of men, which the structure of the statement implies. Reading would not be necessary to science however since oral history was a highly regulated undertaking requiring endless formal memorization.

For instance, the very title of Graves' book - 'White Goddess' - is one of the oldest most ubiquitous references in oral myth, and most likely refers not to 'woman' or 'goddess' but to 'ice ages' and therefore was probably an anthropomorphic term in the science of climate. (C.S. Lewis depicts this concept in the Narnia Chronicles.) Though over time the original meaning of 'white goddess' has been lost, it is likely that women, acting as the sole parents of children, and concerned about survival in conditions that almost wiped out humans in Europe, carefully taught climatic information to their daughters who taught it to their daughters, and so on. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Chejou (talkcontribs) 14:57, 26 November 2009 (UTC)

Iraq, Iraq, and more Iraq[edit]

Looking at the very top of the article, we see "Ancient Iraq" redirects here. See also: History of Iraq.. Iraq is then boldfaced in the first line of the lead. See also: History of Iraq is also referenced in the History section. I'd like to know if anyone else finds this Iraq-mania here a bit odd, or if it's just me. --Athenean (talk) 23:45, 19 December 2009 (UTC)

There is a history of Iraqophilia on the part of some of the editors of this page. But the majority of Mesopotamia was within the boundaries of modern Iraq so we would expect a lot of Iraq to direct here. HOWEVER, I agree that the other countries of Mesopotamia are sorely underrepresented and ignored here. We need some other links, especially to Syria, whose ancient history pedigree is nearly as long as Iraq's and no less prestigious (Ebla, Mari, etc.). (Taivo (talk) 00:24, 20 December 2009 (UTC))
I added some relevant Syria and Turkey (Anatolia) references and removed a couple of Iraq references that were duplicated by Mesopotamia references. That should help to balance out the links to other countries within Mesopotamia. (Taivo (talk) 00:37, 20 December 2009 (UTC))

This is Iraq. pre-Achaemenid "Ancient Mesopotamia" was never ruled from outside Iraq. Only minor parts of Syria and Turkey are in the region, and those parts were merely settlement extensions of the states based in Iraq. We don't "emphasize" the Turkish and other non-Greek geography of Ancient Greece - rather the opposite seems to be the case. Izzedine 07:06, 21 December 2009 (UTC)

Nonsense. Syria is as important to Mesopotamia as Iraq. I see absolutely no reason why Iraq should be emphasized to the death. And you're dead wrong about ancient Greece. Magna Grecia and Ionia are as important to ancient Greece as mainland Greece itself (although they were neither "Italian" or "Turkish" in any sense). So you just defeated your own argument. --Athenean (talk) 08:30, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
"Syria is as important to" is different to "Syria is". Syria is a much lesser component however. I have some (reliable) references citing that Greece has been considered to be in the Middle East, and partly in Asia too, but I have not the inclination to include them. Izzedine 08:33, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
"Mesopotamia also known as ancient Iraq". Wow. You've really gone too far this time. Seems like your response to this discussion was "You dare to challenge the equation Mesopotamia=Iraq? I'll show you!". Clearly, there is no point in trying to reason with you. --Athenean (talk) 08:45, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
I've known you to assume better faith than that Athenean. "Mesopotamia" is your ancient country's name for my ancient country. Izzedine 08:50, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
Argh. If only things were that simple. There were no countries in the 3rd millenium BC. Ok, then what your "ancient country's" name for itself? Bet it wasn't Iraq. Some of the most important Mesopotamian sites, such as Ebla and Mari are not located in Iraq, but in Syria. Wheat was first domesticated in Anatolia. I'm sorry, but the equation Mesoptamia=Iraq=Mesopotamia is just not going to work. --Athenean (talk) 09:10, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
I meant country in the geocultural sense, as in; 'country of the two rivers'. Of course the Greek and Iraqi Republics didn't exist in the 3rd millennium BC. Our ancient country's name is ܒܝܬ ܢܗܪ̈ܝܢ (Bet Nahrain). Ebla was a Levantine city near the Syrian coast, Mari was almost on the present Iraqi-Syrian border, on the Syrian side yes. I believe the earliest evidence of wheat domestication is from northeast Syria (Abu Hureyra). Polybius coined the name Mesopotamia during the Seleucid period in the 2nd century BCE. Izzedine 10:59, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
Mesopotamia does not equal Iraq. Sorry, Izzedine, while most of Mesopotamia (which, by the way, had no exact boundaries other than the watersheds of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers) is within modern Iraq, it was not entirely within modern Iraq. There is a significant chunk of the Euphrates that runs through Syria and Turkey. You are trying to overemphasize the "Iraqness" of Mesopotamia. There was no Iraq in antiquity. (Taivo (talk) 12:23, 21 December 2009 (UTC))
Mesopotamia isn't exclusively Iraq, you are right; the region the name applies to also includes chunks of Syria and Turkey, and I have left the tags to the history and geography of Syria and Turkey that you added. Iraq comprises the overwhelming majority of the region however, as you said, and more besides geographical precedence. Izzedine 12:51, 21 December 2009 (UTC)

(outdent) Izzedine, this article is not about Iraq, it's about Mesopotamia. Stop overemphasizing Iraq by bolding or calling this region "Ancient Iraq". It's not. Books are published on "Ancient New York", for example, but all that means is talking about antiquity within a modern boundary. There was no "ancient New York" any more than there was an "ancient Iraq". Iraq is a modern country with modern boundaries that do not correspond in any way to Mesopotamia. The Islamic conquest was also not of "Iraq", but of Persia (the wikilink even points to Islamic conquest of Persia). The Muslim Arabs did not overrun "Iraq", but Persia. If you disagree, then pursue Wikipedia dispute resolution by seeking a third opinion. But for now you are in the minority view. (Taivo (talk) 13:38, 21 December 2009 (UTC))

Stop making this personal please, I concur that Iraq doesn't need to be bolded and have de-bolded it. The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability not truth, I have provided numerous reliable references for the alternative terms Ancient Iraq and Muslim conquest of Iraq. You do not own the article Taivo. Izzedine 13:46, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
This isn't personal, Izzedine. If there were more editors than just you who objected to de-emphasizing Iraq here, then I could address "you" as a group. But since you are the only editor who is on the other side, then it is singular "you". 1) Just because I can find books called "Ancient New York" doesn't mean that there was one. Look at the books you are citing for "Ancient Iraq" and you will find that they have nothing to do with an ancient entity, but with simply describing antiquity within a modern boundary. None of them will equate "Mesopotamia" with the boundaries of modern Iraq. You fail to grasp this distinction. 2) The Arabs did not attack "Iraq". Just as with "Ancient Iraq", the sources you cite do not describe any entity in the 7th century called "Iraq", but simply describe the Islamic conquest in terms of a modern political boundary. There was no such thing as "Iraq" in the 7th century. The wikilink that you think keep inserting doesn't even exist--it's just a redirect to Islamic conquest of Persia because that's what the Arabs attacked--Persia and not Iraq. (Taivo (talk) 13:52, 21 December 2009 (UTC))
Ok Taivo, I concur with your second point and have restored your edit. The alternative term Ancient Iraq is used because Iraq has geographic and cultural precedence here. A comparison with New York is incorrect. The name Iraq for the river valley is attested since the early Sassanid period, and some etymologies trace it to the Akkadian name for Uruk. What is verifiable from reliable sources passes the threshold for inclusion, there are different viewpoints on concepts, we have to accept that. Izzedine 14:13, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
Nonsense, those are folk etymologies without any validity. Taivo is right. The "name" Iraq is not attested till after the Islamic conquest, and the country of Iraq did not exist until 1922. Modern-day Iraqis speak Arabic and are Muslims, they are considered Arabs, and modern Iraqi culture has nothing in common with that of ancient Mesopotamia. Iraq has been conquered by too many people over too many millenia for there to be any meaningful connection to ancient Mesopotamia. 20th century "Iraqis" had not lost even the memory of Mesopotamia, which is why the main archeological (as in abandoned, and uninhabited) had to be re-discovered in the 19-20th century by Western archeologists. Iraq's claim to being a country is also tenuous at best: It is just 3 former Ottoman provinces cobbled together by the British and labeled "Iraq". Yet another of those colonial-era monstrosities where people that have nothing in common with each other are forced to get along, like Nigeria and Congo. The incessant strife we are witnessing bears proof of that. Iraq may well not survive. How sad that some people have fallen for this 20th century colonial concoction and are now perpetuating the hoax. The only thing that Iraq and Mesopotamia have in common is geography. Nothing else. To claim an organic continuity between ancient Mesopotamia and modern-day Iraq is simply fringe. --Athenean (talk) 18:11, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
This is a very offensive and vicious polemic against a whole nation, and crosses the line. It is sad that you know so little about Iraq. If you have time watch this documentary [4]. Izzedine 18:40, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
There is no "nation". The Kurds want nothing to do with Iraq. Neither do the shiites in the south. The only thing that kept the place together was Saddam's iron fist. That's the reality. Nothing vicious or polemic. I'm sorry if you're offended, but that's just how it is. --Athenean (talk) 18:46, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
Izzedine, if there is no "organic continuity", then there is no such thing as "Ancient Iraq", only modern Iraq. Whether the modern country is valid/survives/whatever isn't really relevant here. What is relevant is that since you have, yourself, admitted that there is no continuity, there is no such thing as ancient Iraq in any other sense than exists for the term "ancient New York"--that is, it is just a way to geographically limit the scope of the book being published to that archeology which exists within the borders of modern Iraq--there is no ancient reality whatsoever. Indeed, I doubt that you have read any of the "Ancient Iraq" books which you cite (if you have then please provide a quote about their "scope"). You have used Google searches in the past to justify your comments so I think you simply looked up a bunch of titles on Amazon or Google Books without reading them to find out that the authors are using "Ancient Iraq" to mean exactly that--not "Mesopotamia", but whatever lies within the borders of the modern country. (I don't cite books unless I'm holding them in my hands.) WP:RS is all well and good, but it doesn't mean titles, only content. If you can find a quote within those books that says, "Mesopotamia is Ancient Iraq" or "Ancient Iraq is Mesopotamia", then you have a point. If it just says, "Ancient Iraq lay within Mesopotamia" or "This book is about ancient Mesopotamia within Iraq", etc., then "Ancient Iraq" does not equal "Mesopotamia". Your last reference actually calls its scope "ancient Mesopotamia, within the borders of Iraq". It doesn't even use the term "Ancient Iraq". Indeed, books on the archeology of "ancient Iraq" will exclude major Mesopotamian cities such as Harran (in Turkey) and Mari (in Syria). Thus, it's very, very clear that "Ancient Iraq" is not a synonym of "Mesopotamia". (Taivo (talk) 19:06, 21 December 2009 (UTC))
I agree. I think references to "ancient Iraq" should be removed. Any attempts to equate Mesopotamia with ancient Iraq need to go. --Athenean (talk) 19:37, 21 December 2009 (UTC)

fwiiw, "ancient Iraq" does see some use in the sense of "Mesopotamia". It's a marginal term (I get about 800 vs.22,000 hits on google books). Izzedine has been told as much several times over, and he has been warned about going back on one of his patriotic rampages. If he insists on wasting people's time over this I will support a community ban. This has been going on long enough. --dab (𒁳) 21:09, 21 December 2009 (UTC)

I had exactly the same thought. In fact I came >>>>>>>>this<<<<<<<< close to requesting a community ban a bit earlier. I will wait till after the holidays, however, and give Izzedine one last chance to clean up his act. Like you said, this has been going on long enough. --Athenean (talk) 22:18, 21 December 2009 (UTC)
OK, I removed "Ancient Iraq" one more time based on this discussion. (Taivo (talk) 04:09, 22 December 2009 (UTC))

There are two sides here. One side is claiming that Ancient Iraq is an alternative term and has provided numerous reliable, verifiable published sources to support the claim. The other side is opposing this and resorting to threats and bullying.

According to this page, Wikipedia has three core content policies:

Wikipedia:Neutral point of view

  • Comments made above by Athenean demonstrate a strong negative point of view.

Wikipedia:Verifiability states -

  • "The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth—that is, whether readers are able to check that material added to Wikipedia has already been published by a reliable source, not whether we think it is true."

Wikipedia:No original research states -

  • "To demonstrate that you are not presenting original research, you must cite reliable sources that are directly related to the topic of the article, and that directly support the information as it is presented."

Izzedine 09:58, 25 December 2009 (UTC)

Izzedine, concerning reliable sources, you have provided no true reliable sources. You have only provided titles of books. As I said above, I suspect you have simply found the titles of these books on Google Books and are using their titles as "evidence" they they equate Mesopotamia with Ancient Iraq. WP:RS only applies to the content of sources, not to their titles. Show us some quotes from those books that say "Mesopotamia and Ancient Iraq are the same thing" and you will have more of a foundation to stand on (not that it will be a convincing foundation, but it will at least be a foundation). (Taivo (talk) 13:55, 25 December 2009 (UTC))
No, I have provided various references, including books with the title and citations explicitly verifying it, you need to check things closer. I own several of these books aswell (not that it makes any difference). You are trying everything you can to move the goalposts just to oppose this, but I have provided substantial reliable and verifiable sources for it, so there is no reason at all why it cannot remain included. You shouldn't mass-delete reliable sources just because you don't like them and you shouldn't alter citations, like you did with the original cited definition of Mesopotamia. Izzedine 14:22, 25 December 2009 (UTC)

Getting Consensus First[edit]

Izzedine, your continued attempts to add "Ancient Iraq" to this article are controversial and have been reverted by other editors. You need to gain consensus here on the Talk Page before continuing to add that information into the article. The WP:BRD process has moved past the "be bold" point since you have been reverted by multiple editors and so you now must discuss your changes before just editing them in. Also, your comment about "Greater Syria" is totally inappropriate here. I think you got confused because that is the inappropriate comment I deleted from Middle East, not from here. Right now, you stand alone in your insistence so you need to build a consensus or leave the article alone. (Taivo (talk) 14:06, 25 December 2009 (UTC))

Taivo, Wikipedia is not a democracy. What I have added passes Wikipedia's threshold for inclusion, and simply because a couple of people don't like it, it doesn't justify mass-deleting the references and citations. I am all for working towards concensus, and have demonstrated that earlier with you, but you don't seem to reciprocate. Izzedine 14:29, 25 December 2009 (UTC)
Izzedine, you are alone in your opinions as can be seen from the previous section where several editors are in opposition to your edits. You need to build consensus before you add that material to the article since you have not demonstrated that you are using anything more than the titles of those books as "evidence". You are, in essence, finding James Joyce's Ulysses and listing it as a reference for the article on the Odyssey. You don't understand Wikipedia's process in the least and you have been warned before about edit warring without trying to get a consensus first. (Taivo (talk) 14:38, 25 December 2009 (UTC))
Concerning "democracy", you don't understand the meaning. Wikipedia works on "consensus"--that means that everyone comes to the same opinion and agrees. It does not mean, "one editor thinks so despite what everyone else thinks". Wikipedia's injunctions against democracy are when 5 people agree and 4 people disagree--that isn't consensus and means that more discussion and compromise needs to happen so that all or nearly all of the editors agree. It doesn't mean that you can make your changes when all the other editors disagree with you. In this case, the strong consensus is that your edits should not be made. (Taivo (talk) 14:52, 25 December 2009 (UTC))
There is yourself and Athenean. dab conceded the term has use (not that it makes a difference because references are what counts). Athenean has a conflict of interest viz-a-viz this because he has clearly breached one of Wikipedia's core policies - neutral point of view, by saying things like this -
"modern Iraqi culture has nothing in common with that of ancient Mesopotamia. Iraq has been conquered by too many people over too many millenia for there to be any meaningful connection to ancient Mesopotamia. 20th century "Iraqis" had not lost even the memory of Mesopotamia, which is why the main archeological (as in abandoned, and uninhabited) had to be re-discovered in the 19-20th century by Western archeologists. Iraq's claim to being a country is also tenuous at best: It is just 3 former Ottoman provinces cobbled together by the British and labeled "Iraq". Yet another of those colonial-era monstrosities where people that have nothing in common with each other are forced to get along, like Nigeria and Congo. The incessant strife we are witnessing bears proof of that. Iraq may well not survive. How sad that some people have fallen for this 20th century colonial concoction and are now perpetuating the hoax. The only thing that Iraq and Mesopotamia have in common is geography. Nothing else."
His initiation of this thread itself was in bad faith and wasn't focussed on improving the article but on "de-emphasizing" Iraq - the principal component of the article's subject. Izzedine 15:01, 25 December 2009 (UTC)

For crying out loud Taivo please stop lying. Otherwise I will report you for it and point out what you've been doing.

Here are the references I added:

These reliable references are ample verifiable evidence of the alternative term "Ancient Iraq". Izzedine 14:53, 25 December 2009 (UTC)

Titles of books are not reliable sources, quotes from those books which say "Mesopotamia was Ancient Iraq" or "Ancient Iraq was Mesopotamia" are more important. Unless the books use the term "Ancient Iraq" (capitalized) as an ancient entity, then the titles are meaningless. As I have said many times before, there are books on "Ancient Utah" and "Ancient New York", but that doesn't mean that those terms represent any ancient entity. (Taivo (talk) 15:02, 25 December 2009 (UTC))
Here are quotes -
It isn't a case of "ancient entity" Taivo. There was no "entity" called Mesopotamia, it's just a name for a region, not an entity. Izzedine 15:17, 25 December 2009 (UTC)
But it's an ancient, well-recognized, and fairly well-defined name for the region. It is not coterminous with the boundaries of modern Iraq. It is a different entity than what the very modern term "Ancient Iraq" means. The boundaries of Mesopotamia do not equal the boundaries of Iraq. (Taivo (talk) 15:21, 25 December 2009 (UTC))
Yes. That is why the article is titled "Mesopotamia" and not "Ancient Iraq", but "Ancient Iraq" is an alternative term and there is verifiable evidence for this, so all that I have proposed is that the alternative term is included, it doesn't supersede the term "Mesopotamia" in any way. The reason why it's "Ancient Iraq" is because the antiquity was based in and ruled from the Iraqi region of the Tigris and Euphrates, which is the vast majority. Iraq is not just the name of the state by the way, it's also the name of the region, they didn't "invent" the name Iraq in 1932, it is attested since as early as the 3rd/4th century when Arabs began migrating into the region. Izzedine 15:31, 25 December 2009 (UTC)
I keep asking you for quotes from these books you keep citing, but you have still not given any evidence that "Ancient Iraq" equals "Mesopotamia". That's the requirement for a synonym: X equals Y. So now you're claiming that "Ancient Iraq" includes northeastern Syria and southeastern Turkey? Both of these areas are clearly part of "Mesopotamia". Unless these books cover the regions of Mari and Harran, then you can't really say that they are about Mesopotamia at all--just about the Iraqi part of Mesopotamia. (Taivo (talk) 15:34, 25 December 2009 (UTC))
These three books cover Mari, the latter two also cover Harran, they cover the whole of Mesopotamia, within books titled Ancient Iraq -
So let's have some quotes from them. Or did you just find "Mari" listed in the index? Are there chapters on Mari and Harran? If so, then you have a point. But if you only found Mari mentioned in the index (without looking at the actual text), then you might very well find "Jerusalem", "Susa", "Damascus", "Tyre", etc. as well. Is Mari treated like one of the cities of "Ancient Iraq" or is it just a neighboring city? (Taivo (talk) 15:47, 25 December 2009 (UTC))
The cities don't have whole chapters devoted to them. All three books treat Mari as part of the subject (and how could you not?). Here have a look. Izzedine 16:00, 25 December 2009 (UTC)
That's not "evidence". Once again, you have just looked things up on Google Books without actually examining them. Check this out. Using your technique, then Jerusalem is part of "Ancient Iraq" as well. Just because the books mention Mari doesn't mean that they put Mari within the confines of "Ancient Iraq". They mention Jerusalem as well. What I'm talking about is treating the regions of Mari and Harran as part of ancient Iraq. Do they give equal weight to Mari and Harran? Clearly they also give equal weight to Jerusalem as well. Read the comments about Nineveh and Babylon in comparison and you will find section headings, their names in lists of chronological periods, detailed site evaluations, etc. The references to Mari are nothing on that order--they are just comments like, "He went to Mari from there", "He conquered Mari". They are all in reference to something or someone else. They are not about Mari, they are about something else and simply use Mari as a geographical reference. You cannot just "count cites" here, you must evaluate the evidence as well. So far you have presented no evidence that Mari and Harran, two clear Mesopotamian cities, are included in discussions of "Ancient Iraq". (Taivo (talk) 16:13, 25 December 2009 (UTC))

(outdent) Babylon and Nineveh were two of the most major cities so of course more reference is made to them. You are mistaken about Mari here Taivo, it is treated as part of the main subject matter, the books are covering the subject of "Mesopotamia" under the title "Ancient Iraq". It's quite simple to see. You would never find a book titled "Ancient Syria" dedicated to Mesopotamia. If what you are saying is true, there would not be books covering "Mesopotamia" under the name "Ancient Iraq". I have also provided quotes above which verify the term. I have more aswell, quite a few more, but I didn't want to overcite it to a ridiculous degree, but why are you are trying to subject this to a forensic analysis. Izzedine 16:23, 25 December 2009 (UTC)

(ec) No, Izzedine, read the quotes in your Google Books search (you still don't seem to understand that Google Books is not the same as actually reading the book) and you will see that none of them are about Mari. They are all about something else and simply use Mari as a point of geographical reference. Read the quotes about Nineveh and Babylon and you will see that many of them (if not most) are about Nineveh and Babylon, not about something else. Look carefully and you will see that over half of the Mari references in the book are actually bibliographical titles and not in the text itself. And the fact that the book has nearly as many references to Jerusalem as it does to Mari is pretty telling. Some of those Google quotes actually seem to be about Jerusalem as well (although without the book in my hands, it's hard to tell). Put the book in your hands and find something that says, "Mari was part of Ancient Iraq". I doubt that you can because Mari, Harran, and Susa were part of Mesopotamia, but not part of "Ancient Iraq". (after ec) You haven't provided a single quote which equates "ancient Iraq" with "Mesopotamia", you have just given links to searches you did on Google Books, none of which say that. I've been very clear on the fact that you are not evaluating your evidence, you are simply doing searches on Google Books without actually reading the books or citing a single quote that says, "Ancient Iraq and Mesopotamia are the same thing." (Taivo (talk) 16:36, 25 December 2009 (UTC))

But at this point it time, it's clear that you have a firmly-entrenched POV and you don't have the right kinds of evidence to convince me. So let others offer their thoughts on the issue. I'll post a request for comment and we will wait to see what others have to offer. (Taivo (talk) 16:47, 25 December 2009 (UTC))

I understand what you are saying and I want to offer a suggestion that might satisfy us both. As you are saying Ancient Iraq isn't a synonym for Mesopotamia, we can reword my edit to indicate this in some way, we can agree on the exact wording here on the talk page beforehand, is that reasonable? Izzedine 17:03, 25 December 2009 (UTC)
This does not have to be finalized today. Wait a few days and see if the community has a consensus on the issue. (Taivo (talk) 17:09, 25 December 2009 (UTC))
Well this a new third option, separate from the question in the RFC. Does it sound like a reasonable compromise? Izzedine 17:15, 25 December 2009 (UTC)
Wait for a few days and see what the community thinks about the issue. (Taivo (talk) 17:19, 25 December 2009 (UTC))
BTW, we don't restate the whole argument in the Request for Comment section. We let that section alone for community comment. All your arguments are already stated here and in the preceding section. (Taivo (talk) 17:21, 25 December 2009 (UTC))

Ancient Iraq references[edit]

Here are the references I added as a reminder:

These reliable references are ample verifiable evidence of the alternative term "Ancient Iraq". Izzedine 11:20, 26 December 2009 (UTC)

Wikipedia:Verifiability (one of Wikipedia's 3 core policies) states that the threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability and reliability. I think this is in ample satisfaction of the policy. Izzedine 17:12, 25 December 2009 (UTC)

And just as a reminder, titles found in Google Books alone without evaluating what they actually say is not a reliable source. None of these sources equate "Mesopotamia" with "Ancient Iraq", but only discuss that portion of Mesopotamia lying within the boundaries of modern Iraq. That's the fundamental issue. "Ancient Iraq" is not a synonym for "Mesopotamia", which includes sites and regions outside the borders of modern Iraq. (Taivo (talk) 17:42, 25 December 2009 (UTC))
I own Roux's and Peter Roger's books and have them next to me. Foster's book is available to read on Google books. Why have you been avoiding Karsh and Rautsi's book? Izzedine 17:49, 25 December 2009 (UTC)
If you have them, then you can provide a quote from each of them that says "Mari, Haran, and Susa were in Ancient Iraq", or "Mesopotamia is the same as Ancient Iraq" or something like that. Shouldn't be a problem if those books actually say that. (Taivo (talk) 17:51, 25 December 2009 (UTC))
I will add more quotes later this evening (searching a physical book takes time). However, fabricating unlikely and arbitrary statements like the one above and expecting them to be available is ridiculous. You seem to question whether the books are about "Mesopotamia", but they are comprehensively about Mesopotamia. And Yes there are many reliable sources to verify it is an alternative term. Izzedine 18:06, 25 December 2009 (UTC)
I was clear that "something like that" is perfectly acceptable. I'm in no hurry. I was the one above who said that we should allow a few days for community comment. (Taivo (talk) 18:23, 25 December 2009 (UTC))

Here is a quote from page 2 of Georges Roux's book explaining the scope of his book "Ancient Iraq":

Here is a quote from the next page of the same book:

These quotes testify that this is a book covering the civilization of ancient Mesopotamia, bearing the title Ancient Iraq. The terms "ancient Iraqis" and "ancient Iraq" appear throughout the book on every few pages to describe the "Mesopotamians" and "Mesopotamia" respectively. I will provide further quotes from the books shortly. Remember, it is not for you to agree with a reference, but for the reference to be verifiable for readers. Izzedine 18:48, 25 December 2009 (UTC)

The first quote calls this area "Mesopotamia", not "Ancient Iraq". The second quote doesn't even mention "Ancient Iraq", but "modern Iraq". Your final comment shows that you don't seem to fully comprehend the problem--"ancient Iraq" is not the same as "Ancient Iraq". The author is not using "Ancient Iraq" as a proper noun or true synonym for "Mesopotamia", but simply using the adjective "ancient" to modify the proper noun "Iraq". The two phrases "ancient Iraq" and "Ancient Iraq" are not the same thing. "Mesopotamia" might have "Ancient Iraq" as a synonym (although you still haven't proven it), but not "ancient Iraq". Think of the difference between "white house" and "White House" or between "old L'viv" (generic for the city before the 20th century) and "Old L'viv" (only the specific part within the former city walls). You need to be more careful in selecting your quotes. (Taivo (talk) 19:30, 25 December 2009 (UTC))
No Taivo, you are switching your standards so they cannot be met. First you say "it is just descriptive there was no entity "Ancient Iraq"", then when I point out that there was no entity "Mesopotamia" either – that they are both just names, you switch to "the scope of the book doesn't cover Mesopotamia it only covers what is within Iraq's borders", so then I quote you evidence that the book covers Mesopotamia and then you switch back to "it is just descriptive". No Taivo. This is a book on Mesopotamia with the title Ancient Iraq. It covers all of Mesopotamia, it has the title Ancient Iraq, and it uses this term throughout the book. There was no entity of "Mesopotamia" nor "Ancient Iraq" – these are both just names for the ancient Tigris–Euphrates region. I'm not saying the name of the article should be changed to Ancient Iraq (I could understand the resistance in that case), all I'm saying is that the alternative term can be included in there. Izzedine 19:55, 25 December 2009 (UTC)
You don't understand what a name is. "Mesopotamia" is a proper name, "Ancient Iraq" is a proper name, but "ancient Iraq" is not a proper name, "Iraq" is the name in that case. The title is not "Ancient Iraq" as a name, but "ancient Iraq" as an adjective with a name. "Ancient" is capitalized in the title only because it is the first word of the title. If the author actually meant "Ancient Iraq" as a proper name, then he would have written it thus in the text. That's just another proof that titles are not "evidence". The text of the book only says "ancient Iraq" which is not a synonym for "Mesopotamia". If the books have "Ancient Iraq" (capitalized), then it is a proper name. I haven't changed my argument one bit--"Mesopotamia" does not equal "Ancient Iraq" and you have no quotes that say that it does. "Ancient Iraq" is not the same as "ancient Iraq" as far as names go--"Ancient Iraq" would be a name, but "ancient Iraq" is not. Only two names can be synonyms for one another. (Taivo (talk) 20:03, 25 December 2009 (UTC))
Why do you keep avoiding Karsh and Rautsi's book? This is a book titled Mathematics in Ancient Iraq: A Social History and it deals with Mesopotamian mathematics. Time to consider my third option? instead of clinging to petty technicalities? Izzedine 20:26, 25 December 2009 (UTC)
The link you gave me to the Karsh and Rautsi book is not a link, but an advertisement. Advertisements are not reliable sources. There's nothing in that advertisement about "Ancient Iraq" or even "ancient Iraq". So you think that the difference between "white house" and "White House" is a technicality? Sorry, but you need to review your basic English grammar and lexicon if you think so. Look up the section on "proper names" or "proper nouns". What is to be done now? Exactly what I told you several hours ago--wait patiently for a few days and see what the request for comment brings. Nothing needs to be decided now. (Taivo (talk) 03:49, 26 December 2009 (UTC))
It isn't an advertisement it is a highlighted citation from page 122 of the book. Izzedine 06:00, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
I just noticed the link on that advertisement to a .pdf of the first chapter. I didn't have to look at more than the very first sentence to see "The mathematics of ancient Iraq". In other words, they are not talking about "Ancient Iraq" (proper name), but "ancient Iraq" ("Iraq" is the proper name). Thus it also proves my point--that the proper name "Mesopotamia" might be synonymous with the proper name "Ancient Iraq" if you could offer any proof that such a proper name exists in the literature, but there is no such proper name in any of the references you have offered so far. "Iraq" is not synonymous with "Mesopotamia" and so far that is the only proper name that any of your references use since "ancient" is not part of the proper name in these cases, but only a simple adjective modifying the proper name "Iraq". (Taivo (talk) 03:54, 26 December 2009 (UTC))
Encyclopedia of the archaeology of ancient Egypt – throughout the text of the book "ancient Egypt"
The Oxford history of ancient Egypt – throughout the text of the book "ancient Egypt"
The art of ancient Egypt – check the book overview "ancient Egypt"
Life in ancient Egypt – throughout the text of the book "ancient Egypt"
The pharaohs of ancient Egypt – throughout the text of the book "ancient Egypt"
The traveler's key to ancient Egypt – throughout the text of the book "ancient Egypt"
It is no different Taivo. Izzedine 06:26, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
Since you like to quote Wikipedia policy, check out WP:OTHERSTUFF. There is a major difference between Egypt (and Greece) and Iraq. Egypt (and Greece) actually existed in the ancient world and were known to their inhabitants (and neighbors) as "Egypt" and "Greece" (the Egyptian and Greek equivalents of those English words at least). Iraq did not exist in the ancient world and no region was known by its inhabitants as "Iraq". "Iraq" is a modern entity. Both Greece and Egypt as named entities predate Iraq by at least three millennia (Egypt by at least four and a half millennia). Apples and oranges. (Taivo (talk) 06:41, 26 December 2009 (UTC))
Can you provide proof for these claims please. Izzedine 06:49, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
(ec) That actually just makes my point. Using "Egypt" for antiquity means that the entire ancient kingdom can be discussed under the heading "Ancient Egypt" because at different times in its history, the border of Egypt did extend beyond the borders of modern Egypt. Same with "Ancient Greece"--at different times in antiquity, Greek communities were found beyond the borders of modern Greece. That's the upside of using the terms from antiquity--we are not tied to the borders of a modern country. With "Iraq" it is totally different since there was no entity called Iraq in antiquity, so we are completely tied to the modern borders when talking about it. Therefore, since the modern borders of Iraq are not coterminous with the borders of ancient Mesopotamia, the two are not synonymous. (Taivo (talk) 06:41, 26 December 2009 (UTC))
Mesopotamia is just a name - not an entity. There was no entity called "Mesopotamia". And howcome there are numerous books about "Mesopotamia" entitled "Ancient Iraq". then? Izzedine 06:59, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
The term in French. Izzedine 06:55, 26 December 2009 (UTC)

(outdent) Proof that there were ancient entities called "Egypt" and "Greece"? Now you're just being argumentative. And this is the English Wikipedia, so French doesn't count. I've told you at least half a dozen times now to let this lie until others have had a chance to comment. Your "evidence" is not sufficient to prove your point. Let others weigh in. (Taivo (talk) 06:59, 26 December 2009 (UTC))

Is it right that you insist on subjecting my argument to a forensic examination, but when I ask you to provide proof for your claims, you say "Now, you're just being argumentative". Irony? Izzedine 11:36, 26 December 2009 (UTC)

More Ancient Iraq references[edit]

Stories from Ancient Iraq (Mesopotamian mythology)
A Story from Ancient Iraq
"from ancient Iraq (also called Mesopotamia)"
"Ancient Iraq | Heritage Key"
Institute for Cultural Studies of Ancient IraqKokushikan University.
"archaeological sites of Iraq (ancient Mesopotamia)"Archaeological Institute of America. Izzedine 06:49, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
None of these demonstrate that "Ancient Iraq" is a proper name equivalent to "Mesopotamia". The phrase "ancient Iraq" is a descriptive phrase, not a proper name which would be a synonym for the proper name "Mesopotamia". (Taivo (talk) 14:36, 26 December 2009 (UTC))

Professor Thorkild Jacobsen's view[edit]

"Ancient Mesopotamia is the country now called Iraq"Thorkild Jacobsen, Macmillan Publishers
So what? This still doesn't prove that "Ancient Iraq" is a proper name. Only a proper name can be listed as a synonym for another proper name, "Mesopotamia". (Taivo (talk) 14:37, 26 December 2009 (UTC))

Professor McGuire Gibson's view[edit]

These would only demonstrate that "Mesopotamia" is synonymous with "Iraq" (which is even more unjustified), not that "Ancient Iraq" is a proper name equivalent to "Mesopotamia". (Taivo (talk) 14:39, 26 December 2009 (UTC))

BBC citation on Iraq etymology[edit]

Further cited in in print. Izzedine 08:20, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
Another citation

Izzedine 08:20, 26 December 2009 (UTC)

Neither of these are reliable sources when it comes to linguistic etymology. (Taivo (talk) 08:28, 26 December 2009 (UTC))
Reliable sources isn't tailored to subject specialists, it is whether the source has a reliable reputation. From WP:RS - "Material from mainstream news organizations is welcomed, particularly the high-quality end of the market." The BBC and Oxford University Press are definitely reliable sources. Izzedine 10:33, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
You still don't understand what a reliable source is, Izzedine. Reliable sources don't involve uncritical parroting. Reliable sources are primarily peer-reviewed, academic, secondary sources. Mainstream news organizations are there if there is an absence of peer-reviewed, academic secondary sources. Everything you have listed as a source since your first list of references is a waste of time since none of them meet the primary criteria for reliable sources on Wikipedia. You have not listed a peer-reviewed academic secondary source for that etymology. And, yes, Izzedine, specialist sources trump the popular press all day and all night as reliable sources. And you asked me above to provide quotes that ancient Egypt and ancient Greece existed. I'm going to assume that you were just being facetious in the middle of the night. (Taivo (talk) 13:47, 26 December 2009 (UTC))

Request for Comment[edit]

Can "Ancient Iraq" be listed as a synonym for "Mesopotamia"? (Taivo (talk) 16:49, 25 December 2009 (UTC))

Arguments for and against this from the editors involved in the dispute are discussed in the previous two sections. (Taivo (talk) 16:58, 25 December 2009 (UTC))
To all participants: There is currently another, related discussion on Talk:Iraq, as to whether the lead sentence of that article should begin with "Iraq, also known as Mesopotamia...". --Athenean (talk) 20:08, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
  • I am not at all a specialist of Mesopotamia but maybe I can contribute the following: it seems to me that Wikipedia policy is to use words as they are used commonly. When I was at school learning history (in France), I was told of Mesopotamia, not "Ancient Iraq". We commonly say "Ancient Greece' or "Ancient Egypt" but we say for example "Gaul", not "Ancient France", or "Hispania", not "Ancient Spain". I don't think there is much to argue here. Our encyclopedia should use common language. Voui (talk) 10:07, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
You are right about common language Voui, but the question here isn't whether the article should be renamed from Mesopotamia to Ancient Iraq, it is merely whether the term Ancient Iraq can be *included* as a synonym in the article. WP:Verifiability (one of Wikipedia's 3 core policies) states that "The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth—that is, whether readers are able to check that material added to Wikipedia has already been published by a reliable source, not whether we think it is true. Editors should provide a reliable source for quotations".. Izzedine 10:38, 26 December 2009 (UTC)
But, Izzedine, your sources all use "ancient Iraq", which is not a proper name, but a simple description. When listing synonyms, we cannot equate a proper name, "Mesopotamia", with a descriptive phrase "ancient Iraq", otherwise we could equate "United States" with "land of the free and home of the brave", a very common descriptive phrase, but not a proper name. (Taivo (talk) 13:40, 26 December 2009 (UTC))
  • I also learnt about Mesopotamia and the culture of Sumeria. It would be useful to know how major archaeological museums like that in the University of Pennsylvania (which has a large collection of cuneiform clay tablets from Ur) address these issues. Here is a direct link to that museum [5], the Penn Museum. They don't seem to use the term "Ancient Iraq". Their exhibition on Ur is entitled "Iraq's Ancient Past: Rediscovering Ur's Royal Cemetery". The title does admittedly contain the two word "ancient" and "Iraq", but not in that order. In the English language, Mesopotamia is the word used to describe the area in antiquity between the Tigris and the Euphrates. as the Greek name suggests; geographically this area is largely subsumed in modern-day Iraq. The British Museum, another museum specializing in this era, uses the word Mesopotamia. [6] Mathsci (talk) 15:46, 26 December 2009 (UTC)

We are not required to waste time with the childish idiosyncracy of a single user. We are trying to write an encyclopedia here. If Izzedine is so obsessed about a single term, let him publish his own blog or something. This has gone on far too long, and people really should learn to avoid rewarding this kind of behaviour with their attention. --dab (𒁳) 22:07, 26 December 2009 (UTC)

  • What the...? I'd say, that Mesopotamia can be listed as a synonym for Ancient Iraq! So of course I am for this...

What a question -.- —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 23:16, 27 December 2009 (UTC)

    • Comment This IP editor appeared today, and only has one contribution here and in the similar debate at Talk:Iraq. Mighty suspicious. --Athenean (talk) 02:43, 28 December 2009 (UTC)

We have to act fast ya ahlan

Here -

- (add a vote of support)

Here -

- (add a vote of support)

Here -

- If you see that somebody has removed the reference, *click undo*

& Here -

- See what he is doing to our beloved Muntadhar. *revert him*

(the above is copy and paste from the forum whose cache is in the link - cached because the actual posts have been removed probably due to a discussion at ANI). Dougweller (talk) 16:29, 31 December 2009 (UTC)

  • Mesopotamia, obviously. Voui et al pretty much summed up the "content dispute", and I go along with DBachmann's assessment regarding the handling of such (non-)issues. WP:RANDY comes to mind. Skäpperöd (talk) 09:55, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
    • Did not know about this Randy article. This is excellent! Thx Voui (talk) 23:43, 28 December 2009 (UTC)
      • Since I'm from Utah anyone from Idaho will get me riled up, whether their name is Randy from Boise or not, but especially when skeletons with swords are involved. (Taivo (talk) 00:22, 29 December 2009 (UTC))

This is the most one-sided argument I have ever seen listed at RFC; most RFCs at least have valid points on each side. The best midcentury synopsis of this topic was entitled Ancient Iraq (Georges Roux, published by George Allen & Unwin in 64, republished as a Penquin Book in 72), 480 pages, covering from the Neolithic to the Parthian periods. In the preface the author discusses the title, compares it to a book about Ancient France or Gaul, and defends the title. I cannot imagine why any of you would object to at least acknowledging that Ancient Iraq and Mesopotamia refer to the same region. alteripse (talk) 19:23, 9 January 2010 (UTC)

Because they don't. It's like saying that Ancient Italy equals the Roman Empire, or Ancient Britain equals Wessex. (Taivo (talk) 04:42, 10 January 2010 (UTC))

With all due respect, remind yourself the best use of RFC: it's not to gather allies in an edit war, but to get a dispassionate view from someone whose emotions have not been engaged. Your judgement on this simple issue is being distorted by at least one, and probably 2 factors. First, forget the subjunctive: it doesnt matter whether you think the terms should be synonymous, but whether other reasonable people (i.e., published reliable sources) already think so. Second, you might be overreacting to too many interactions with the historical chauvinists you complain about on your talk page. I have no dog in this fight and will not endeavor to argue further, but you must decide whether to yield gracefully in the face of indisputable evidence that you are wrong. The best of us have had to do so. This issue isn't that important. alteripse (talk) 12:17, 10 January 2010 (UTC)

Edit request from Charletan, 31 March 2010[edit]

{{editsemiprotected}} Please change




Please format the first use of 'Parthians' as a Wikipedia reference (Wikilink) to Parthia. I would do it myself, but I do not have enough Wikipedia cred.

'Parthians' is formatted as a Wikipedia reference to Parthia far down in the article (in the Astronomy section). Since the Astronomy reference is distant from the first use of 'Parthians', I have no objection to leaving the Astronomy reference. But the first use of 'Parthians' is the most important place to make a Wikipedia reference.

Charletan (talk) 19:34, 31 March 2010 (UTC)

Done Thanx --JokerXtreme (talk) 20:54, 31 March 2010 (UTC)

Small typo[edit]

{{editsemiprotected}} I need some one to change

Sargon of Akkad—conqueror of Mesopotamia and creator the first empire that outlived its founder.


Sargon of Akkad—conqueror of Mesopotamia and creator *of* the first empire that outlived its founder. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Wanderlustking7171 (talkcontribs)

Yes check.svg Done ~ Amory (utc) 23:35, 9 May 2010 (UTC)


Anyone know who "Crawford" is or was? References 35 and 36 refer to a "Crawford, page 73", but there's no other mention in the article, nor has there been since a now-banned editor introduced the text in this edit

It might be O. G. S. Crawford, as he's the only archaeologist mentioned on the Crawford (name) page, but there's no mention of him working in Mesopotamia. Rojomoke (talk) 11:53, 16 September 2010 (UTC)

Edit request from, 23 September 2010[edit]

{{edit semi-protected}}

sexuality is life forever (talk) 21:04, 23 September 2010 (UTC)

Not done: this is not an edit request. Salvio Let's talk 'bout it! 21:07, 23 September 2010 (UTC)

Christian states in the 1st century BC???[edit]

"A number of primarily Christian native Mesopotamian states existed between the 1st century BC and 3rd century AD, including Adiabene, Oshroene and Hatra."

I am no expert on the matter, so I would rather not edit. But this strikes me as rather... prophetic. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Cornrelius (talkcontribs) 07:12, 25 October 2010 (UTC)

Original name.[edit]

This is redicilous. In the article it says meso in greek means the middle in greek. thats nonsense. The realname Of mesopotamia is Mezo Botan, which means the land of Botan. Botan is a region in Kurdistan, today its in the south eastern turkey. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Mrkurdistan (talkcontribs) 01:12, 24 January 2011 (UTC)

U r missing something.... Treatment of women... wat about that?????? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 20:24, 25 January 2011 (UTC)

Dubious assertion[edit]

This is dubious:

The oldest known occurrence of the name Mesopotamia dates to the late second century AD, when it was used in the Anabasis Alexandri to designate the land east of the Euphrates in north Syria.

The word Mesopotamia occurs throughout the Greek Septuagint (in the established sense of between the Tigris and Euphrates), and that dates to more like the second century BC. The above misinformation needs to be corrected. Til Eulenspiegel (talk) 22:52, 31 July 2011 (UTC)


why is mesopotamia so small ? — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 13:09, 27 October 2011 (UTC)

Bold proposal to reorganize Template:Ancient Mesopotamia[edit]

I have made a proposal to reorganize Template:Ancient Mesopotamia. See here for the discussion; see here for the actual new draft. Your input is appreciated!--Zoeperkoe (talk) 19:56, 30 October 2011 (UTC)

Significance in Genesis[edit]

The biblical Patriarch Abraham, known as Abram at that time, recieved divine instruction to leave Ur Kaśdim (Ur of the Chaldees) and travel to Cannan. Genesis 11:26-32 reports that Abram's father Terah led the expedition as far as Haram, and records the participants as Terah, Abram, Lot (Abrams nephew), and Sarai (Abrams wife and half sister who was later renamed Sarah), all descendants of Arpachshad (one of Noah's son Shem's 5 sons). They broke the journey and settled at Haran (meaning parched and also know as Paddan Aram and Aram Naharaim) where Terah later died. Abram stayed there until he was 75 years old before continuing his journey to Cannan. Other children of Terah flourished in Paddan-Aram, as indicated by Genesis 27:42-43, where Abraham's grandson Jacob is recorded as returning in order to seek a bride from the daughters of Laban, a brother of Abraham. — Preceding unsigned comment added by Gary prophet (talkcontribs) 15:45, 25 January 2012 (UTC)

Dubious statement[edit]

"Later, the term Mesopotamia was more generally applied to the all the lands between the Euphrates and the Tigris, thereby incorporating not only parts of Syria but also almost all of Iraq and southeastern Turkey."

Inspection of the map reveals that "all the lands between the Euphrates and the Tigris"... includes only about 25% of the land area of Iraq, which is rather different to "almost all of Iraq".

Perhaps this statement should be changed to read "most of the inhabitable region of Iraq", or something similar to that.Eregli bob (talk) 07:13, 14 August 2012 (UTC)

Including Kuwait in Meso[edit]

So user:Agrso has a few sources backing up the claim that Kuwait should be included in the definition of Mesopotamia, and they even added it to the lede. I am no expert, but I think the fact a tiny island off the coast of Kuwait merits such a drastic change in the geographic definition of an area usually confined north of Kuwait. What do others think?

Cheers, Λuα (Operibus anteire) 14:15, 21 August 2013 (UTC)

It's not just a few sources and Kuwait (not Failaka) is identified as part of Mesopotamia by many sources, for example:

Quote: With Babylon and Seleucia secured, Mehrdad turned to Charax in southern Mesopotamia (modern south Iraq and Kuwait).

Quote:Mesopotamia refers to a region and a not a civilization, a region covering, roughly, present day Iraq, Kuwait, and parts of Syria.

Quote: The earliest texts so far derive from Uruk, a site in lower Mesopotamia known today as Warka and in the Old Testament as Erech (Gen 10:10). The language of these documents is largely Sumerian, which suggests the peoples of Uruk and elsewhere in the region were Sumerians. Their ultimate origin is a mystery; but these non-Semitic dwellers of the marshlands were clearly endowed with cultural, technical and political skills that enabled them to create a high urban civilization that flourished in what is now southern Iraq and Kuwait from 3200 (or earlier) to 2360 BC and then again from 2100 and 1800 BC.

Quote: We also refer to this region as Mesopotamia, which means, "between the rivers". The greater area of this region today is encompassed by the countries of Iraq, Kuwait and Iran.

Quote: The Mesopotamian region encompasses present-day Iraq and Kuwait.

  • Barbara Marciniak (1994). Earth. p. 78. 

Quote: an area called Mesopotamia, located between the ancient rivers of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, in modern day Iraq and Kuwait.

[Mesopotamia occupied present-day Turkey, Syria, Iraq, Kuwait]

The region occupied by the Sumerians was between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in what is now Iraq/Kuwait and, until recently has always been known as Mesopotamia.

Carter posits that the boat dates back to 7000 BCE when present-day Kuwait and Iraq formed the region of Mesopotamia.

Often referred to as the Fertile Crescent, the lands of ancient Mesopotamia included some of the territory we now know as Kuwait, Settlements uncovered in the present-day country reveal that ancient peoples related to the Sumerians once inhabited territories there, just as they had in present-day Iraq. Sumerians were known to have organized a stable workforce, grown a variety of crops, and raised livestock for food. Ancient settlements found in Kuwait were most likely as sophisticated as those in southern Iraq.

Mesopotamia: Greek for "land between the rivers," the Arabic word is "Ma Bayn Nahrain." Both refer to the region known in the West as the Cradle of Civilization. Watered by the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, this area saw the rise of the Sumerian, Akkadian-Babylonian, and Assyrian civilizations. It is now part of the nations of Iraq and Kuwait and includes parts of Iran, Turkey, and Syria.

Quote: This map shows Sumer and the Fertile Crescent area located in Mesopotamia, which forms parts of current day Iraq and Kuwait. User:Agrso (talk) 07:24, 21 August 2013 (UTC)

Map Observation[edit]

Um…have you guys noticed that map of Mesopotamia that's in this article's introduction is in German or some Germanic language more closely related to German than English is?  
— RandomDSdevel (talk) 20:34, 8 September 2013 (UTC)

Yes, it's in German. But it seems to be the best map around of Mesopotamia, and most names are not that different in German or English. So at least I don't think it's a problem.--Zoeperkoe (talk) 05:57, 9 September 2013 (UTC)


dwwswsasqwdedss — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 19:37, 4 April 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 6 October 2014[edit] (talk) 13:03, 6 October 2014 (UTC)

Red question icon with gradient background.svg Not done: it's not clear what changes you want to be made. Please mention the specific changes in a "change X to Y" format. The request you have made is blank. Stickee (talk) 13:29, 6 October 2014 (UTC)

Semi-protected edit request on 13 December 2014[edit]

The entire section titled "Philosophy" should be deleted. Much of it is gibberish -- e.g.:

- 'Babylonian reasoning and rationality developed beyond empirical observation';

- 'The earliest form of logic was developed by the Babylonians, notably in the rigorous nonergodic nature of their social systems'; and,

- 'Babylonian thought was axiomatic and is comparable to the "ordinary logic" described by John Maynard Keynes. Babylonian thought was also based on an open-systems ontology which is compatible with ergodic axioms.'

There is, unfortunately, little that can be said with confidence about Mesopotamian philosophy, but what can be said overlaps not at all with anything in this section as it currently stands. This suggests to me that the rest of the article - which falls outside my area of expertise - merits close scrutiny, too.

The only reference provided in the section as it stands is to a note by an economic methodologist who in no way purports to be doing history of philosophy (she uses "Babylonian" to characterize a style of contemporary economic theorizing). That her note is ahistorical is perfectly clear from the 2nd and 3rd quotes, above: the concept of an ergodic dynamical system only emerged in the 19th century.

In place of the entire section as it now stands, the following might be put:

"Very little is known about Babylonian philosophy. It has been suggested that Ionian philosophy, in particular, drew from previous Sumerian and Babylonian thought, especially as concerns astronomy and the idea of a first principle or ultimate substance ("The Babylonian Conception of the Logos", S. Langdon, The Journal of the Royal Asiatic Society of Great Britain and Ireland, (Jul., 1918), pp. 433-449, on pp.435-436)."

Johnarthurjohnson (talk) 03:39, 13 December 2014 (UTC)

Red information icon with gradient background.svg Not done: -The whole section is sourced to reliable sources. If you disagree them please provide reliable sources that support the changes you want to be made. Anupmehra -Let's talk! 15:15, 13 December 2014 (UTC)


The section on Medicine may be expanded with text translated from fr:Médecine en Mésopotamie a 25k-long article on the subject. (talk) 06:34, 28 February 2015 (UTC)

bilād al-rāfidayn[edit]

The consonant of the Arabic definite article assimilates to following coronals (except j, historically not a coronal and still not so in some modern dialects), so this name in the first paragraph should preferably be transliterated as bilād ar-rāfidayn instead. Skomakar'n (talk) 10:36, 9 March 2015 (UTC)

Era Style[edit]

Given its context, this article would be better to use the BCE/CE format. This article is not about Christianity or Christianity-related topics, after all. – SarahTehCat (talk) 08:52, 19 July 2015 (UTC)

While this might be true, it is also common usage to leave articles in the style (so BCE or BC) in which they were started. And in this case, it's BC. I have no preference either way, but making these changes is just too much work while it doesn't improve the article one bit. See also wp:era on making these kind of changes.--Zoeperkoe (talk) 13:43, 19 July 2015 (UTC)