The past couple of hundred yearshttp://www.timemaps.com/history/iraq-1500bchave been very troubled for Iraq. The powerful Bronze Age kingdoms of Babylonia, Assyria and Elam have been overthrown or greatly weakened by the incursion of Aramean and other nomadic peoples into Mesopotamia.
Amongst these, a semi-nomadic people called the Chaldeans have settled southern Mesopotamia, the ancient heartland of the Sumerians, and have formed a strong kingdom in Babylonia. Elam has been destroyed by incoming Iranian http://www.timemaps.com/history/iran-1000bcpeoples such as the Medes and the Persians. Assyria has been hard pressed, at times almost overrun; it has only managed to survive by organizing itself along more militaristic lines.
ORIGINAL SOURCE: timemaps.com