MAPS: Mesopotamia Iraq 2500BC – 1500BC

Iraq 2500BC – 1500BC


Over the past thousand years,[1] kingdoms and empires have come and gone in Mesopotamia. The first recorded empire[2] world history appeared briefly under the fierce Sargon and his descendants (c. 2334 to 2218 BC), and the powerful states of Ur[3] (2112 to 2004 BC) and Babylon (1792 to 1712 BC) followed. Hammurabi,[4] king of Babylon (1792-49) is famous as history’s first great law-giver. These high points of Mesopotamian civilization have been separated by periods of outside invasion and internal fragmentation, yet despite these upheavals, styles of art, architecture and literature[5] derived from the old Sumerian cities have retain a powerful grip on the region’s culture.

By 1500 BC new invaders divide the ancient lands of Mesopotamia between them. The Kassites[6] rule Babylonia in the south, while Assyria is now part of the extensive (but short-lived) kingdom of the Mitanni. The powerful and warlike kingdom of Elam[7] lies to the east. Despite the recent origins of these powerful states, this period represents the high point of Bronze Age civilization in Mesopotamia. The next few centuries[8] will see great upheavals hit this brilliant world.


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