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 empire2) in world history appeared briefly under the fierce Sargon and his descendants (c. 2334 to 2218 BC), and the powerful states of Ur3) (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 literature5) 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 Kassites6) 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 Elam7) 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 centuries8) will see great upheavals hit this brilliant world.


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