Mesopotamia: Geography, environment and culture during the fourth millennium B.C.

Essay by eurobenz867 November 2007

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Mesopotamian myth seems to be a common touchstone, as if the first culture to develop the written language. Mesopotamia lies in the valley formed by the neighboring rivers, the Tigris and the Euphrates. The birth of civilization in this region was shaped by the Mesopotamia's geography, environment and culture during the fourth millennium B.C. Today, Mesopotamia is well known from its biblical connection, like the glories of Nineveh and Babylon, the bloodthirsty nature of Assyrians, the magical power of the Babylonian diviner, for rich and powerful merchants and the luxurious and sensual lifestyle.

There is one more aspect Mesopotamia is known for and it's recording the incidents that happened on the clay tablets. These tablets recorded every simplest thing from sheep count to the most arcane divination procedure. In these tablets are some told stories, which are for some part is still unfamiliar. These stories survived unread from about the birth of Christ until halfway through last century when Akkadians deciphered the language in which they were written.

Pieto Della Valle an Italian nobleman copied number of inscription in three different languages; Old Persian, Elamite and Babylonian, none of which was understood. A German named Georg Friedrich was able to present a convincing translation, although it was Henry Creswick Rawlinson who translated Old Persian inscription in paper. He also translated Babylonian side in 1844. In next two years he had correctly deciphered 246 individual signs of an approximate total of 600. Therewere many great discoveries in 1800's as there was high interest in Assyrian matters.

In 1843, Paul Emile uncovered limestone slabs sculptured in relief. In 1845, Austen Henry Layard discovered immense stone panels inscribed with horses and riders, abject captives, sieges, attacks on fortified cities, warriors fording rivers, archers and chariots. In 1846, Layard and Hormuzd joined...