Q. 25.0( 5 Votes )

Describe the main features of Mesopotamian civilization.

Answer :

The Mesopotamian Civilization is one of the main ancient civilizations of the world. Mesopotamia, a word of the Greek language, means the land between two rivers (Tigris and Euphrates). It is presently in the country of Iraq. It is also called as a ‘fertile crescent’ because of its semi-circular shape and fertility of the land. In ancient time the southern part of this region was called ‘Sumer’, it was the centre of civilization. It featured the following unique characteristics.

a. Hammurabi’s code of law:
King Hammurabi of Babylon established the oldest known code of law that was inscribed on 8 ft tall rocks. It features principles like ‘Tit for tat’ and ‘Eye for an eye’.


b. Social Life of Mesopotamia:
The King was seen as representative of God, and the royal family held the most important position. The priest came second as administrators. The middle class consisted of traders, landlords, shopkeepers etc. The dasas/slaves were at the lowest level. The army was an important component of civilization.


c. Economic Life:
Their main occupation was agriculture and they grew a variety of crops along the whole year with the aid of oxen and irrigation from the flood rivers. Trading was also a main component of the civilization with temples being not just religious sites but also centres of trade. They were linked to the Mesopotamian civilization through trade.


d. Religious Life:
They believed in various gods, and were focused upon the present, practical problems than the future. Each city had its own patronage to a particular God known as Ziggurat.


e. Other developments:
The inhabitants were technologically very advanced and had made significant progress in mathematical and scientific fields like the division of the hour into 60 minutes and every minute is 60 seconds long. They had developed the cuneiform script that was used to maintain records of trade and commerce. Architecture saw advancements like the introduction of an arch that looked beautiful and also handled the huge weight.


The Oldest Civilization of Mesopotamia provided the unique features of script, trade and code of law.


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