Ancient Mesopotamia represents several major historical markers in human history. This time period, about 3500 BCE to 539 BCE, is most famous for its legacies: mass agriculture, first written language, and the first documented system of laws and justice. Below you will find several artifacts that show what life was like for these ancient peoples as well as some of their greatest contributions to human social evolution.
Archaeology has played a key role in discovering ancient Mesopotamian history and culture. Check out this interactive map showing various archaeological sites in the region and different artifacts found at each of the sites.
The first known written language, Cuneiform, was developed in ancient Mesopotamia. Artifacts such as tablets and cylinder seals have allowed historians to date the emergence of Cuneiform writing.
One of the most famous legacies of ancient Mesopotamian civilization is Hammurabi’s Code. This code, which included the laws of land and the rights of its citizens were inscribed on a massive stone slab, many of which are similar to laws currently used in the US justice system.
For a written overview of Hammurabi’s code and a description of some of its ancient laws, click here.
While the peoples of ancient Mesopotamia might not have had the technology available to us today, their civilizations and societies were complex and full of rich culture. This time period is significant for its major contributions to human social progress, and is the foundation for all modern human societies.
Featured image credit: Adobe Spark