Friday, May 8, 2015

Agriculture in ancient Mesopotamia

The land of Mesopotamia was situated between two rivers: the Tigris and the Euphrates. The prime occupation in Mesopotamia was farming. In the earliest village settlements of northern Mesopotamia from the later ninth millennium BC, pioneer animal husbandry and rain-fed cereal cultivation were successfully combined with traditional hunting and gathering of various wild species to produce a mixed subsistence economy of proved resilience.

Early Mesopotamian farmers understood the importance of maintaining a surplus (extra) of food so they could eat even in bad years. They use seeds from wild plants to produce crops.

They used seeds from wild plants to produce crops, and invented a plow that planted seeds as it turned over the soil.

This became more and more dependent upon domesticated animals and cereals as time went on. With its fertile soil and abundant water offered the ideal environment for such a settled life to flourish and small communities grew to the size of cities.

By the early fifth millennium BC a growing degree of social stratification in the rain-fed agricultural villages of northern and central Mesopotamia is indicated by clear distinctions of size and complexity in architecture, an ever wider circulation of luxury materials and goods, and marked variation in the equipment of burials notably at Tell es-Sawwan.

The chief crop in the valleys of the Tigris and Euphrates was grain, especially barley and emmer wheat, and the herb which yielded sesame seeds. The Mesopotamian were one of the first civilization to develop systems of irrigation; during moderate floods, water was diverted into man-made channels next to the rivers and was stored in large dams,
Agriculture in ancient Mesopotamia

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