Iraq Vacation Trips
Iraq History - Ancient Iraq
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Iraq has been home to continuous successive civilizations since the 6th millennium BC. These civilizations produced the earliest writing, literature, sciences, mathematics, laws, and philosophies of the world; hence its common epithet, the "Cradle of Civilization".
Iraq was home to the earliest known civilization on Earth, the Sumerian civilization, which arose in the fertile Tigris-Euphrates river valley of southern Iraq in the mid 6th millennium BC. It was here in the late 4th millennium BC, that the world's first writing system and recorded history itself were born. The Sumerian civilization flourished for over 3,000 years and was succeeded by the rise of the Akkadian Empire in the 24th century BC. Over two centuries of Akkadian dominance was followed by a Sumerian Renaissance in the 21st century BC. An Elamite invasion in 2004 BC brought the Third Dynasty of Ur to an end. By the 18th century BC a new civilization, Babylonia, had risen to dominance in central and southern Iraq while a contemporaneous civilization, Assyria, had formed in northern Iraq.
In the 6th century BC, Cyrus the Great of neighbouring Persia defeated the Neo-Babylonian Empire at the Battle of Opis and Iraq was subsumed into the Achaemenid Empire for nearly four centuries. In the late 4th century BC, Alexander the Great conquered the region, putting it under Hellenistic Seleucid rule for nearly two centuries. A Central Asian tribe of ancient Iranian peoples known as the Parthians later annexed the region, followed by the Romans, then the Sassanid Persians. The region remained a province of the Persian Empire for nine centuries, until the Islamic conquest of Mesopotamia in the 7th century AD.
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