Ancient Civilization TechnologiesTechnologyhas been a key cumulative process in the human experience. It can be best understood in a historical context that traces the evolution of early human beings from a period featuring the use of very simple tools to complex large-scale networks thathave an impact on most contemporary human life. In order to maintain simplicity in the following summary, the developments of the industrialized world are dealt with in more detail, but some developments from other cultures are also included.CHAPTER 1Ancient MesopotamianCivilizationsOverviewMesopotamian civilizations formed on the banks of the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in what is today Iraq and Kuwait.Early civilizations began to form around the time of the Neolithic Revolution—12000 BCE.Some of the major Mesopotamian civilizations include the Sumerian, Assyrian, Akkadian, and Babylonian civilizations.Evidence shows extensive use of technology, literature, legal codes, philosophy, religion, and architecture in these societies.Civilizations born along riversBy roughly 6000 to 8000 years ago, agriculture was well under way in several regions including Ancient Egypt, around the Nile River; the Indus Valley civilization; Mesopotamia, between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers; and Ancient China, along the Yellow and Yangtze rivers. This is because the regular river floods made for fertile soil around the banks and the rivers could also supply fresh water to irrigate crops. It’s no coincidence that as agriculture allowed for denser and denser populations along with more specialized societies, some of the world’s first civilizations developed in these areas as well.Ancient MesopotamiaMesopotamia—mainly modern-day Iraq and Kuwait—in particular is often referred to as the cradle of civilization because some of the most influential early city-states and empires first emerged there—although it’s not the only place! Its modern name comes from the Greek for middle—mesos—and river—potamos—and literally means a “country between two rivers.” Those two rivers are the Tigris and Euphrates. Not only was Mesopotamia one of the first places to develop agriculture, it was also at the crossroads of the Egyptian and the Indus Valley civilizations. This made it a melting pot of languages and cultures that stimulated a lasting impact on writing, technology, language, trade, religion, and law. Associated with Mesopotamia are ancient cultures like the Sumerians, Assyrians, Akkadians, and Babylonians. Learning about this time period can be a little confusing
because these cultures interacted with and ruled over each other over the course of several thousand years. These terms can also be associated with city-states, languages, religions, or empires—depending on the time and context we are looking at.