The Fertile Crescent
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Bloodaxe's Realm     The Medieval World  


The Fertile Crescent      Civilization developed slowly in different parts of the world. People began to settle in areas with abundant natural resources. A section of the Middle East is called the Fertile Crescent. The Fertile Crescent is a rich food-growing area in a part of the world where most of the land is too dry for farming. The Fertile Crescent begins on the eastern shore of the Mediterranean Sea, and curves around like a quarter moon to the Persian Gulf.



     Some of the best farmland of the Fertile Crescent is in a narrow strip of land between the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers. The Greeks later called this region Mesopotamia, which means "between the rivers." Many different civilizations developed in this small region. First came the Sumerians, who were replaced in turn by the Assyrians and the Babylonians. 



     There are many ways to define a civilization, but most scholars agree that when a society begins to form cities, it becomes a civilization. Most civilizations have the following elements:

A surplus of food. When people have enough food, they begin to develop other needs.

Division of Labor. When people have one job, they tend to do that job very well. They are also more likely to choose a job in a field they enjoy.

Organized government and religion. When people have the same laws, it is easier to trade. People living under the same government, or having the same religious beliefs are likely to have the same values.

Writing. This allowed societies to keep records and communicate.