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.
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.