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Mesopotamia

Divination was an important aspect of everyday life in ancient Mesopotamia. Source: breakermaximus / Adobe Stock

Divination and Omens in Mesopotamian Society

Ancient civilizations, throughout history, depended on the skill and intricacy of their diviners. Divination is the method of ritually foreseeing the future and the outcome of big events. In this way...
The Mesopotamian military represented here used weapons of war to achieve great success. Source: WILD HARE/Adobe Stock

Mesopotamian Military Mastery - The Ancient Reinvention of Warfare

Creating a great empire in ancient times was no simple task, and it usually involved a lot of warfare. Ancient Mesopotamia, called by many the cradle of civilization, was also the cradle of organized...
Sulimaniya brick B318, part of the collection holding the signature of the geomagnetic anomaly.	Source: MIT License

Ancient Mesopotamian Bricks Record 3,000-Year-Old Geomagnetic Anomaly

A geomagnetic anomaly that occurred between 3,000 and 2,500 years ago has shed light on ancient Mesopotamia in a way that has never been explored before. Analysis of ancient bricks from Mesopotamia,...
Archaeologists have discovered Alexander the Great’s Temple intertwining his legacy with Hercules and Sumerian god Ningirsu.

Alexander the Great Temple Proclaiming Him Divine Unearthed In Iraq

One of the last acts by Alexander the Great before dying at the tender age of 32 might have been dedicating a Greek temple to honor ancient gods and confirm his own divine status. This is according...
The British Museum’s ongoing Girsu Project discovered the true function of a mysterious structure. Source: British Museum/Dr. Sébastien Rey

Sumerian Anti-Armageddon Device 4,000 Years Older Than Believed

Drone mappers identified a 19 kilometer (12-mile) long canal in rural Iraq. Built over it, archaeologists excavated what was at first thought to be a bizarre-shaped temple. However, it turns out that...
One of the Ram in a Thicket statues. Source: British Museum / CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Ram in a Thicket: A Mesopotamian Legacy from the Ancient City of Ur

The treasures of ancient cultures are a source of never ending inspiration. It is such a wonder to see the magnificence of the art that was created in the dawn of civilization, so long before our...
Mesopotamian clay balls have been unearthed in Iran. Source: Fair use

Mesopotamian Clay Balls: Ancient Relics or Prehistoric Hard Drives?

Research conducted in late 2013 offered intriguing clues to decoding the secrets of the Mesopotamian clay balls, which date back 5,500 years. The study, which used CT scanning to look inside the clay...
Mesopotamian cylinder seal showing Sumerians drinking beer with straws. Source: Cuneiform Digital Library Initiative / CC by SA 4.0.

Sumerians Used Straws to Drink Beer from Shared Vessels!

In the quest to uncover the everyday lives of ancient civilizations, archaeologists have stumbled upon some fascinating finds. Among these intriguing artifacts are the beer pots of ancient Sumer ,...
Babylonian lions. Source: Zzvet / Adobe Stock.

Why These Brick Lions That Once Protected Babylon Feel Alive (Video)

The brick lions that once guarded Babylon's streets hold a unique vitality. These imposing creatures, sculpted from individual bricks, bear a profound significance. In contrast to our contemporary...
Relief carving of Assyrian king Ashurnasirpal II (r. ca. 883-859 BC). Source: Metropolitan Museum of Art / Public Domain.

Realism in Ancient Mesopotamian Relief Carvings (Video)

In the domain of ancient Mesopotamian art, the reliefs from Ashurnasirpal II's palace reign supreme. These monumental creations , though dispersed far and wide by Henry Austen Layard, possess a...
From ancient to modern times the abominable violation of human rights has occurred. Referred today as human trafficking, it is nonetheless, a form of slavery, of human exploitation for personal or commercial gain. Source: Rick/Adobe Stock

From Sumerian Gods to Modern Day: The Long History of Slavery and Lost Children

The recent film Sound of Freedom is a fictionalized account of the true story of Tim Ballard, a former US Department of Homeland Security agent who founded the nonprofit organization Operation...
Mesopotamian cylinder seal. Source: Met Museum / Public Domain.

How Akkadian Cylinder Seals Served As Ancient Signatures (Video)

Akkadian cylinder seals emerged during the fourth millennium BC, coinciding with the dawn of writing. These unique artifacts served dual purposes: safeguarding against unauthorized access to storage...
Assyrian relief carving, circa 883 to 859 BC, which includes a representation which looks surprisingly similar to modern-day handbags. Source: Public domain

Why Are Mysterious Handbags Prevalent in Ancient Carvings Worldwide?

One of the more mysterious symbols that has been found in carvings from the ancient world is an image that looks uncannily like a modern-day handbag. The shape appears in depictions made by the...
The Hanging Gardens of the Chaldean Dynasty of Mesopotamia. Source: Sarry/Adobe Stock

The Chaldean Dynasty and the Rise of the Neo-Babylonian Empire

Empires are formed and fall, dynasties rise to prominence and crumble in poverty and ruin, ethnicities disappear from the fate of the Earth - these are the inevitable aspects of the histories of...
The mask of Warka, from Warka, ancient Uruk, Iraq. 3000-2900 BC. The Iraq Museum, Baghdad. Source: Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin FRCP (Glasg)/CC BY-SA 4.0

Is the Mask of Warka the World’s Oldest Representation of a Human Face?

The once-fertile region of Mesopotamia, cited by many as the cradle of civilization, is a true treasure trove of ancient relics and archaeological wonders. A land where numerous prominent city states...
Votive stele of Gudea, ruler of Lagash, to the temple of Ningirsu. Ancient Orient Museum, Istanbul. Source: Osama Shukir Muhammed Amin FRCP (Glasg)/CC BY-SA 4.0)

The Rule of Ensi Gudea and the Golden Age of Lagash

Ancient Mesopotamia, called by many the “cradle of civilization”, is in many ways enigmatic and mysterious. There is plenty about it that we are still to uncover, as it reaches so far back in time...
Aerial view of the structure at Tel Shimron supporting the passageway to the corbelled vault. Credit: Eyecon.	Source: Eyecon

Israel's Tel Shimron Excavations Reveal Ancient Architectural Marvel Dating to 1,800 BC

Archaeologists participating in the ongoing Tel Shimron excavations in the Jezreel Valley of northern Israel recently unearthed the first section of an arched, vaulted passageway with steps that they...
Detail of Rimush of Akkad’s Victory Stele, slaughtering of prisoners by Akkadian troops. Source: Louvre Museum/CC BY 3.0

Rimush of Akkad, Sargon’s Heir, and a Brutal Warlord

In the history of Ancient Mesopotamia, that renowned cradle of human civilization, there were many great kingdoms, city-states, and even empires. One of these was the famed Akkadian Empire, centered...
One version of the Sumerian King List was previously interpreted as stating that King Dumuzid the Fisherman of Uruk captured Enmebaragesi, but a new translation exchanges Enmebaragesi as the one who captured Dumuzid. Source:  Paolo Gallo/Adobe Stock

Enmebaragesi, the Semi-Mythical King of Kish

Sumer is regarded by many scholars as the cradle of human civilization. Its history - although veiled in enigma - is so intriguing and offers a wealth of new discoveries. From the first writing...
Naram-Sin named himself a god-king of the Akkadian Empire. Source: Francis Valadj/Adobe Stock

Naram-Sin: The Conqueror-King of Ancient Akkad

Naram-Sin, the conqueror king of the Akkadian Empire, looms large in the ancient annals of Mesopotamia. His reign in the 23rd century BC marked a period of military conquests and cultural...
The royal game of Ur. Source: Trustees of the British Museum / CC by SA 4.0.

Playing the 4,500-Year-Old Royal Game of Ur (Video)

What happens when a popular Youtuber takes on the British Museum curator at one of history’s oldest board games? That’s just what happened when Tom Scott challenged Irving Finkel to a Royal Game of...
Representational image of the Gutian Invasion of the Akkadian Empire. Source: Francis Valadj / Adobe Stock

The Gutian Invasion: What Really Caused the Fall of the Akkadian Empire?

The Akkadian Empire, one of the first great empires in human history, thrived in ancient Mesopotamia under the rule of Sargon of Akkad. However, its reign eventually came to an end. For decades,...
From Sumerian time to modern-day clocks, the number 60 has stood the test of time. Source: (Samantha/CC BY 2.0), nebula NGC 1788 Orion constellation (ESO/CC BY 4.0), Zodiac of Dendera (Alice-astro/CC BY-SA 3.0)

Sumerians Invented the System of Time 5,000 Years Ago – And We Still Use It Today!

One might find it curious that we divide the hours into 60 minutes and the days into 24 hours – why not a multiple of 10 or 12? Put quite simply, the answer is because the inventors of time did not...
Mesopotamian / Iraqi Marshes with the so called Marsh Arabs. Source: Felix Friebe / Adobe Stock.

Iraq's Marshes Are Dying, and A Civilization With Them (Video)

The Mesopotamian marshes in Iraq, once a thriving ecosystem and the heart of an ancient Marsh Arab civilization, are facing a dire threat as they wither away. Parched by a prolonged drought, the...

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