The Mesopotamians

Articles on the culture, history, and peoples of ancient Mesopotamia

Articles on the culture, history, and peoples of ancient Mesopotamia


mesopotamia trade

Mesopotamia Trade: Merchants and Traders

Mesopotamia trade grew organically from the crossroads nature of the civilizations that dwelt between the rivers and the fertility of the land. Because of irrigation, southern Mesopotamia was rich in agricultural products, including a variety of fruits and vegetables, nuts, dairy, fish and meat from animals both wild and domestic.…

mesopotamian education

Mesopotamian Education and Schools

Mesopotamian education was a cornerstone of elite life for all empires that dwelt in the Fertile Crescent. The first schools were started by the Sumerians in southern Mesopotamia. The invention of writing in the mid-4th millennium B.C. made kings and priests realize the need for educating scribes. At first, the…

mesopotamian commoners

Daily Life of Mesopotamian Commoners

Most Mesopotamian commoners were farmers living outside the city walls. However, cities too required commoners as many tasks were involved in running a city efficiently. All of Mesopotamia’s social classes lived in the city, including the nobility, the royals and their families, priests and priestesses, free commoners, clients of the…

Standard of Ur, 26th century BC, “War” panel. Mosaics inlaid on wooden box, public domain, Wikimedia Commons

Mesopotamian Artisans and Craft Workers

Artisans in Mesopotamia represented the middle class of society. They were free citizens with a few rights and privileges who created the goods desired by the upper classes. Fine pottery, gold and silver jewelry, carved ivory figurines, finely woven textiles and carved semi-precious gemstones were all goods traded throughout the…

Bronze head of a king, most likely Sargon of Akkad. Unearthed in Nineveh (now in Iraq). In the Iraqi Museum, Baghdad. Public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

The Mesopotamian Upper Classes

The upper classes of ancient Mesopotamia included kings and their families, priests and priestesses, ranking military officers, scribes and wealthier merchants and traders. The hereditary noble class were the kings, land-owning families and priests and priestesses and their families. Keep in mind that ancient Mesopotamia’s history stretches over 3000 years…

'Hanging Gardens of Babylon' probably 19th century after the first excavations in the Assyrian capitals, public domain, via Wikimedia Commons

Daily Life in a Mesopotamian City

Daily life in an ancient Mesopotamian city depended on a person’s status and occupation. Almost all societies and cultures are hierarchical with rulers at the top and laborers at the bottom. By the time people began living in cities, circa 4000 B.C., societies had different classes and a variety of…

A present-day mudhif, a reed guesthouse. The reed houses of ancient Mesopotamia have been built the same way for 5,000 years. Public domain, Wikimedia Commons

Daily Life in the Mesopotamian Countryside

Like many agriculturally-based people, most ancient Mesopotamians were farmers, perhaps 80 percent of them. Their lives differed from those of the city-dwellers. While crops grew abundantly in the fertile soil near the rivers, crops grown farther away required irrigation, which meant maintaining dams or canals that led from the river…

what did mesopotamians eat

What Did Ancient Mesopotamians Eat?

What did Mesopotamians eat? They largely consumed the produce of the Fertile Cresent, along with livestock animals that provided them meat. While reading this article, keep in mind that ancient Mesopotamia’s history stretches back to mankind’s first ventures into agriculture and village life, during the time when people realized a…

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