Ancient Near East

The ancient Near East was the home of early civilizations within a region roughly corresponding to the modern Middle East: Mesopotamia (modern Iraq, southeast Turkey and northeastern Syria), ancient Egypt (although the majority of Egypt is geographically in North East Africa), ancient Iran (Elam, Media, Parthia and Persia), Anatolia/Asia Minor (modern Turkey), the Levant (modern Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Palestine and Jordan), Malta and the Arabian Peninsula. The ancient Near East is studied in the fields of Near Eastern archaeology and ancient history. It begins with the rise of Sumer in the 4th millennium BC, though the date it ends varies: either covering the Bronze Age and the Iron Age in the region, until the conquest by the Achaemenid Empire in the 6th century BC or Alexander the Great in the 4th century BC.

The ancient Near East is considered the cradle of civilization. It was the first to practice intensive year-round agriculture, it gave the rest of the world the first writing system, invented the potter's wheel and then the vehicular- and mill wheel, created the first centralized governments, law codes and empires, as well as introducing social stratification, slavery and organized warfare, and it laid the foundation for the fields of astronomy and mathematics.

Read more about Ancient Near East:  The Concept of Near East, Periodization, Religions

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