How did Mesopotamian civilization emerge and what technologies promoted its advance?

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thanatassa | College Teacher | (Level 1) Distinguished Educator

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Mesopotamian civilization was one of the earliest in the world to develop cities and writing, leaving behind a heritage of monumental architecture, great epic poetry such as Gilgamesh, and one of the earliest law codes, that of Hammurabi.

The first major Mesopotamian civilization was that of Sumer. Although agriculture was developed as early as 5,000 BC in the region, the great shift towards technology and urbanization occurred closer to 3500 BC in cities such as Uruk. The first enabling technology for the development of Sumerian civilization was irrigation and other advanced agricultural techniques, which allowed people to have adequate food while congregating in cities and developing a division of labor. 

The next two important technologies were sailboats and the wheel, allowing for trade and transportation over far longer distances that would be possible without those technologies. 

Writing not only facilitated communication over a distance, but it allowed for efficient administration of a complex society.