What was the Mesopotamian economy based upon?

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The Mesopotamian economy was based on bartering—that is, trading goods and services for other goods and services. Bartering was necessary for people in Mesopotamia to get the resources they lacked. As a result, ancient Mesopotamians would trade with people from other areas. The Mesopotamians also used currency to help facilitate trade. Unlike modern systems of currency, which use paper money or coins, their system used barley. To procure this barley, people had to borrow from a banker who kept barley. Mesopotamians also used metals such as lead, copper, bronze, tin, gold, and silver, for currency. The writing system that developed in Mesopotamian (first in the form of pictograms and later as cuneiform) facilitated bartering, as scribes could keep contracts and records of trades. Once a deal was completed, it was recorded on a cylinder. 

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Ancient Mesopotamia combines the civilizations of ancient Sumer, Akkadia, Babylonia, and Assyria.  These ancient civilizations prospered because of the attention they paid to the concepts of irrigation and drainage of the Tigres and Euphrates rivers.  These river systems combined with their tributaries led these civilizations to great wealth, simply because they offered the benefit of food abundance in the middle of the desert.  Although there was a monetary value placed on grain and silver as an exchange rate for goods and services, having a constant food supply allowed the Mesopotamians to increase their economic endeavors in trade and commerce.  These economic benefits combined with the backing of several powerful kings led to much of the prosperity within the ancient civilization of Mesopotamia.

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