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What is the Fertile Crescent?

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The term “fertile crescent” is used to refer to an area in the Middle East that was very fertile in ancient times.  This area gave rise to agriculture and to the first civilizations.

The Fertile Crescent was centered in the area that is now Iraq.  The Tigris and Euphrates Rivers helped to make that area very fertile.  Its climate was a Mediterranean climate with warm, dry, summers and cool (but not very cold), wet winters.  This climate was also very ideal for growing many crops.

Because the climate and geography of the Fertile Crescent was so ideal, agriculture arose there first.  With agriculture came the possibility of civilization.  It was in this area that people first moved away from living in nomadic bands of hunter-gatherers and came to have sedentary societies based on agriculture. 

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