- For a modern history of the region, see History of Iraq and History of Syria. For other uses see Mesopotamia (disambiguation)
Mesopotamia (Greek: Μεσοποταμία, translated from Old Persian Miyanrudan "the Land between the Rivers" or the Aramaic name Beth-Nahrin "two rivers") is a region of Southwest Asia. Strictly speaking, it is the alluvial plain lying between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, in modern Iraq and Syria. More commonly, the term includes these river plains in totality as well as the surrounding lowland territories bounded by the Arabian Desert to the west and south, the Persian Gulf to the immediate south, the Zagros Mountains and the Caucasus mountains to the north.
Writings from Mesopotamia (Uruk, modern Warka) are the earliest written work in the world, giving Mesopotamia the reputation of being the "Cradle of Civilization".
Mesopotamia was settled, and conquered, by numerous ancient civilizations, including the Sumerians, Akkadians, Babylonians, Assyrians and the Persian Empire. Peoples who threatened or invaded these lands include the Hittites and the Elamites. During the time of the Persian Empire of Sassanids this area was called Dil-i Iranshahr meaning "Iran's Heart" and the metropol Ctesiphon, the capital of Persia, was situated in Mesopotamia.
These civilizations arose from earlier settlements and cultures which were among the first to make use of agriculture.
Early cities in this region include: