Mesopotamian Prehistory (10,000 BCE – 3,800 BCE)

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Mesopotamian Prehistory (10,000 BCE – 3,800 BCE)

The Neolithic Man (10,000 BCE  – 7,000 BCE)

By around 10,000 BCE, humanity had begun a gradual transition from one way of life to another. Until this point, hunting and gathering resources were the only means of survival. The lands were stripped of their resources as nomadic man’s population increased. Humanity had reached a tipping point, and it required an urge to sustain a basic human need, a food source. This crisis caused most to face the likelihood of depleting the essential resources that nurtured their growing populations. Groups who could not rise to the occasion would remain low in population and carry on amidst their nomadic ways. In contrast, others who learned agriculture and husbandry established the first settlements in more fertile lands.

What sparked this new understanding of cultivation remains a mystery, but this remarkable event divides the Middle Stone Age from the Neolithic Era. This Era would give rise to growing settlements and the earliest stages of civilized culture. Archaeologists have identified pre-pottery sites and more evidence of settlement stretching from Asia Minor through the Ancient Near East and into Iran on both sides of the Zagros Mountains. The remains of each of these sites are comparable to others discovered in modern-day Iran, Iraq, Syria, and Turkey. Referred to locally as “tell, tepe, or Huyuk,” these sites are typically mound-like formations. Intriguingly, sometimes associated with astrological alignments. We can use several references to identify this Era. The most critical detail noted is pottery, specific tools, evidence of trade, or lack thereof. The fabrication of pottery was impactful and ever-growing. Over the years, the evolution of diverse creations, designs, and fortifying ceramics has dramatically evolved. Pottery may seem to be a fundamental idea on the surface, but these varying methods reveal distinct changes in time. These techniques can help trace the origins, relative age, and possibly established trade routes. They may further aid in revealing any other possible connections with similar prehistoric cultures. We uncover several existing civilizations that pre-date any documented history by tracking these unique, preserved pieces in time.


The Hassuna and Samarra Cultures (7,000 BCE – 5,000 BCE)

The Neolithic Era brought about society, making way for some of the earliest civilizations known to man. Some of these groups settled in a land we now know as Ancient Mesopotamia, the Greek term for “land between rivers.” By approximately 7,000 BCE, the earliest signs of the Hassuna culture had appeared. These sites prove the implementation of bronze in Iraq, much earlier than previously known, however only in minor amounts. Another culture settled here, The Samarra culture, appears around 6,000 BCE – 5,500 BCE. In noting their light similarities between tooling and trade, they very well may be a branch of the Hassuna Culture themselves; this is merely a theory. The Samarra Culture is located mainly along the Tigris River in what is now known as central modern-day Iraq. This culture is principally known for building the earliest canals and irrigation channels used in agriculture.


The Halaf Culture (6,000 BCE – 5,000 BCE)

The rise of the Halaf culture would bring a notable improvement in the quality of life near the start of 5,500 BCE. A clear validation to this would begin with the rise in quality of tools and construction, cobbled roads, inventions such as the wheel, bread ovens, and the further implementation of metals within society. The Halaf culture, near Mosul and west of the Hassuna, would stand in modern-day Syria. Even today, preserved pieces of pottery display full chariots. Thus implying equestrian knowledge… 2,500 years earlier than mainstream reported history would have you gather! The Halaf culture, located west of the Hassuna, would stand in modern-day Syria near Mosul. Their territory was immense compared to earlier known cultures & there are numerous evident traces of those incredible Eras still today.


The Ubaid Culture (6,000 BCE – 3,800 BCE)

The Ubaid culture were the peak of Neolithic Man. While the Halaf culture made improvements to quality of life and the Samarra culture learned the importance of irrigation, the Ubaid people perfected it. Other cultures struggled with unpredictable flooding, while the Ubaid created distinct channels and methods to counter such obstacles. Such particular constructions and regular maintenance demanded a profoundly coordinated team of laborers and officials to oversee it all. A canal inspector was one of the earliest organized directors appointed in ancient times. With adequate irrigation, society had begun to grow at rapid rates. Most families settled on lush irrigated soil, while others settled on the barren and less prosperous ground. This difference resulted in the acclimation of wealth for some families and a continued decline into poverty for others.

Civilization was built upon the appointing of leaders and officials, thus creating an upper and lower class. The Ubaid had undoubtedly become a bureaucratic and aristocratic society, assisting in their expansion throughout the early middle east. Their artifacts, found across a 1,000-mile stretch from Northern Syria to the most southern coastal lands of the Persian Gulf, prove this expansion was present. The rise of an aristocratic society would naturally give birth to public figures born to educate their community. These public figures would likely have been praised, glorified, and eventually revered. The Ubaid culture created some curious figurines, male and female, both with slightly odd features. These Idols are not evidence of religion; however, it is most probable they were those critical public figures who were the first aristocrats of their prehistoric society. They were the pioneers who lead to the evolution which sparked the 1st historic civilization! Like these instances, there are countless other accounts of history and culture to delve back through time with… We have but to consider the knowledge, explore the possibilities…and eat the fruit.


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