Ancient Mesopotamian Economy


1000’s of years back, the fertile low lands within the river basins of Euphrates and Tigris were the house land of the wealthy and sophisticated society. Mesopotamia, in the Greek terms, means ‘land between your rivers’. The title can be used since the area watered through the Euphrates and Tigris and it is tributaries, roughly composed of modern Iraq and a part of Syria. Within the third millennium, the south of contemporary Bagdad, the alluvial flatlands from the rivers was known as the land of Sumer and Akkad. Sumer is easily the most southern part, as the land of Akkad may be the area surrounding modern Bagdad in which the Euphrates and Tigris are near to one another. Within the second millennium, both regions together are known as Babylonia, a mostly flat country. The territory within the north (between your rivers Tigris and also the Great Zab) is known as Assyria (Kreis, 2006). The alluvial flatlands within the Mesopotamia were very appropriate for top food production. It had been known as because the &ldquofertile crescent&rdquo because of its fertile lands. Its economy was essentially determined by agriculture (Heise, 1996). Within this paper, the economy of ancient Mesopotamia is going to be talked about briefly while giving focus on the timeframe between 1900 B.C and 900 B.C.

Origins from the Mesopotamian Civilization

Between 9000 B.C. and the start of the Christian era, western civilization came to exist with what historians call Ancient Western Asia which includes modern-day Cyprus, Syria, Lebanon, Israel, Jordan, Poultry, north western Russia, Iraq and Iran. The first permanent pay outs were discovered to be occurring between 9000-6000 B.C. Also, this time around was supported through the domestication of plants and creatures. Between 4000-3000 B.C., population growth compelled the development from the first metropolitan areas (Kreis, 2006).

Around 10,000 B.C., there have been many hunter-gatherers &ldquoliving across the seaside flatlands of contemporary Syria and Israel as well as in the valleys and hillsides close to the Zagros Mountain tops between Iran and Iraq&rdquo (Kreis, 2006) began to plot special methods that directed the best way to a metamorphosis within the human community. &ldquoRather than constantly traveling looking for food, people were living in a single region and used the periodic causes of food, including seafood, grain, fruits and game.&rdquo (Kreis, 2006). To illustrate the city of Jericho, where individuals built and reconstructed their dirt brick and stone sheds instead of moving forward different locations as had their forefathers. Generally, these towns started to pay attention to periodic food sources and thus were less inclined to leave looking for new sources (Kreis, 2006). This modification brought to a number of issues that led to different ideas. One problem is when the people concentrated inside a relatively few plants or creatures it might spell disaster throughout occasions of famine. Some students have contended the transformation of farming development was greatly credited towards the growing population and also the developing political hierarchy. In settled towns, infanticide decreased and existence expectancy rose (Kreis, 2006). Kreis described that infanticide decreased since the settled community grew to become less demanding. In addition, he stated the &ldquochildren is now able to utilized in rudimentary farming tasks&rdquo (2006). The growing population compelled the neighborhood food industry to create more crops. Eventually, more coordination and organization was marketed through the gathering activities that brought to the introduction of political leadership.

Mesopotamian Farming Revolution

The pay outs were the main one accountable for the encouragements within the agriculture from the land. Development of crops for example barley and dried beans were marketed also, domestication of farm creatures for example pigs, goat’s, and sheep was created. This capability to domesticate farm creatures and also to cultivate grains and veggies marketed the modification in human towns &ldquofrom passive harvesters of character to active partners by using it.&rdquo (Kreis, 2006) Furthermore, ale the folks to grow their food production led the way for that growth of permanent pay outs that are of greater size and complexity.

The economy was moored in agriculture, mainly the cultivation of barley. Barley was utilized as way of payment for wages in kind and daily rations. Barley seemed to be the foundation for the natural beverage: beer. You will find other farming items which include sesame seed oil, linseed oil, flax, wheat and gardening items. Sheep and goat’s are abundant throughout from season periods (Heise, 1996). Made of woll production was large and transformed into a variety of textile materials.

Development of Social Hierarchies

As the farming development was easy, division at work was marketed into work groups. There been around an array of work groups that created the &ldquobackbone of the sophisticated urban economy: nobleman, priests, landowners, designers, astronomers, scribes, lengthy-distance traders, local retailers, artists, cooks, maqui berry farmers, soldiers, workers, and slaves.&rdquo (Spodek, 2005).

Trade, Economy, and Artists in Ancient Mesopotamia

Mesopotamia wasn’t a plentiful land to start with. There have been couple of natural assets, that’s why individuals who resided there have to do business with their neighboring lands to get the assets that they must live (Spodek, 2005). Good examples will be the trade of grain, oils and textiles from Babylonia with other nations in return for timber, wine, gold and silver and gemstones. Riverboats were utilised to move goods for trade. In those days, money wasn’t usually used to cover products which were exchanged. A barter system was developed by which goods were directly exchanged for other goods. If money needed to be utilized, it had been usually by means of small silver disks (Trade, Economy, and Artists in Ancient Mesopotamia, n.d.).

Because the towns grow an organized type of trade, the economy eventually increased. It had been so that &ldquoSumerians had the privilege of the free economy, and strict records were stored of transactions. These documents were the very first written items retrieved by archaeologists and assisted lead to Sumer also being referred to as &ldquothe birthplace of financial aspects&rdquo.&rdquo (Trade, Economy, and Artists in Ancient Mesopotamia, n.d.)

Temples were the important thing economic employer that point. It had been the primary place for most commercial activity. Additionally, temples were the main employer. Artists, scribes, priests, local managers, and instructors all were utilized by the temple. They acquired their economic strength according to their huge property holdings. These were the biggest single land owner within the city-condition. &ldquoThe possession of land am valued that even nobleman needed to buy land. People of classes had the chance to possess land however. Most of the individuals who were considered poor by Sumerian standards possessed houses, gardens, and fishery ponds.&rdquo (Trade, Economy, and Artists in Ancient Mesopotamia, n.d.)

Craftsmanship is an extremely important part of the Mesopotamian economy. The most crucial craftsmen were the copper and bronze employees. &ldquoThese artists were accountable for making the majority of the tools that maqui berry farmers, shepherds, soldiers, along with other employees required for survival. Hoes, axes, and plows, in addition to knives, daggers, and warrior spears were created from copper and bronze that have been plentiful and simple to utilize.&rdquo (Trade, Economy, and Artists in Ancient Mesopotamia, n.d.)

Woodworking seemed to be very important. Wood was imported to create furniture, buggies, motorboats, and chariots. Hides from various creatures were utilised by leather employees to create fashion harnesses, saddles, footwear, and water bags. &ldquoBasket weavers were also a fundamental part of Sumerian existence. Baskets were utilised by Sumerians for a lot of reasons including transporting food and goods in one spot to another, storing products in houses, as well as for holding infants because they rested.&rdquo (Trade, Economy, and Artists in Ancient Mesopotamia, n.d.). There is a period when the land lack stone. This signaled the finish of Stone Age. Timber and stone are essential in the making of structures. Metals also were progressively important. It’s true so good quality timber are only able to be located in dense forests within the far land of Lebanon or somewhere close to the mountain tops of Iran (Heise, 1996).

You will find two fundamental techniques which are utilized by the folks to get the needed fundamental materials they need. They are through war or through trade. More often than not, these fundamental materials are frequently required as tribute or as loot following a military expedition (Heise, 1996). Military expeditions were carried out following the harvest period &ndash frequently on the yearly basis, particularly within the first millennium – when maqui berry farmers can be found as soldiers. Minerals for example copper, container, silver, etc. entered remote areas of the region, &ldquofor that your military action would take too lengthy, could be too vulnerable and most likely could be too costly. Then trade is the only method&rdquo (Heise, 1996). In texts in the 1800s BCE, it seems that trade was carried out inside a professional, capitalistic way, barter by boat within the Euphrates and also the Persian Gulf with regular caravans by donkeys to Anatolia (modern Poultry) (Heise, 1996).

Aside from cereal products the occupants of Mesopotamia themselves had hardly any to provide. Cereal products were indeed released. They were too bulky for donkey transport over lengthy distances. Imported material from elsewhere were again released. Container was released to Anatolia a significant center of metal industry, whereby extensive forests wood was abundantly open to fuel the furnaces. Other items which were offered were dates, sesame oil and particularly craft materials. Babylonia had a comprehensive made of woll industry. However, gold and silver was imported from Anatolia (Heise, 1996).


Mesopotamia is really a land of couple of natural assets. It’s very fortunate the Mesopotamian people learned to create the most from what they’ve and cultivate them. Thus, formation of effective buying and selling and organization was used. The economy of Mesopotamia is dependant on agriculture. Plantation of the couple of crops and domestication of some farm creatures were the best way of survival. Within the old age, Craftsmanship and woodworking visited a flourishing industry. The trade and economy of Mesopotamia is an extremely effective, otherwise the very first effective economy on the planet.

Works Reported

&quot Trade and Transport&quot The British Museum. Retrieved on November 21, 2010 from &lthttp://world wide kingdom/trade/home_set.html&gt.

&quot Trade, Economy, and Artists in Ancient Mesopotamia &quot. Retrieved on November 21, 2010 from &lt http://world wide &gt.

Heise, John. (1996), &quot Mesopotamia&quot. Retrieved on November 21, 2010 from &lt http://world wide

Kreis, Steven. (2006), &quot Ancient Western Asia and also the Civilization of Mesopotamia&quot A Brief History Guide. Retrieved on November 21, 2010 from &lthttp://world wide

Spodek, Howard. (2005), &quot The Planet&rsquos History&quot. Retrieved on November 21, 2010 from &lt http://world wide