II. Ancient and Classical Periods, 3500 B.C.E.–500 C.E. > B. Kingdoms of Western Asia and Africa, to 323 B.C.E. > 2. Mesopotamia, c. 3500–539 B.C.E.
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  The Encyclopedia of World History.  2001.
 
 
2. Mesopotamia, c. 3500–539 B.C.E.
a. Geography
 
Mesopotamia lay between and around the Euphrates and Tigris Rivers. The region reaches from the Taurus Mountains to the Persian Gulf and from the Syrian Desert to the Zagros Mountains and splits into Upper and Lower Mesopotamia at the point where the rivers come closest together, near ancient Babylon and modern Baghdad. Upper Mesopotamia is a large piedmont zone flanked by semiarid highlands. In the west, the Balikh and the Khabur flow south to the Euphrates, and in the east, the Great Zab and the Little Zab flow west from the Zagros into the Tigris. Lower Mesopotamia is an alluvial plain, and the Tigris and Euphrates form frequent lakes and marshes. The ancient shoreline of the Persian Gulf probably lay farther north than at present.  1
 
 
 
The Encyclopedia of World History, Sixth edition. Peter N. Stearns, general editor. Copyright © 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Maps by Mary Reilly, copyright 2001 by Houghton Mifflin Company. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company. All rights reserved.

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