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Mesopotamia (Greek, "between the rivers") is, strictly speaking, 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 - not merely the land between the two rivers - 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 by, and conquered by, numerous ancient civilizations, including the Sumerians, Akkadians, Babylonians and Assyrians. Peoples who threatened or invaded these lands include the Hittites, the Elamites and the Persian Empire.

These civilizations arose from earlier settlements and cultures which were among the first to make use of agriculture.

Cities and sites with settlements in this region in these periods include:

See also Levant, History of Levant, Deities, Sumerian mythology, Madan, Cradle of Humanity

Mesopotamia is also a place in the State of Ohio in the United States of America; see Mesopotamia, Ohio.

Mesopotamia is also the name of an album by The B-52's; see Mesopotamia (album)