Mesopotamia


Mesopotamia
Mesopotamian, adj., n.
/mes'euh peuh tay"mee euh/, n.
an ancient region in W Asia between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers: now part of Iraq.

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Region between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers in the Middle East, constituting the greater part of modern Iraq.

The region's location and fertility gave rise to settlements from с 10,000 BC, and it became the cradle of some of the world's earliest civilizations and the birthplace of writing. It was first settled by the Sumerians, who were succeeded by the Akkadians and later by the Babylonians. Successive peoples came to dominate the region until the rise of the Persian Achaemenian dynasty in the 6th century BC. The Achaemenids were overthrown by Alexander the Great in the early 4th century BC, and Mesopotamia was ruled by the Seleucid dynasty from с 312 BC until the mid-2nd century BC, when it became part of the Parthian empire. In the 7th century AD the region was conquered by Muslim Arabs. The region's importance declined after the Mongol invasion in 1258. Rule by the Ottoman Empire over most of the region began in the 16th century. The area became a British mandate in 1920; the following year Iraq was established there.

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      narrow, northeast-to-southwest-oriented geographic region of northeastern Argentina, comprising Misiones, Corrientes, and Entre Ríos provincias (provinces), bounded on the west by the Gran Chaco of Argentina, on the north by Paraguay, on the northeast by Brazil, and on the southeast by Uruguay. Its name, meaning “between the rivers” in Greek, is derived from its being between the Paraná River (on the southwest to north) and the Uruguay River (on the southeast to northeast). In the northeast (or Misiones province) Mesopotamia consists of a southeastward extension of the Paraná Plateau of Brazil covered with subtropical evergreen rain forest. Its several rivers plunge over the edges of the basalt plateau to create spectacular falls, such as Iguazú. Corrientes and Entre Ríos provinces differ from Misiones in several respects. Their land surface, like that of Uruguay to the east, consists of rolling, grass-covered hillocks rising from densely wooded and marshy lowlands. The region was originally colonized by Spanish settlers returning from Asunción, Paraguay, to refound Buenos Aires in the late 16th century; and in the 19th century many agriculturists of German, Italian, and Swiss descent settled in the region.

      Southern Mesopotamia is one of Argentina's leading producers of wool and flax, and cattle are raised. The production of rice and oranges centres on the city of Corrientes. Rapids, sandbars, and shifting channels in the Paraná and the Uruguay rivers hinder their use as transportation arteries, necessitating transshipment of cargo to shallow-draft vessels. The highway network is fairly extensive, but roads are generally of poor quality. A rail line traverses eastern Mesopotamia. The hydroelectric (hydroelectric power) potential of the rivers bordering Mesopotamia was finally realized in 1982 with the completion of the Salto Grande complex on the lower Uruguay and the construction of the giant Yacyretá complex on the upper Paraná, which opened for commercial operation in 1994.

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Universalium. 2010.

Look at other dictionaries:

  • Mesopotamia — (griechisch Μεσοποταμία „zwischen Flüssen“) ist die geografische Bezeichnung für eine Landschaft im Vorderen Orient, das Mesopotamien im Altertum ein albanisches Dorf, siehe Mesopotam eine römische Provinz an der Grenze zum Partherreich, siehe… …   Deutsch Wikipedia

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  • Mesopotamia — ancient name for the land that lies between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers (in modern Iraq), from Gk. mesopotamia (khora), lit. a country between two rivers, from fem. of mesopotamos, from mesos middle (see MEDIAL (Cf. medial) (adj.)) + potamos… …   Etymology dictionary

  • Mesopotamia — [mes΄ə pə tā′mē ə] [Gr mesopotamia(chōra), lit., (land) between rivers < mesos,MID1 + potamos, river, orig., rapids < IE base * pet , to fall, rush at > FEATHER] 1. ancient country in SW Asia, between the upper Tigris & Euphrates rivers …   English World dictionary

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