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What was known of earlier traditions, such as the Egyptian as represented by the Rhind papyrus (edited for the first time only in 1877), offered at best a…
Tigris rivers, north or northwest of the bottleneck at Baghdad, in modern Iraq; it is Al-Jazīrah (“The Island”) of the Arabs.
On the other hand, wood, stone, and metal were rare or even entirely absent.
The date palm—virtually the national tree of Iraq—yields a Metal can only be obtained in the mountains, and the same is true of precious and semiprecious stones.
The cultural superiority of north Mesopotamia, which may have lasted until about 4000 , was finally overtaken by the south when the people there had responded to the challenge of their situation.
The present climatic conditions are fairly similar to those of 8,000 years ago.
The supply of water is not regular; as a result of the high average temperatures and a very low annual rainfall, the ground of the plain of latitude 35° N is hard and dry and unsuitable for plant cultivation for at least eight months in the year.
Only from the latitude of Baghdad do the Euphrates and Tigris truly become twin rivers, the Kārūn River in Persia has always been closely related to Mesopotamia, but it is not considered part of Mesopotamia as it forms its own river system.
Mesopotamia, south of Al-Ramādī (about 70 miles, or 110 kilometres, west of Baghdad) on the Euphrates and the bend of the Tigris below Sāmarrāʾ (about 70 miles north-northwest of Baghdad), is flat alluvial land.
Between Baghdad and the mouth of the Shaṭṭ al-ʿArab (the confluence of the Tigris and Euphrates, where it empties into the Persian Gulf) there is a difference in height of only about 100 feet (30 metres).
As a result of the slow flow of the water, there are heavy deposits of silt, and the riverbeds are raised.
South of this lies Babylonia, named after the city of Babylon.