In Greek, Mesopotamia means “between rivers.” The land that once had that name is now mostly in the nation of Iraq.
But thousands of years ago, when human civilization was just beginning, Mesopotamia was the most important part of the world. It was here that the ancient Sumerians, Babylonians, Chaldeans, and Assyrians founded their kingdoms.
The two rivers of Mesopotamia are the Tigris and the Euphrates. In ancient times, the waters of these rivers were used to irrigate Mesopotamia. But after thousands of years of irrigation and farming, the land has become very salty and infertile. Today, it is mostly desert.
In some Mesopotamian regions, the population is smaller today than it was 4,000 years ago!