Irrigation in Ancient Mesopotamia


The Tigris and the Euphrates are rivers that
surround Mesopotamia. The problem with being surrounded by rivers
is that when there is a lot of rain, the rivers flood! In ancient Mesopotamia, people figured out
that if they could control the river, they could water their crops and they wouldn’t
have to worry about being flooded out of their homes every few years. They could also get water to their fields
when there wasn’t enough rain, so that their crops wouldn’t die. First, the Mesopotamians dug wide canals that
allowed water to flow from the river out to their farms. Then they dug smaller irrigation ditches from
the canals to their fields to water all of their crops. They put gates on the ditches so they could
control how much water went from the canal to the fields. Modern irrigation gates are made out of metal,
but probably the Mesopotamians made theirs from wood. Once the Mesopotamians were able to control
the flow of water from the river to their farms, they were able to grow more crops and
harvest a surplus each year. Having a surplus made their lives easier. And gave the ancient Mesopotamians more time
to have fun!

2 comments

Hi Great video! I do think that the last picture, of a man laughing is funny, but a little bit misleading. It gives an impression that Ancient Mesopotamians were in Africa and they were not. From the reliefs and any images of their kings and gods by the Mesopotamians, the people look far from African. Popular representations of them in modern times make them look like a cross of Iranians, present day Iraqies, and Jewish people. Just thought this might be a great reason to change the picture 🙂

@Lidiabityunan89 Thank you for this suggestion. I had used an image of a man from Egypt, but it is important for students to see as accurate of representations as possible. I'll see what I can find!

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