History of Mesopotamia
The history of Mesopotamia describes the history of the area known as Mesopotamia, roughly coinciding with the Tigris–Euphrates basin, from the earliest human occupation in the Lower Palaeolithic period up to the Muslim conquests in the 7th century AD. This history is pieced together from evidence retrieved from archaeological excavations and, after the introduction of writing in the late 4th millennium BC, an increasing amount of historical sources. While in the Paleolithic and early Neolithic periods only parts of Upper Mesopotamia were occupied, the southern alluvium was settled during the late Neolithic period. Mesopotamia has been home to many of the oldest major civilizations, entering history from the Early Bronze Age, for which reason it is often dubbed the cradle of civilization. The rise of the first cities in southern Mesopotamia dates to the Chalcolithic (Uruk period), from c. 5300 BC; its regional independence ended with the Achaemenid conquest in 539 BC, although a few native neo-Assyrian kingdoms existed at different times, namely Adiabene, Osroene and Hatra.