Encompassing the fertile lowlands between the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers, modern-day Iraq corresponds largely to the ancient land of Mesopotamia. It is perhaps the oldest consistently settled region on the planet. The remnants of human settlement can be found dating back to 50,000 B.C.
Iraq is home to some of the great firsts in human history, often earning it the epitaph: “Cradle of Civilization.” It was here that the concept of the wheel was born and the first system of agriculture was developed. Over the centuries, Iraq has been home to many ancient civilizations including the Sumerian, Akkadian, Babylonian, and Assyrian empires. Each has left its mark on the region and on history.
Today, Iraq is a country rich in culture drawing on thousands of years of heritage. Poetry thrives in Iraq, as do fine arts like painting and sculpting, and visitors to the country can marvel at buildings from the golden age of Abbasid architecture in the 8th and 9th centuries and from the various Ottoman periods. Maqam music is the urban classical vocal tradition of Iraq, and football, or soccer as it’s known in the United States, is the most popular sport. Iraq’s unique cuisine dates back some 10,000 years reflecting the rich inheritance of the many civilizations that flourished there.
For more information on Iraq heritage, click here.