First humans in mesopotamiaHumans first settled in Mesopotamia in the Paleolithic era. By 14,000 B.C., people in the region lived in small settlements with circular houses.
Sumerian PeopleBy 3000 B.C., Mesopotamia was firmly under the control of the Sumerian people. Sumer contained several decentralized city-states—Eridu, Nippur, Lagash, Uruk, Kish and Ur.
The HittitiesThe Hittites, who were centered around Anatolia and Syria, conquered the Babylonians around 1595 B.C. Smelting was a significant contribution of the Hittites, allowing for more sophisticated weaponry that lead them to expand the empire even further. Their attempts to keep the technology to themselves eventually failed, and other empires became a match for them.
Hammurabi's codeHammurabi’s most famous contribution is his list of laws, better known as the Code of Hammurabi, devised around 1772 B.CHammurabi’s innovation was not just writing down the laws for everyone to see, but making sure that everyone throughout the empire followed the same legal codes, and that governors in different areas did not enact their own. The list of laws also featured recommended punishments to ensure that every citizen had the right to the same justice.
UrukUruk was the first of these cities, dating back to around 3200 B.C. It was a mud brick metropolis built on the riches brought from trade and conquest and featured public art, gigantic columns and temples. At its peak, it had a population of some 50,000 citizens.