The Middle East
has been the political center of several empires through history. Many of the earliest known empires originated in the middle east. Middle eastern empires have been instrumental in the spreading of ideas, technology and religions within its territories and to outliers. Since the 7th century all Middle Eastern Empires
, with the exception of the Byzantine Empire
, have been muslim, some of them claiming the titles of Islamic caliphate
. The last major empire based in the region was the Ottoman Empire
Pre-1700 BCE: The Ancient Middle East
The rich, fertile lands of Mesopotamia
gave birth to some of the oldest sedentary
civilizations. The Sumerians
, considered by many to be the oldest civilization (at 5000 BC), contributed to later societies credited with several important innovations such as writing, boats, and the wheel.
Over time, Mesopotamia would see the rise and fall of many great civilizations that would make the region one of the most vibrant and colorful in history, including empires like that of the Assyrians
and trade kingdoms such as the Lydians
, all of which were influential to other neighboring civilizations.
North-West of Mesopotamia were the Hittites
, who were probably the first people to use Iron weapons. To the South-West was Egypt
, not nearly as old as Sumer
, but one with rich resources that sustained a thriving culture. Political fluctuation was large, partly because of the lack of natural defences in the region.