Mesopotamia is generally credited with being the first place where civilized societies truly began to take shape. Situated in a vast expanse of delta between the Tigris and the Euphrates rivers, the people of Mesopotamia learned to tame the dry land and draw sustenance from it.
Tanks tread there now, and companies pump oil from beneath the ancient soil. Today, much of the area lies in present-day Iraq. Were it not for the Mesopotamians, that country -- or any other -- possibly wouldn't exist, at least not in a way we would recognize. The choices they made, the risks they took, the energy they invested into their ideas and pursuits lead to the world we know today.