Many farmers in the ancient world would count on rain to watertheir crops until harvest time. But this natural didn’t work in theland between the Tigris and Euphrates rivers. There, rain wasscarce. For most of the year, the land between the rivers isscorched by the sun. The clay soil bakes so hard you’d need ajackhammer to drill through it. When the rain finally arrives, itrolls right off. Mesopotamia is a treeless, sun-baked plain,hundreds of miles from many valuable resources. They need timber,stone used in making tools, gold, silver, tin, lead, copper, andbronze.

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