Iraq is a country in Western Asia that largely corresponds with the territory of ancient Mesopotamia. The history of Mesopotamia extends from the Lower Paleolithic period until the establishment of the Caliphate in the late 7th century AD, after which the region came to be known as Iraq. Encompassed within Iraqi territory is the ancient land of Sumer, which came into being between 6000 and 5000 BC during the Neolithic Ubaid period of Mesopotamian history, and is widely considered the oldest civilization in recorded history. It is also the historic center of the Akkadian, Neo-Sumerian, Babylonian, Neo-Assyrian, and Neo-Babylonian empires, a succession of local ruling dynasties that reigned over Mesopotamia and various other regions of the Ancient Near East during the Bronze and Iron Ages.Iraq during antiquity witnessed some of the world's earliest writing, literature, sciences, mathematics, laws and philosophies; hence its common epithet, the Cradle of Civilization.This era of self-
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