THE traditional culture of the land of the Euphrates and Tigris is not younger than that of the Nile. I'liotigli the third dynasty (commencing, according to Berosos, with the twenty-third century II.C.) is the first of which we have monumental remains, it cannot be denied that long before that time an important people had inhabited the country, a nation very different from the nomadic hordes which then, as to-day, roved through the neighboring deserts. Sevcral races of atitiquity were conscious that the most primitive people of civilization had lived in the land of the two streams. The Jews considered that to have been their original home. The Patriarch Abraham had emigrated from Chaldæan Ur to Canaan. The Greek legend of Deucalion points to the history of Mesopotamia in the same manner as does the Jewish myth of the Deluge; the oldest Greek knowledge of astronomy, astrology, and the calculation of time seems to have been derived from the same source. The tale of the division of the nations in Babel, and their spreading over the face of the earth from that point, is certainly based upon the existence of a most ancient centre of civilization upon the banks of the Euphrates.
The land offered no materials for monuments which, like those of Egypt, could stand uninjured through thousands of years. The narrow valley of the Nile is enclosed by the cliffs of the (desert border, which seemed directly to encourage, by the excellence of the