Take a map of the Middle East and place your finger on the northwest corner of the Persian Gulf. Then slide generally northwest, in a curving motion, stopping when you have finished approximately one-half of an arc, somewhat convex toward the northeast. Stop at about 23°51' N _ 39°02' E, just over the border of Turkey. You will notice that your finger has traversed the large land area through which the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers flow southward, joining at last to descend into the Persian Gulf. Because these two massive rivers and their dozens of tributaries dominate this extensive region, the Greeks called it Mesopotamia, translated loosely as “the land in the middle of the rivers.”
Your finger will also have discov . . .