In an area known as Mesopotamia, three ancient civilizations thrived. The Sumerians formed the first cities and developed the first system of written language. The Babylonians created rules of law, the most famous of which is the Code of Hammurabi. The Assyrians showed their military strength through conquest and established the first cavalry units, or soldiers fighting on horseback. This book explores the cultures of ancient Mesopotamia through their social structure. It takes a look at the people and details the duties of a king, the activities of a peasant farmer, and much more. It also describes some of the discoveries and writings that have led to our present-day understanding of this fascinating civilization. Book jacket.