Hate Gets Under The Skin- Cohesive Identity and Stopping the Murders in Mesopotamia

20 November 2019, Version 1
This content is an early or alternative research output and has not been peer-reviewed at the time of posting.


It is very important to study Iraq and eastern Syria, since these regions are always in turmoil and often in the news. These regions together make up ancient Mesopotamia. I have found very strong correlations between the borders of ancient state formations and modern-day geo-cultural divides. In this article, I suggest that we take these long-term patterns seriously when deciding what to do with eastern Syria and Iraq. We should not dismiss the idea of making internal or external borders more in keeping with divisions of the land based upon identity politics in modern-day Mesopotamia. Also, this paper makes us all aware of easily-forgotten groups, like the Syriac Christians on northern Iraq and eastern Syria, who are often conveniently left off of mainstream news broadcasts. In sum, the Ur III bala taxation system correlates very strongly with the modern Shia/non-Shia divide within modern Mesopotamia.


historical-comparative analysis
ancient history
comparative politics
Shia-Sunni divide
history and politics
Syriac Christians


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