Caspian Sea

Caspian Sea
   An inland sea whose southern portion lies east of Armenia and north of Iran and that came under the control of several ancient Mesopotamian peoples. The Caspian Sea is the world's largest inland waterway, measuring some 143,000 square miles (371,000 sq. km). It bore numerous names in ancient times, among them the Hyrca-nian Ocean, after Hyrcania (also called Gorgan), the region lying along its southwestern shore. The Persians called it the Mazandaran Sea. The name Caspian may derive from the Arabic name for it - the Qasvin Sea.
   Archaeological evidence shows that humans lived along the edge of the sea seventy-five thousand years ago. But Hyr-cania and other areas lying along its southern coasts remained on the periphery of the major civilizations until the Medes established their kingdom in the area in the mid-first millennium b.c. Soon afterward Cyrus II brought the southern Caspian into the Persian Empire. After the latter's fall, the Seleucid Greeks briefly held the area. In the 200s b.c., however, the Parthians arose there and went on to create a major Mesopotamian empire that lasted until the Sassanians overcame Parthia in a.d. 224.

Ancient Mesopotamia dictioary. . 2015.

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