The Tigris River, which winds through Turkey and Iraq, is known as the “Cradle of Civilization” because it was along its banks that humans first developed agriculture, writing, and the wheel. Leon McCarron, the author, journeyed the entirety of the river to chart its historical significance and the threats it currently faces, such as geopolitical instability, poor water management, and climate change. Throughout his voyage, he uncovered stories of the river’s enduring significance in the lives of the people living along its banks and its rich tapestry of history and culture.
- The Tigris River, originating in Turkey, has been significant in human history, with its floodplain being the site where agriculture and many other inventions began.
- McCarron and his team traveled the entire length of the Tigris in 2021, hoping to highlight the river’s history and current challenges.
- The river, which has nurtured diverse civilizations and cultures, now faces threats such as climate change and political instability.
- The journey revealed enduring cultural practices, like the dengbêj storytelling in Diyarbakır and the Mandaeans’ baptism rituals in Iraq.
- Despite challenges, including the destruction from ISIS and modern geopolitical tensions, the spirit of resilience and hospitality remains strong among communities along the river.