The primitive civilization of Chaldæa, like that of Egypt, was cradled in the lower districts of a great alluvial
basin, in which the soil was stolen from the sea by long continued deposits of river mud. In the valley of the
Tigris and Euphrates, as in that of the Nile, it was in the great plains near the ocean that the inhabitants first
emerged from barbarism and organized a civil life. As the ages passed away, this culture slowly mounted the
streams, and, as Memphis was older by many centuries than Thebes, in dignity if not in actual existence, so Ur
and Larsam were older...