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Iraq, known in classical antiquity as Mesopotamia, was home to the oldest civilizations in the world, with a cultural history of over 10,000 years, hence its common epithet, the Cradle of Civilization. Mesopotamia, as part of the larger Fertile Crescent, was a significant part of the Ancient Near East throughout the Bronze Age and the Iron Age. Successively ruled by the Sumerian, Akkadian, Babylonian, Assyrian, Medo-Persian, Seleucid and Parthian empires during the Iron Age and Classical Antiquity, Iraq was conquered by the Arab Rashidun Caliphate in the 7th century, and became a center of the Islamic Golden Age during the medieval Abbasid Caliphate. After a series of invasions and conquest by the Mongols and Turks, Iraq fell under Ottoman rule in the 16th century, intermittently falling under Mamluk and Safavid control.