map showing the larger area including cyprus
the fertile crescent is a crescent-shaped region in the middle east, spanning modern-day iraq together with the southeastern fringe of turkey and the western fringes of iran, syria, lebanon, israel, palestine, jordan, and egypt. some authors also include cyprus.
the region has been called the "cradle of civilization" because it is where settled farming first emerged as people started the process of clearance and modification of natural vegetation in order to grow newly domesticated plants as crops. early human civilizations such as sumer flourished as a result. technological advances in the region include the development of agriculture and the use of irrigation, of writing, the wheel, and glass.