The Fertile Crescent is a region in Western Asia. It includes the comparatively fertile regions of Mesopotamia and the Levant, delimited by the dry climate of the Syrian Desert to the south and the Anatolian highlands to the north. The region is often considered the cradle of civilization; it saw the development of many of the earliest human civilizations, and is the birthplace of writing and the wheel.
The term "Fertile Crescent" was first used by University of Chicago archaeologist James Henry Breasted in his Ancient Records of Egypt, published in 1906. The region was so named due to its rich soil and crescent shape.
The modern-day countries with significant territory within the Fertile Crescent are Iraq, Syria, Lebanon, Jordan, Palestine and Israel, besides the southeastern fringe of Turkey and the western fringe of Iran.