From the dawn of military history, infantry have provided the backbone of armies the world over.
Mesopotamian PhalanxesThe first step in the transformation of individual warriors into uniformed, disciplined infantry took place in the city-states of ancient Mesopotamia, now Iraq. Around 2500 BC, city states such as Lagash and Ur began to equip their fighting men with matching equipment. Protected by shields and helmets, their spears formed a hedge of deadly points that held opponents at bay.
These Mesopotamian phalanxes set a precedent that would spread outward and be imitated by other ancient civilisations. By equipping their men with identical weapons, the rising nations of the ancient world could ensure reliable armies that fought with the best tools available to them. And for the first time, infantrymen began to emerge as a distinct group.