The “Fertile Crescent” is a term referring to those parts of the ancient world that form a crescent extending from the head of the Persian Gulf (modern Iraq) up the Tigris and Euphrates Rivers, (Mesopotamia) across modern Syria and Lebanon to the Mediterranean Sea, then down the coast to Egypt. It was a strip of generally arable land surrounded by desert or sea. The first great civilisations (in Mesopotamia and Egypt formed at either end in the late 4th millennium B.C.- it has been referred to as "the Cradle of Civilisation".
The term was coined by American archaeologist J.H. Breasted and published in his book, “Ancient Times. A History of the Early World” in 1916.
“Ancient Times. A History of the Early World” (Footnote on page 135 of 1944 edition.)