Prof. Andrew Walzer
March 6th 2012
Ancient Civilizations of Egypt and Maya
The rise of human civilizations did not occur in one place, but rather it happened in various locations throughout the world in various time eras. All civilizations have its own characteristics and life span according to their environment such as the geographic location, the weather or natural resources. Some civilizations, such as the ancient Egypt, developed and kept on growing, and the historic records still exist in present days, while some civilizations like the ancient Maya just remain as a mystery in the history. Interestingly, these early civilizations share some similar characteristics when it is least likely that they were influenced by each other over the continents.
The ancient Egypt civilization arose around 3,000-4,000 B.C.E. by the Nile River. The river was the major resource of water for the civilization but also a severe threat because of frequent floods. They quickly gained knowledge to predict the floods and technology of irrigation, and it was a great advantage in the development of the civilization. The importance of education was already being enforced, as the evidence can be found in an excerpt from the text, “Be a Scribe”. They also had strict class stratification, which resulted divided regions of the empire later, however the controlled social structure helped the civilization to remain over 3,000 years.
The Mayans came around Yucatan a little after the Egyptian civilization (3,000-2,500 B.C.E.). Compared to the Egyptians, Mayan civilization started in a very dry land with very limited access to water. Interesting thing about Mayans is that they never lived in a good condition for a civilization to successfully extend and remain, however they were able to maintain and built buildings, altars and even pyramids. Also, they had great knowledge of astrology, mathematics, and art, but they did not seem to have advanced language...