Compare and Contrast Egypt and Mesopotamia

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Mesopotamia and Egypt
At the time of the rise of the first civilizations, both Mesopotamia and Egypt were dominant civilizations. One could argue that the first civilizations had various similarities, but they also had many differences, that of which made them early civilizations.

Both Mesopotamia and Egypt grew up in river valleys. Surrounding Mesopotamia were the Tigris and Euphrates rivers, and Egypt’s river source was the Nile. These civilizations depended on these rivers to have productive agriculture in arid areas. However, these rivers were different. The Nile was predictable, rising annually and bringing soil and water to Egypt’s rich agriculture. The Tigris and Euphrates rivers also rose annually, but were unpredictable and were said to “submerge man’s crops.” Egypt was not only surrounded by the Nile, but by deserts, mountains, and seas. This made it more protected from external attack, while Mesopotamia was more prone to invasion, with a much opened environment. With the increase in population and growing demand for resources, southern Mesopotamia experienced deforestation. To add to this disastrous situation, there was an increase in salinization of soil. The earth was believed to turn white, by 2000 B.C.E. The center of Mesopotamian civilization was forced to shift to the north, because of this ecological deterioration. Sumer, located in southern Mesopotamia, involved a complex and artificial network of canals and dikes, which led to the salinization of soil. Egypt, however, created a more sustainable agricultural system, which responded in the continuation of this civilization. Regulating the flow of the Nile, Egypt’s system avoided salty soils, and grew in wheat production. Egypt’s environment was favorable, making it easy to work with without altering nature.

Mesopotamia and Egypt differed in political, cultural, and environmental aspects. Mesopotamian civilization was organized in many separate and independent city states. A city state...
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