Egypt and Mesopotamia

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Ryan Bowman
8/19/2012
AP World History
3rd
Similarities/Differences of Mesopotamia and Egypt
Mesopotamia and Egypt have many similarities and differences in many aspects. Though regionally close, Egypt and Mesopotamia had many differences, such as social structure and government structure. While both civilizations differed as in social structure of their society and government structure; they also had similar aspects as in cultural development. Comparing the two, they both had close advances in culture and a polytheistic religion. The one aspect that sets apart the Egyptian and Mesopotamian civilizations the most is their social structure. While Mesopotamia had a punctuated and defined social structure, Egypt had a less distinct division of classes. In Mesopotamia, there was the ruler and at the top of all classes while just below the ruler were the bureaucrats from the city-states. In addition to the upper class were priests, military officers, and soldiers. Middle class consisted of merchants, artisans, laborers, and farmers. Lower class consisted of slaves who were usually prisoners of war. In Egypt, this was generally the case in social structure except for some differences. One of them is that there was a small upper class with the Pharaoh being at the top and viziers surrounded by whoever was in charge. Middle class consisted of soldiers, scribers, and laborers such as farmers. Slaves and servants filled the lower class. Though they both had similar structures, Egypt had more of a middle class in their structure, while Mesopotamia’s structure had much more of an upper class because of the city states. Proof of these divisions in social structure was the ziggurats in Mesopotamia and the pyramids in Egypt. These monumental structures were set up for their own ruler, with middle class growing and creating what would make up the structure, while the lower class constructed the actual monumental structure. Another part of their structure that was...
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