First Civilizations: the Peoples of Western Asia and Egypt

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History 111
1/31/13

The First Civilizations: The Peoples of Western Asia and Egypt
Civilization is defined as "a complex culture in which large numbers of people share a variety of common elements". But what are these common elements? Many of the worlds first civilizations all shared a number of key characteristics that set them apart from early hominids. The development of citites and architechual monuments, which became the central point of matters such as economics , polictics, and new artistic forms began to flourish. These societies introduced religion and began to worships deities that they believed were key to their communties good fortune. Social hierarchies were introduced, kings and priests of the upper class oversaw those of the lower class such as farmers and commoners. Agricultural advancements brought an abundance of food and allowed people to work in occupations other than farming. Most important of all these societies developed their own form of writing as a way to keep records of their great history. These are the qualities that emcompasses a society these building blocks are what set us apart from what could only be chaos. In this essay I will analyze the key civilizations that arose in Mesopotamia and Egypt. From there I will discuss how these societies meet the requirements of being considered civilization and then finally explain other sources that could be used to support these claims.

I will begin by discussing the civilization that arose in Ancient Mesopotamia from 1792-1750 BCE. It was during this time where Mesopotamia is introduced to its first true law giver Hammurabi. While also being none as a man of great military intellegence Hammurabi was best remembered by his collection of 282 laws, which quite literally followed the "an eye for an eye" principle. These laws went on to be known as "The Code of Hammurabi For example, one such law states that "if a free man has destroyed the eye of a member of the aristocracy, they shall...
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