Mesopotamia, Egypt, and Indus Valley

Topics: Mesopotamia, Ancient Egypt, Civilization Pages: 3 (807 words) Published: October 9, 2012
Comparative Essay
Throughout the history of Earth, there have been many fascinating developments, the most prominent being the first civilizations, Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt. They had many similarities, such as characteristics of early civilizations and social structures, but they also had their differences. The most embossed differences included the divergent geography, prior belief, trade, relations with other civilizations, and politics.

The earliest societies, such as Mesopotamia and Ancient Egypt exhibiting indicator traits of civilization developed along the floodplains of great rivers, the Tigris and Euphrates in Iraq, and the Nile in Egypt. People had settled in Mesopotamia by 7000 B.C. and the First Dynasty of Egyptian rulers was founded before 3000 B.C., implying a much earlier period of occupation in the Nile River valley and delta. To protect themselves and channel the forces of nature, people living near the rivers created new technologies and forms of political and social organization. The geographical similarities were that both civilizations resided on banks of major rivers, Tigris & Euphrates, and Nile. Another similarity is that both civilizations developed a writing system. It first appeared in Mesopotamia before 3300 B.C.E. Cuneiform was the name of it, and wedge-shaped symbols represented words or syllables. Hieroglyphics were the Egyptians’ way of writing, and it had been developed by the beginning of the early Dynastic period. Pictorial symbols represented sounds, syllables, or concepts. Literacy was confined to a relatively small group of scribes and administrators in both of these civilizations due to long period of study required to master the systems. Also, both civilizations had social classes, with the king and the royal families at the top, next were the priests, local leaders and artisans, and lastly, slaves and peasants occupied the bottom. Both Mesopotamians and Egyptians acquired substantial knowledge about...
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