Ancient Civilization Comparative Essay
Without any form of rapid long distance communication as we have today, Egypt and Mesopotamia built their civilizations with inadvertent similarities and differences between their political and social structures. Given the facts that Egypt was unified and Mesopotamia was a collection of city states, both had common writing forms amongst them, but not all were literate due to the sharply contrasting social hierarchy. Even though Egypt believed in a fulfilling after life, Mesopotamia did not; however, both had polytheism religions.
Known as one civilization but actually a collection of city-states, Mesopotamia, unlike Egypt, was not politically unified. However, Egypt was politically unified under one ruler, the pharaoh. Political unity allowed for a stable government and economy. Therefore, more people were able to study other pursuits. As a result of this, the two civilizations developed respective forms of writing. Usually used to record religious rituals, hieroglyphics were used as a form of writing and art; but it wasn't only used for religion. Hieroglyphics were also used for writing poems, myths, medical recipes and records of battle, legal documents, trade transactions and even magic spells. Scribes, wrote with hieroglyphics on walls of temples but mostly papyrus, an early form paper. Mesopotamian scribes, instead of writing on papyrus wrote on clay tablets. Mesopotamians are credited with inventing the earliest form of writing, Cuneiform. With the use of reed styluses, they carved pictographs into clay tablets and left the tablets to dry. Even though both civilizations had a writing form, not all could read or write due to the massive inequality between the elites the laymen. Only the elites could read and write because only they could afford to go to school. In each of these civilizations, women were not permitted to attend school. However, women in Egypt had rights to an extent. For example, in the absence of...
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