Ap World History. Mesopotamia and Egypt

Topics: Mesopotamia, Tigris, Culture Pages: 2 (543 words) Published: August 26, 2013
Mesopotamia and Egypt were two of the most well known civilizations of their eras. Civilizations are defined societies distinguished by their reliance on sedentary agriculture, their ability to produce food surpluses, and the existence of nonfarming elites, as well as merchant and manufacturing groups. Although the political structures and cultural ideas of these civilizations differed, some of their social structures were similar.

The political and cultural ways of life were completely different for these two civilizations. Egypt was not in total isolation, but was as self-contained as possible. Unlike Egypt, Mesopotamia was more focused on expanding as far as they could. Egyptian leaders liked to think of their civilization as their own world. Emperors of Mesopotamia focused on expanding their territory toward the Middle East. Egypt had a few interactions here and there along the Nile, but other than that, they preferred to stay within its borders. They traded on the southern part of the Nile, which influenced the Kush and Ethiopian people. Other than interactions such as these, Egypt felt no pressure to broaden its horizons. On the other hand, Mesopotamian traders traveled outward, and made deals with merchants eastward or went on trips into the Mediterranean and farther. They even made it as far as India. As you can see, expansion was the main goal of the civilization of Mesopotamia. As well as political indifference, the two also had cultural differences. Mesopotamia was very advanced in science and an elaborate alphabet. The Sumerians had developed a good idea of the movement of the sun and stars and ultimately invented the science of astronomy. Astronomy was the basis for the calendar that was used in politics and even their religion. Egypt had a better mathematical standpoint. The idea of a twenty-four idea hour day was introduced by Egypt, and later spread to other cultures. Although Egypt and Mesopotamia differed in so many aspects of life, they had...
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